Determine Which Contraceptive is Right for You

10 Oct

The use of contraception in Singapore is legal as long as you have a prescription from your doctor and you’re over 16 years old. Emergency contraception is likewise legal as long as you’re also of legal age and you have a prescription. But, do you know the difference between contraception and emergency contraception, and what are the different birth control methods available for you and your partner?

1. Male Condom. These are usually made of latex, but if one of you is allergic to the material, there are other options such as condoms made from polyurethane. The condom is the cheapest contraceptive device and it’s also easy to use because you just have to unroll it over the penis. You don’t need to get a prescription from your doctor unlike the other contraceptive devices listed below.
2. Spermicide. This is a chemical designed to kill off the sperms and must be used along with other contraceptive devices such as the male condom, the diaphragm, and the cervical cap.
3. Diaphragm. This is a dome-shaped device that is placed in the vagina to cover the cervix. It is inconvenient to use, because you will also need a spermicide for this to be effective, plus you are also at risk of getting infections and toxic shock.

4. Cervical Cap. Like the diaphragm, you will also need a spermicide if you’re planning to use a cervical cap, which is a thimble-shaped cap placed over the cervix.
5. Birth Control Pill. There are two types of oral contraceptives available, such as the progestin-only, oestrogen, and a combination of the two. Some women suffer from side-effects such as mood swings, nausea, and headaches. It’s also not effective if you forget to take the pills everyday.
6. Intra-Uterine Device. The IUD is a T-shaped device that must be implanted in the uterus, which can last for up to 10 years. However, it can cause menstrual cramps and is only recommended for women who have already given birth.

7. Hormone Implants. This is a rod that needs to be implanted in your upper arm so that the hormone progestin is released to affect the cervical mucus. It is not recommended, however, for women who are overweight, those who are suffering from other medical conditions, and women who are on medication.
8. Female Condom. This condom looks like a pouch that must be placed in the vagina. Some women might experience irritation, so it’s better for the male to use a male condom instead.
9. Emergency Contraception. Also called the “morning after pill,” this is taken to prevent pregnancy and is effective for 3 to 5 days after an unprotected intimate encounter.

Some doctors also advice abstinence or withdrawal as safer options if you and your partner are averse to using the devices listed above. Remember that both of you must decide and to not force the other to use contraceptives if the person will not agree.

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