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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Sex Basics and Sexual Health » questions regarding BC

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Author Topic: questions regarding BC
jninja
Neophyte
Member # 25659

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how effective are condoms? i've read that in a year's use, out of 100 women, 15 will get pregnant. i don't have my parents' support when it comes to being sexually active, but i don't want to rely on just condoms.. so it's tough because i'm not sure how to go about getting other methods of BC.

if i decide to get the pill from planned parenthood, i have to call and make an appointment first, and then get an exam done, right? how expensive is the pill and the exam, and when will the pill begin to be effective [within the first week / month]?

how effective are diaphragms and what do i have to go through to get a prescription [an exam probably]? i think i would prefer to use diaphragms because i'm hesitant to take hormone pills, especially without parental consent. i've heard that lea's shields do not even have to be specifically fitted for each women.

& finally.. what's the deal with spermicide, when combined with condoms? effective? i've heard a lot of different things.. like spermicide makes the condom weaker and more likely to break, or that it isn't really effective at all-- that plain lubricated condoms are a lot better than spermicidal ones.

i just want to have a backup method- i don't want to rely on condoms alone. thanks for the advice and suggestions.. it is so great to have some place to ask stuff like this and receive answers from people who actually know what they are talking about

[This message has been edited by jninja (edited 10-07-2005).]


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Heather
Executive Director & Founder
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That 85% figure for condoms is typical, rather than perfect use. Know that typical use includes people who state condoms are their method, but then simply don't use them. It also includes people who don't use them correctly, or for all gential contact. Perfect use is more like 92- 94% last I checked.

So, condoms used consistently and properly -- which means not just those lubricated, but always using additional latex-safe lube -- are actually very effective.

Obviously, however, pairing them up creates greater protectiion, and if you're only comfy with sex with two methods, that's comletely acceptable and sound.

Both the addition of a diaphragm or Lea's Shield is a good choice. To get a fitting, you just ask for one at your next annual pelvic exam: it's no big shakes and only takes a couple minutes. It's in no way painful or uncomfortable. The Lea's Shield, indeed, needs no fitting and is just as effective, per stats so far.

Spermicide used with condoms can basically ONLY increase effectiveness if the condom breaks. So, it doesn't add much, and even then, it's not very effective stuff given the level on a condom. Foams and jellies can be added instead, but they can be messy, if that's an issue. And studies have shwon that because spermicides irritate genital tissue, tey can make some STI transmission more likely.


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Heather Corinna
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