Should you use IUD or a condom? Quick birth control guide will reveal the best one for you!

“OMG…. I forgot to take my birth control pill yet again,” says an anguished colleague.

Sounds like your story? Do you also hate being on the pill where the onus is always on you to remember to swallow the pill? What is beyond the pill? Here is a quick tour from the market of contraceptives to offer you a wider choice range and help you arrive at a decision that’s suited to you.

1. IUDs or Intra Uterine Contraceptive Devices eg. Copper T
Recommended: After the first child
By: Dr.Tasneem Nishah Shah

Copper T : Modern IUDs are basically Copper Ts, but coated with a hormone progestin.
Modern IUDs are basically Copper Ts, but coated with a hormone progestin.

What: IUDs is a small often T shaped object that is placed into the uterus.

How: The device is placed such that a sperm cannot get to the uterus. It damages and kills the sperm

New Gen: Modern IUDs are basically Copper Ts, but coated with a hormone progestin. This coating helps in producing hormones that are slowly released into the uterus.

Some are making it in soft flexible plastic with the same coating. The hormones help in controlling excessive bleeding or cramps that many women face during periods. Some doctors have been known to use it to help women control very heavy flow during their periods and not just as a contraceptive.

Doctor: This procedure can only be performed by a doctor. Visit a good gynaecologist in your neighbourhood and rest for five years, because IUDs last that long.

2. Birth control ring eg. NovaRing
Recommend: Not common. Intra-menstrual spotting reported
By: Dr.Tasneem Nishah Shah

 Birth control ring: Once inserted, this ring will last upto 3 weeks
Once inserted, this ring will last upto 3 weeks

What: This is a soft transparent ring that is inserted into the vagina. Releases hormones similar to those in a pill

How: The vaginal lining absorbs the hormones (oestrogen and progestin). This stops from ovulation or the production of eggs within the woman’s body. Also the sperm is not allowed to travel to the egg making it a good birth control device.

New Gen: This method is not very common in India yet. The reason this scores over the pill is that once inserted, this ring will last upto 3 weeks. So you don’t have to remember to take a pill every night. The fourth week is supposed to be a rest period for you to have your periods. However if you feel the need, you could insert a ring right after the third week too. Some women complain that the ring tends to slip out easily. According to users, the ring an easily be pushed back inside.

3. Contraceptive injection eg. Depo-Provera
Recommend: Not common
By: Dr.Tasneem Nishah Shah

Injection: This birth control injection is effective for 3 months
This birth control injection is effective for 3 months

What: This is an injection that injects contraceptive hormones in our body (progestin)

How: It is effective for 3 months. You won’t get your periods if you go for this method.

New Gen: There are some combination shots available in the market. Check with your gynaecologist for details.

Birth control patch eg. Evorel patch
Recommend: Not common
By: Dr.Tasneem Nishah Shah

This skin coloured patch releases hormones into the body and works for a week.This skin coloured patch releases hormones into the body and works for a week.

What: This is a small skin coloured patch that can be stuck on to your arm or back.

How: It is transdermal. That means synthetic oestrogen and progestin are released into the body that the skin then absorbs. A patch usually works for a week.

New gen: Intermittent spotting,says Dr. Shah has been reported in the use of this technique to control birth. Check with your gynaecologist for details.

5. Birth control implant eg. Nexplanon
Recommend: Yet to come to India

Once implanted this birth control an last for up to 3 years.
Once implanted this birth control an last for up to 3 years.

What: This is a tiny, thin rod about the size of a matchstick.

How: It is implanted into the arm or any body part. The rod then goes on to release hormones into your body that ensure that you do not get pregnant. A doctor or a nurse has to do it for you. It lasts up to 3 years. Ask your gynaecologist.

6. Sterilization – Can work for both men and women

What: This is a long term permanent solution by tying the Fallopian tubes. This method prevents the egg from travelling to uterus.

How: The doctor may insert a small coil like device into both the tubes. This procedure does not involve any surgical cuts.

While most people talk about contraceptives for women, men are largely ignored.

There’s a reason for that. Other than using condoms, no other method of contraceptive is common amongst men.

Vasectomy- This is a perfectly safe procedure that involves tying of the cord that carries sperm to the urethra. That means there would be ejaculation, but it would be sperm free.

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