Pill, patch or the condom- a complete guide to contraceptives

Pill, patch or the condom- a complete guide to contraceptives
Trust us, if you are sexually active, this is one discussion you need to have with your gynae ASAP. Also, many birth control methods double up to regulate your period, decrease the flow, and help manage PCOD and PMS. Win, win! 

There are a range of birth control options these days. What suits you depends on how much effort you want to put into it, how long you want to delay pregnancy and how easy you find it. Your gynae is the best person to discuss the pros and cons of each with. 

We’ve put together a list of the 9 most popular birth control methods, along with their pros and cons, and how easy they are to use. Psst: If you are getting married, make sure to get a full health check up done prior to the wedding night.

1. The Pill

The newer breed of low-dosage hormone birth control pills have fewer side effects, can help you regulate your periods and are even prescribed for PCOD treatment. Birth control pills are also extremely effective! Just don’t start taking these on your own, consult your doctor first. 

Pros: Contraceptive pills are very easy to use as long as you remember to take it every day! Our tip: put a reminder on your phone. 

Cons: Minor side effects, no protection against STDs, and you’ll need some time before you can try for children even after going off them.

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2. Diaphragm

This contraceptive comes in the form of a shallow cup which has to be put in, just like a tampon. Coat it with a spermicide before putting it in, and you’re sorted. The newer ones are a bit smaller and easier to use. 

Pros: No hormones! 

Cons: This form of birth control might be uncomfortable if not inserted right (like a tampon!), you’ll have to learn how to put it in (not really difficult though) and you’ll have to remember to use it. Not much use against STDs.

3. Patch

If the smokers can have one, why can’t you? Stick it on and the hormones work their magic.

Pros: Needs to be changed only once a week. After three weeks, remove and you get your period.

Cons: Won’t help against STDs, and has to be timed right.

4. IUD or Intrauterine Device  

You’ve heard of Copper T, right? This birth control option is a form of IUD - basically a T-shaped device is inserted into the uterus by your doc. The newer ones release low doses of hormones which prevent pregnancy. 

Pros: Once this birth control device is inserted inside the uterus, the effects can last 3-5 years depending on the kind you get. This contraceptive is super effective for preventing pregnancy and are pretty much the ‘put in and forget it’ sort of BC. 

Cons: This form of birth control might be a bit uncomfortable, may slip out initially or have some side effects, won’t protect against STDs, and you’ll need some time after taking it out before you can become pregnant.

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5. Vaginal ring

It’s a slim, bendy ring which slowly releases birth control hormones in your uterus to prevent pregnancy. 

Pros: This contraceptive is used for three weeks at a time. Take it out and you have your period. Repeat. Quite effective as birth control. 

Cons: Irritation, might slip out. Also this contraceptive method provides no STD protection.


6. Hormone injections

This birth control option is exactly how it sounds. Get a shot and then forget about pregnancy. Get it from a gynae though, and use a new needle every time! 

Pros: This contraceptive method works for three months at a time. 

Cons: Well...needles! No STD protection. This birth control technique can only be used for two years and you might bleed from time to time.

7. Condoms

This birth control option is super convenient and easy to use. They also protect against STDs

Pros: If the mood strikes, rip one out! No hormones, a very effective contraceptive method against pregnancy (especially if used with a spermicide) and the ONLY form of birth control that can protect you from STDs. Very widely available too. 

Cons: If skin-to-skin is your thing, this birth control method is not for you.

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8. ‘Natural’ methods

One of these is withdrawal - the guy pulls out at the (ahem!) crucial time. The other is rhythm - you chart your hormonal cycle to find your ‘safe’ and ‘unsafe’ days. Your guy still needs to pull out at the end. 

Pros: No hormones, no devices. 

Cons: This birth control method is very accident prone - both for pregnancy and STDs.

9. Morning after pill

Not sure what the sitch is after last night? Pop one in! 

Pros: If taken in time, this contraceptive method works pretty well. Most chemists will stock it and you don’t need a prescription. 

Cons: This birth control option is not a long term solution at all - you’re screwing with your body’s hormones. Do it often and your periods, health and pregnancy chances go for a toss. Will not do a thing against STDs.

Images: Tumblr, Giphy

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