Birth Control

Wow, that's a loaded topic! Some people think it is immoral, others think it is an absolute must. It is your choice because you and often, your partner will have to live with the consequences of a pregnancy, a birth, or, sometimes, an abortion or still born baby. Not every instance of sex results in pregnancy but many might, so, throughout human history, we have been trying to keep that pleasure of sex and minimize the sometime consequences of sexual intercourse.

These attempts have had many versions. Crocodile or elephant dung. Chastity belts. Drinking poisonous compounds; as recently as WW2, some women wanted to work with lead in the hopes that it would make them infertile. That didn't work but lead can result in multiple organ failure as a start. Condoms? Some form of those have been around as far back as 3000 B.C.- things like goat  or fish bladders, sheep intestines, linen have been documented. How about a little magic, using mule's earwax and weasel testicle? Want more taste of bizarre attempts to control human reproduction on a personal level? These examples and more  were found at WebMd.

Fortunately we now know more about human reproduction and what is likely to work as "contraception", (against conception). Contraception today consists of many hormonal treatments to fool a female body into not releasing an egg, as well as "barrier methods" like the popular and easy to find condom, that attempt to place a barrier between sperm and an egg. Almost none of these is 100% effective and many do nothing or little to prevent transmitting certain infections. But having sex, how much to have and what you are OK with doing must be your personal choice. And if you have a partner for it, they must be OK with it all too. So, choice of birth control is also personal and should be OK with partners.

Information in this section is very general; often you will be best off to ask a medical person, especially if you are female; age, diet, medical conditions may all have an effect on your menstrual cycle, affecting fertility.

Click here or on the Birth Control tab.

IUD- Intra Uterine Device Approximate effectiveness: 98-99% No protection against STDs An IUD is a small T-shaped plastic device inserted into the vagina by a health care practitioner, usually a nurse or doctor. (Copper IUDs have been in use for a long time but have caused problems for many of its users.) An IUD generally prevents sperm from reaching an egg and if one does and an egg becomes fertilised, the IUD will likely prevent the egg from attaching itself to the wall of the uterus (the wall is also called the endometrium if you prefer big words!). At least one type called a Mirena IUD also releases hormones which help prevent an egg from being released. An IUD is a fairly complicated procedure compared to some other birth control methods and can be quite expensive. IUDs have been associated with some medical problems like possible tearing of the uterus when it is being inserted, heavier and longer periods, spotting between periods, PID (Pelvic Inflammatory Disease) and sometimes heavy cramping. Anecdotally (stories told by users) some users also complain of weeks of depression, of headaches, heartburn and other internal problems. Anectdotal stories are not scientifically examined but if you are considering an IUD, at least do an internet search for "IUD, Mirena (if that is the one you are thinking of using ) and side effects". Since there are so many easier to use, less expensive birth control methods, with fewer side effects, you should consult with your doctor in detail about the possible use of an IUD. Your doctor or gynecologist will have to fit you for it as well. The advantages of an IUD are that it is quite effective, with published rates around 98 to 99%, there is no need to worry about pills, patches, or rings, once it is inserted. So if you are in the age group, or at a health risk of stroke, heart disease or any of the other higher risks associated with hormone type of birth control (The Pill, NuvaRIng, the Path, etc) and should not be taking hormones, then a non-hormone releasing IUD may be a workable alternative. But so is the Diaphragm, though it needs to be inserted before sex.