Your step-by-step guide to choosing a contraceptive method
Choosing a contraceptive method that works for you takes a bit of research. You need to be aware of your options as well as how each method works, so that you can settle on one that’s suitable for you. Here’s more.
How effective is it?
Different contraceptives have a different percentage of effectiveness if they’re used correctly. It’s good to do some research on how effective the contraceptive you’re interested in using is before making a decision.
How often is it taken?
The way various contraceptives are taken and/or administered is different. For example, the pill needs to be taken every day, at the same time for it to work, whereas the injection is administered once every two or three months. Consider how your lifestyle and habits may affect when you’re able to take your contraceptives and which option would be most suitable for you.
Consider the side-effects
All contraceptives have side effects that can differ from person to person, but there are a few common ones. Speak to your healthcare practitioner about the different side-effects each contraceptive may have to give you a clearer understanding. This will also help you know what to expect from your chosen method.
Are you on other meds?
Some hormonal contraceptives can cause a reaction if you’re on certain medication. Talk to your healthcare advisor about this and be honest about any medication that you may be on so that they can better assist you.
Are you planning to fall pregnant any time soon?
If you’re looking to start a family in the next year or so, then a short-term contraceptive method might be the best option for you. However, if you’re not planning to have children in the next 3-5 years, then you should find out about some long-term contraceptive methods and consider those.
Choosing a contraceptive method isn’t something that should be done without any research or consideration. It’s also important to remember that the hormonal contraceptives I’ve mentioned here work to prevent pregnancy but don’t protect you from STI and HIV transmission. So, it’s best to pair your contraceptive method with a condom every time you have sex, for maximum protection.
If you or a friend need advice or help, you can contact me here on Ask Choma, send me a Facebook Message, a Twitter DM, or a WhatsApp Message (071 172 3657).
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