Birth control is a very controversial topic but is becoming more widely accepted in the effort to prevent unwanted pregnancy. While the instructions in taking birth control are pretty straight forward, there are things many of us don’t know about the pill that we should. This article looks at the 6 not so popular facts that every user should know about.
While there are no weight requirements when using birth control, there are some things you should know regarding the effectiveness of a product in relation to your weight. According to a recent study, women between 18 and 39 who weigh 155 pounds or more are 60 percent more likely to have their birth-control pills to fail, especially if they’re using a low-estrogen variety. It turns out that the heavier you are, the faster your metabolic rate is. In this case, you need higher levels of hormones to help prevent pregnancy.
Have you heard of the IUD? This T-shaped birth control device is made of plastic and inserted into your uterus to help prevent pregnancy. The IUD is great for young women in monogamous relationships but can also be used for women in all different types of lifestyles. There are no hormonal side effects from using the IUD and once it’s inserted, you don’t have to think about it again.
If you choose to use condoms as your form of contraception, beware. Certain condoms contain the spermicide nonoynol-9 and not only does this not guard against STDs, it also may increase your risk of contracting HIV and other STIs.
The Waiting Game
Despite what you’ve been told, waiting an entire month for the pill to kick in isn’t true. Once you’ve started taking the pill, the magic number is actually to wait for seven days. You can also start your pack at any point during the week, not just on Sundays.
Taking the pill to lower your chances of getting pregnant may seem ideal, but how effective is the pill really? When the doctor tells you that birth control is 97 or 98 percent effective, that’s when it’s used perfectly. In order to make the pill as effective as possible, it’s imperative to take it at the same time every single day. If you need help remembering, time it with a daily routine, such as brushing your teeth.
Generic vs. Name Brand
At the supermarket it’s always a money saving tip to buy generic as opposed to name brand cereal. Unfortunately, the same doesn’t go for birth control. While the generic birth control options are a fraction of the cost of name brand pills, there isn’t solid proof they’re as effective. Since the FDA tests that are required for generic brands isn’t as rigorous as it is for brand name drugs, we’re still waiting on hard evidence.
While it may be alarming to read some of these secrets, there’s no reason to feel uncomfortable about it. As long as you are engaging in safe sex and using birth control as a mature adult, don’t be concerned. In order to effectively avoid pregnancy, the most important things to do are to be responsible and know the facts!
Emily Carmichael is a freelance writer and health advocate. After many years of using birth control, she ended treatment and began taking hormone supplements in an effort to get pregnant. She is now the mother of a beautiful boy and is so thankful for the information she learned during the course of this process.