Birth Control

2011/06/12 in Sex and Sexuality

Birth control is the decision not to have children unless or until you want them.

 

If you are sexually active or are thinking about it, this tape will give you some basic birth control information you’ll need to avoid an unwanted pregnancy.

First of all, it is important to remember that sex doesn’t just happen. It is a conscious decision made between you and your partner. There is nothing wrong with saying “No,” if you are feeling pressured by your boyfriend or girlfriend to do something you don’t want to do or if you feel that you want to be married before you have sex. There is nothing wrong with saying “No,” if you are afraid of becoming pregnant, catching a sexually transmitted disease, or if you are just not ready to deal with the hassles that sex can create. The choice is yours.

If you decide not to have sex at all or to practice abstinence, then you will be practicing the safest, cheapest and most effective type of birth control method. This advice may not be for you if decide to be or already are sexually active. We will describe some of the different types of birth control devices, some of which you can get by seeing a doctor, and which ones you can get without a prescription.

Those birth control devices provided by a doctor are the birth control pill, the Depo-provera shot, and the diaphragm. If taken correctly, the pill is 97% effective. For most brands, one pill is taken every day for 21 days, none are taken for several days, and then the next cycle of pills is started all over again. The pill contains chemical hormones, which prevent the release of an egg from the woman’s ovaries. If there is no female egg present for the male sperm to fertilize, there will be no pregnancy.

The Depo-provera injection or “the shot” is a form of birth control that protects against pregnancy for a full three months. It works like the birth control pill in that it prevents the release of an egg form the woman’s ovaries. Depo is generally 99% effective and must be taken every three months.

The diaphragm is a round cup like device made of soft rubber. It is fitted by the woman’s doctor to cover the opening of her uterus, thus keeping sperm from entering. A sperm destroying jelly or cream must be applied to the diaphragm before it is inserted. Fresh applications of the cream or jelly should be inserted before each act of intercourse. When used properly, the diaphragm is very effective.

How much do these devices cost? Fees for an examination by private physicians for each device vary and it’s best to call and get the most current cost. The same holds true for the cost of the pills and diaphragm when purchased at a pharmacy.

The devices and methods just described are available to you only if you see a doctor.

Some of the birth control devices that you can buy over the counter at a drugstore without a doctor’s prescription are the condom and contraceptive foam. The condom, also called a rubber, is used by the male. It is also the birth control device that protects against sexually transmitted diseases. The condom is a thin rubber covering that is placed over the male’s penis as soon as an erection occurs and worn during intercourse. It prevents pregnancy by keeping the male’s sperm from being deposited in the vagina. It must be removed away from the female body immediately after intercourse. The condom is even more effective when the woman also uses contraceptive foam. Contraceptive foam is a chemical that kills the sperm on contact. The foam come in a small aerosol container and is inserted into the vagina with a plastic applicator just before intercourse. The directions for use found in the package must be followed very carefully.

Remember, if you don’t want to get pregnant – or get someone else pregnant – you don’t have to. You are the only one who has the right to make decisions about what you should or shouldn’t do with your body, your life, and your future.

For additional support and resources please call our 24-hour Teen Hotline by dialing 2-1-1 or 954-567-8336 (TEEN.)

Teen Tapes is produced by the University of Wisconsin, Madison.