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» Got Questions? Get Answers. » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Safer Sex & Birth Control » Don't know what to do

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Author Topic: Don't know what to do
Layra
Activist
Member # 8047

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Hi! I'm 20 and I'm worry, because I really don't know what birth control method should I use, I've heard about Billing's method, but it requires more than a month to learn how to use it and I know that with time this method will get boring because the vaginal discharge has to be observed and graphicated. I want to use pills but I also heard it makes the cervix get older and may cause sterilization, I don't want that, also pills cause water retention and makes feel fatter because of that. If I only use condom I know I'll not get 100% protected. I don't want to get pregnant, well, I'm not having sex at this time, but I want to be ready for the moment, without having problems after that. What should I do?
Posts: 89 | From: San JOSe, Costa Rica | Registered: May 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
N
Neophyte
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According to Planned Parenthood (http://www.plannedparenthood.org/bc/bcfacts2.html), condoms have 15% failure rates in typical use, but only 2% failure rates if used perfectly.

Since you're worried about the condom not being "100%" reliable, I'm sure you'll be sure to use condoms very carefully and accurately; I believe Scarleteen has information on the how-tos of this. (I assume you'll have a boyfriend who's willing to practice putting them on until he does it right, etc.)

From the same data, diaphragms have a 6% failure rate for perfect use, and 16% in typical use.

A condom plus a diaphragm is an extremely reliable method, and avoids all the possible side effects of taking hormones (of which there are a lot). This might be what you're looking for; it's a good choice for someone like you (or me) who wants to be as safe as possible but is worried about side effects.

The expected failure rate for using two methods at once is the product of the failure rates; the typical-use failure rate for condom+diaphragm is therefore 0.16*0.15=0.024, or 2.4%, which is better than the typical-use failure rate of the Pill alone.

The theoretical failure rate for perfect use of diaphragm+condom is .02*.06=.0012, or 0.12% -- this is less than 2 times in a thousand, which is better than the theoretical failure rate for perfect use of the Pill (0.3%).


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Ashy
Scarleteen Volunteer
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Hi Layra,
Billing's method, or the fertility awareness method, sometimes isn't the best choice for preventing pregnancy if used as your sole method of birth control. You are right that it takes a lot of effort and patience (and it takes more than a month to learn how to do it properly), and you need to follow it to the letter for it to have good effectiveness (so, for example, you won't be able to have sex on certain days without having a high risk of pregnancy.
Birth control pills do not cause the cervix to get older, nor do they cause sterilization. Planned Parenthood has a decent overview of how the pill works, and different side effects: http://www.plannedparenthood.org/bc/YOU_AND_PILL.HTM

Also, you're right that condoms don't provide 100% protection, but there is no BC that truly does provide 100% protection, unless you abstain from activities that have a pregnancy risk. Condoms, however, are an excellent tool. They can easily be used in conjunction with many other types of birth control, and protect against STDs, which no other types of BC do.
Here's a brief overview of your BC options:

Margaret Sanger's Disneyland - An easy chart of your birth control options


Ready or Not? :The Readiness Checklist

Also, if you've never had a gynecologist appointment, this is a good time to go. Women should have annual gynecologist exams, and you can also discuss birth control options with the GYN.


Posts: 1784 | From: USA | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Bobolink
Activist
Member # 1386

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I should also point out that should you wish to conceive one day, the Billings method (taught to my wife and me as the Serena method) is very effective in predicting fertile periods. My wife conceived within two month's on the system.

------------------
We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.

- Albert Einstein


Posts: 3442 | From: Stirling, Ontario, Canada | Registered: Sep 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Bobolink
Activist
Member # 1386

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I should also point out that should you wish to conceive one day, the Billings method (taught to my wife and me as the Serena method) is very effective in predicting fertile periods. My wife conceived within two month's on the system.

------------------
We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.

- Albert Einstein


Posts: 3442 | From: Stirling, Ontario, Canada | Registered: Sep 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Layra
Activist
Member # 8047

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Thanks to everyone for the advice, I'm considering about the condom and the diaphragm together, but I'll get an appointment with the Gyn, I think it's time to. Thank you.

Posts: 89 | From: San JOSe, Costa Rica | Registered: May 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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