Birth Control• What is birth control?• Birth control is a term that describes things that stop a woman or girl from becoming pregnant, or giving birth. Birth control can mean a wide range of things – from contraceptives (used to reduce the chances of a woman becoming pregnant) to other ways of avoiding pregnancy, like not having sex.
Making decisions about sex and birth control• If you don’t want to have a baby, there are two main options – either don’t have sex, or if you are going to have sex, use contraception.• What is meant by having sex?• Well, here we’re talking about having sexual intercourse, where a man inserts his penis into a woman’s vagina. There are other forms of having sex – like oral sex, for instance – but the only one that’s likely to get a girl pregnant is sexual intercourse.• You might be thinking ‘yeah ok, I already know that girls get pregnant through sexual intercourse’. But are you sure that you really know the facts about pregnancy? There are a lot of myths out there. Despite what you may have heard, a girl can become pregnant:• The first time she has sexual intercourse.• Even if she has sex before she’s had her first period.• Even if she has sex during her period.• Even if a boy pulls out (withdraws his penis) before he comes.• Even if she has sex standing up.• Even if she forgets to take her pill for just one day.
Not having sex• The only 100% effective way to avoid having a baby is to not have sexual intercourse. Abstinence is the most effective method of birth control, and many young people around the world choose this option. For some, this means not having sex until they’re married. For others, it can mean different things, like waiting until they’ve found a stable partner who they feel comfortable with. You need to decide what’s best for you personally – don’t feel pressured into having sex just because others are. It’s important to feel that you’re ready before you start having sex. “Don’t feel pressured into having sex just because others are.” Some people believe that you shouldn’t start having sex until you’re married, and that even then, you should only have sex if you want to have a baby. For instance, this is generally what Catholics believe. Other religious groups (and some people who aren’t religious) also believe in abstinence until marriage, but many think that once you are married, it’s ok to use birth control if you still don’t want a baby. A lot of people, on the other hand, dont think that theres anything wrong with having sexual intercourse when you don’t want a baby, and many don’t believe that you have to be married, or even in a serious relationship, before you start having sex. You should think about what you personally believe about this issue.
Having sex and using contraception• As much as abstinence is the right route for some people, a lot of teens don’t want to wait to have sex until they’re ready to have a baby. Puberty brings with it a lot of sexual feelings, and many choose to have sex for the first time during their teenage years. If you do choose to have sex (and you should only have sex when youre sure that youre ready), make sure that you use contraception. There are a lot of contraception options, and you should choose one that suits you and your relationship.
Abortion (termination of pregnancy)• Some women and girls don’t want to have a baby, but become pregnant because they’ve had sex without using contraception, or because the contraception that they’ve used has failed for some reason. In these situations, women may decide to have an abortion. This is where a woman becomes pregnant, but the embryo or foetus (unborn baby) is removed, stopping pregnancy.• As with birth control in general, there are many different arguments about whether abortion is right or wrong, and whether it should be allowed. Some feel that women should always have the right to decide for themselves whether they want to stop their pregnancy or not, while others argue that its wrong to stop a baby being born, as this is taking away a human life.• If you have sex, you need to consider how you feel about this issue, and how your life would be affected if you had to make such a decision. An abortion is a serious, life-changing procedure, which can carry both mental and physical risks for a woman. Different countries have different laws about abortion, and in many countries it is illegal.
Contraception• Different methods of contraception• Contraceptives work by preventing a man’s sperm from fertilising a woman’s egg, and this can be done in several different ways.• There are two main types of contraception:• Barrier methods - which physically prevent sperm from swimming into the uterus and fertilising the woman’s egg• Hormonal methods - which alter a woman’s hormonal cycle to prevent fertilisation.• These are the main types of contraception that are generally used by teenagers.
How do you know which one to choose?• Different methods of contraception have their individual advantages and disadvantages. There’s no single ‘best’ method of contraception, so you have to decide which is most suitable for you. Whatever your situation, there should be a contraception option that works for you. For many people, barrier methods of contraception are best, because they not only prevent pregnancy, but also prevent HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases being passed on during sex.
Where do you get contraceptives from?• It depends which type of contraceptive you’re looking for. Barrier methods such as condoms and spermicides are widely available from drug stores and other shops in many countries. They’re also available from many healthcare providers. Hormonal methods are only available on prescription from doctors. You can also buy some contraceptives online. http://buzurl.com/hn34
• Barrier methods of contraception• There are three main barrier methods of contraception used by teens: the male condom, the female condom, and spermicidal in the form of foams or gels.• The male condom• The male condom is the only method of contraception that boys can use. Its really just a rubber tube. Its closed at one end like the finger of a glove so that when a boy puts it over his penis it stops the sperm going inside a girls body. An advantage of using male condoms is that a boy can take an active part in using contraception – its not just the girls responsibility.
The female condom• The female condom is not as widely available as the male condom and it is more expensive. It is however very useful when the man either will not, or cannot, use a male condom. It’s like a male condom, except it’s bigger and worn inside the vagina.• female condom• Its a good idea to practice with condoms before having sex. You can get used to touching them, and it might help you feel more confident about using them when you do have sex. http://buzurl.com/hn34
Spermicides• Spermicides are chemical agents that both kill sperm and stop sperm from travelling up into the cervix (the lower part of the uterus, or womb, where babies develop). Spermicides come in different forms including creams, foaming tablets, gels and foam (which is squirted into the vagina using an applicator). Young people who use spermicide mostly choose foam.• Spermicides are not very effective against pregnancy when used on their own, but are very effective if used at the same times as a male condom. When used together, the male condom and spermicide can be a great combination for effectively protecting against both pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases such as HIV.• Some condoms also come lubricated with spermicide (Nonoxynol 9). A spermicidal lubricant aims to provide an additional level of protection if some semen happens to leak out of the condom. This can help to reduce the likelihood of pregnancy, but regular use of Nonoxynol 9 can cause an allergic reaction in some people resulting in little sores that can actually make the transmission of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections more likely. Nonoxynol 9 is only a suitable spermicide for a woman who is HIV-negative, and whose partner does not have HIV either. It should only be used for vaginal sex.
Hormonal methods of contraception• There are two main types of hormonal contraceptive which can be used by teens: the contraceptive pill, and the injectable hormonal contraceptive. If used properly, both are extremely effective in providing protection against pregnancy – but they provide no protection at all against sexually transmitted diseases. For very good protection against both pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases like HIV, a hormonal method should be used at the same time as the male condom.• In some countries, contraceptive patches (that stick to the skin) and rings (that go inside the vagina) are also available.• http://buzurl.com/hn34
Injectable Hormonal Contraceptive• How do you use it? How does it work?• The most popular form of this type of contraception, Depo-Provera, involves the girl having an injection once every twelve weeks. The injection is of the hormone Progestogen. The injection works in the same way in the body as the Progestogen only pill, but has the advantage that you do not have to remember to take a pill every day. It does however have the same disadvantage as the hormonal pill, in that it provides no protection against STDs.1
The Contraceptive Implant• What is it?• The implant is a newer form of contraceptive, which has become available in some countries, such as the UK. It is a small tube, a little over an inch long, which is inserted under the skin on the inside of a girls arm.• How does it work?• The implant works in a similar way to the contraceptive pill, but instead of taking a pill every day, hormones are steadily released into a girls body from the device. This is seen as an advantage, particularly for girls who have trouble remembering or dont like having to take a pill every day. However, the implant can cause unwanted side effects, and like the other hormonal contraceptives, the implant does not protect against STDs.http://buzurl.com/hn34
The morning after pill• If a girl has had unprotected sex, but doesn’t want to have a baby, one option is ‘the morning after pill’ – an emergency contraceptive that can prevent pregnancy, when taken after sex. The name is actually a little bit misleading, as it doesn’t necessarily have to be taken ‘the morning after’ – it can work up to 72 hours after you’ve had sex. However, it’s most effective when taken within 24 hours of sex, and the sooner you take it, the better. In a lot of countries you can get the morning after pill for free, as a prescription from your doctor or healthcare provider. In some – including the U.S., Scotland, England and Northern Ireland - you can also buy it over the counter at pharmacies. In Wales, it is available free at pharmacies.• Although the morning after pill can be an effective way to avoid pregnancy if you have had unprotected sex, you shouldn’t rely on it, or use it regularly. It’s not as effective as other methods of contraception, and can have side effects. What’s more, it won’t protect you from HIV or other sexually transmitted diseases. http://buzurl.com/hn34
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