EVERYTHING A Bride Needs To Know About Contraceptives!
Garima GuptaAssociate Editor, Wedding, POPxo
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Trust us, 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 BC 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: you both should get a full health check up done prior to the wedding night.
1. The Pill
The newer breed of low-dosage hormone pills have fewer side effects, can help you regulate your periods and are even prescribed for PCOD treatment. They are also extremely effective! Just don’t start taking these on your own, consult your doctor first.
Pros: 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.
This is 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: 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.
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? It’s one 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 in, the effects can last 3-5 years depending on the kind you get. They are super effective for preventing pregnancy and are pretty much the ‘put in and forget it’ sort of BC.
Cons: 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.
5. Vaginal ring
It’s a slim, bendy ring which slowly releases hormones in your uterus to prevent pregnancy.
Pros: Use it for three weeks at a time. Take it out and you have your period. Repeat. Quite effective as BC.
Cons: Irritation, might slip out, no STD protection.
6. Hormone injections
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: Works for three months at a time.
Cons: Well...needles! No STD protection, can only be used for two years and you might bleed from time to time.
A single girl’s best friend! Which does not mean that you can’t use it too.
Pros: If the mood strikes, rip one out! No hormones, very effective against pregnancy (especially if used with a spermicide) and the ONLY thing that can protect you from STDs. Very widely available too.
Cons: If skin-to-skin is your thing, this isn’t for you.
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: Very accident prone - both for pregnancy and STDs. And highly dependant on the trust level between you two.
9. Morning after pill
Not sure what the sitch is after last night? Pop one in!
Pros: If taken in time, it works pretty well. Most chemists will stock it and you don’t need a prescription.
Cons: 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.