Amanda Teseo

Silhouette Staff


Ladies, we are all familiar with at least a few methods of birth control that prolong our entrance into motherhood, but did you know that modern technology is offering new and exciting ways to control the path of mother nature?

Precautions should be taken whenever you are sexually active, but it doesn’t hurt to choose the precautionary measures that work best for you from the wide array of options available.

Ella is a new FDA approved oral contraceptive that lasts 5 days after engaging in intercourse.  Ella is a prescription-only version of plan B that prevents pregnancy for two days longer.  If you’re curious, head to your nearest pharmacy and use it as an alternative to plan B.  Contrary to popular belief, using plan B or Ella repeatedly does not harm your health in any way.

Dr. Lisa Masterson, a gynecologist from the popular show The Doctors, explains that no research has confirmed a correlation between the use of emergency contraceptives (like Ella and plan B) and the development of a health issue.

Dr. David Archer, Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Eastern Virginia Medical School and a collaborator in the development of Ella, assures consumers that the product is safe, but should not be taken more than one time during the same cycle.  He stresses that Ella is strictly meant for emergencies.  If you are repeatedly relying on the medication to remain baby-free, it may serve you to look into other birth control options that offer a more continuous defense against pregnancy.

From the birth control pill to plan B, girls have always carried the burden of pregnancy prevention, but now guys can do a little more than supply the condoms.  New research has encountered a novel method of birth control that involves the ingestion of a pill four times a year for guys.  Israeli researchers are currently testing an oral contraceptive that kills sperm before it can reach the egg.  This method of birth control is at the beginning stages of development, so we shouldn’t expect it to make an appearance in drugstores any time soon.

Carelessness surrounding contraception is the cause of more than half of accidental pregnancy.  You may think you are being careful and taking the necessary precautions associated with your birth control methods, but you could be putting yourself at risk.  For example, skipping a few birth control pills, avoiding condom use, taking the pill at different times every day all increase the likelihood of pregnancy.

If you are contemplating utilization of the birth control pill as a contraception technique, spend some time finding the right brand for you and don’t forget to read through the fine print.  Your gynecologist cannot accurately predict the effect a particular brand of the pill may have on your system.  We all have very unique and complex body chemistries and thus, your response to a particular brand of the pill may not mirror your neighbor’s or your aunt’s responses.  Make a list of all the brands your gynecologist recommends, and then take some time to experiment until you find one that suits you.  This is especially important because of the many side effects associated with the pill.

Professor Jayashri Kulkarni, from Monash University’s School of Psychology, Psychiatry and Psychological Medicine, conducted a study in March 2005 comparing users and non-users of oral contraceptives.  Both groups had no clinical history of depression.  Results show “57 percent of respondents reported mood swings, 63 per cent were irritable, 65 per cent experienced irrational crying, and 69 percent felt anxious and depressed after taking hormonal contraceptives.”  Overall, women taking oral contraceptives report a multitude of different side effects.  However, ultimately the side effects you experience depend on the brand of pill you take. So choose wisely.

Did you know that oral contraceptives could alter your sexual inclinations? Women on the pill, or anything similar to it like the patch or ring, experience a decrease in sexual arousal.  However, this varies greatly between individuals.  Along with this, due to their fluctuating hormones, women who are not on the pill respond more to strong masculine features, like musculature, a narrow waist, broad shoulders and a v-shaped. Again, this is an overall trend and does not apply to everyone.

Ultimately, birth control, if done correctly and consistently, is very effective. However, disillusionment following a pregnancy scare is enough to induce serious stress.  So, keep researching new methods of birth control that fit your lifestyle.



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