C Is For Contraceptives, But Don't Let These Other Three C's Become Obstacles To Using Safe And Effective Birth Control
If you aren't using contraceptives and family planning methods, but you are sexually active, there may be a number of reasons only you can explain. Alternatively, you may not be using the right contraceptive for your situation, but you're concerned about side effects of other products or don't know how to use another birth control method. If either of these scenarios is true for you, ask yourself if one or more of the following obstacles are holding you back:
With so many contraceptive choices available to women, it often becomes confusing sorting out which method is the best for your particular situation. You may have become comfortable using a certain product or pill that is no longer recommended for your age group. You may be a teen who doesn't realize that Long Acting Reversible Contraceptives (LARC) including IUDs and implants are 99% effective and recommended for younger women.
Don't rely on rumors and myths when it comes to birth control. Seek out up-to-date advice and counsel from your OB/GYN or family planning clinic who will explain the options available to you. These professionals are trained to help you select a birth control method that works with your particular lifestyle and health concerns. Of course, pay close attention to instructions on how you should use your contraceptive to be safe and responsible. The more informed you are, the better your choices and success will be when it comes to your contraceptive use.
When studies are published about any medicine, people tend to read the headlines and avoid the details. One recent study suggested that hormone-based birth control "causes" depression among women who use it. The fact is that the research revealed only a tiny increase in the diagnosis of depression among users of birth control versus those who were non-users in the study group. Birth control users were found to be diagnosed with depression at a rate of 0.3%, while 0.28% of non-users were diagnosed with depression. The study also found a slight increase in the use of antidepressants among female birth control users.
There are flaws in the study, and the numbers are not enough to cause any woman to toss out her pills. Be aware that one significant reason why women on birth control may use anti-depressants to a higher degree is their easy access to physicians who can prescribe those medications. Women who aren't on birth control may not have access to doctors who can write prescriptions for or diagnose depression. In any case, there's no reason to stop using your birth control pills because of a poorly explained study. Remember that an unwanted pregnancy can also cause depression and other mental health issues.
If a partner, parent, or preacher is preventing or discouraging you from using contraceptives, you are a victim of contraceptive coercion. Perhaps your partner is refusing to wear a condom or hiding your birth control. A parent may be pressuring you to have children before you're ready. A preacher may be threatening you with spiritual punishment, or a pharmacist may be refusing to fill your birth control prescription.
This kind of pressure often causes women of child-bearing age to give up on birth control. The result is that half of U.S. births are the result of unintended pregnancies. Seek out advocates and support when you're being bullied or denied access to contraceptives. Family planning clinics have lists of contraceptive-friendly pharmacies where women may safely buy birth control. They also have counselors and literature to help you learn ways to assert yourself when others try to influence your personal reproductive choices.
Break down the obstacles to responsible family planning, whether they're the result of ignorance, shame, or someone else's desire to control your destiny. You have the right to safe and effective contraception. You have the right to decide if and when you will have children.
Your family planning clinic is one of the best sources for information, support, and medically sound birth control. Let them help you remove the obstacles to the future you want to live. For more information, contact establishments like Abortion Care.