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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Safer Sex & Birth Control » What else is out there?

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Author Topic: What else is out there?
Member # 109830

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I can't get back on the pill and don't want an IUD.

I appear to have a mild latex allergy (latex gloves give me a rash and condoms dry me out like crazy even with lube, often resulting in breakage - so much for safety) I tried several kinds and can't afford latex-free ones on a regular basis.

I'm thinking about a cervical cap combined with withdawal on fertile days (more like rythm-based system, I don't see myself charting daily more than a month or two. With superficial observation it seems like my cycle is pretty consistent with the estimates, though...) I'm in a commited relationship and my cycles are pretty regular.

Would this work? How well would it protect me?

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Scarleteen Volunteer
Member # 79774

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Hi Ameline, and welcome to the boards.

If you'd like to find out about all the methods of contraception that may be available to you, our Birth Control Bingo! takes you through them and has links to our information on each of the methods.

Our information on cervical barriers, including the cap, is here: Cervical Barriers (Diaphragms, Lea's Shield and Cervical Caps)

When you say you "can't get back on the pill", are you talking about a medical exclusion? For some people who cannot use the combined pill for medical reasons, the problem is the estrogen; for those people, the hormonal methods which include estrogen and are therefore excluded are the combined pill, the patch, and the ring. Progestogen-only methods are the mini-pill, depo-provera injections, the implant, and the Mirena IUD (which you said you don't want).

Does our information help you get any further forward? We're happy to talk more with you about any methods you'd like to consider.

The kyriarchy usually assumes that I am the kind of woman of whom it would approve. I have a peculiar kind of fun showing it just how much I am not.

Posts: 1786 | From: Europe | Registered: Sep 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Member # 109830

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Well, I had some bad liver problems and it was suspected it may be the artificial hormones. After I stopped using it it got a lot better, but what was going on with my body after quitting really scared me. So basically nobody knows what went wrong, but I'd rather not take risks and my doctor agrees it's sensible. I don't want to mess with the way my body works any more than is absolutely neccesary (that's also the reason to not want an IUD - I know not all are hormonal, but after reading the risks I decided it's so NOT worth it and honestly, I'd strongly prefer to have a child rather than some of the complications listed). I'm a kind of "what can go wrong, goes wrong" type of person when it comes to health.

I have read quite a lot on these things, but I just can't figure the ideal combination regarding cost, comfort, safety and health. I have read from many women who got pregnant while using the cap and I wonder if the numbers stated are real, otherwise it seems like an ideal method - but I wonder if it shouldn't be backed up, perhaps in the way I suggested. Who does the tests?

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Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

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Hey there, Ameline.

In terms of how effectiveness rates are determined, they are generally through clinical trials done second-party from the manufacturer, or with outside supervisions and verification, to assure no bias.

But do know that cervical barriers alone, especially the cervical cap, are not the most effective methods there are out there. That is much more of an issue in typical use: cervical barriers have fairly low typical use effectiveness rates, and that's mostly about people just not using them at all because some people find them to be difficult to use, so just give up. The next rung with that is people not putting them on right, which can be a bigger issue with the cap than diaphragm because it can be pretty tricky to get a cap on and be able to feel, well, when it is and is not on correctly.

That all said, though, as with any method, when the cap is the right method for someone, they get good at using it, always use it and like it, it can be highly effective, especially when used with a backup method.

Anecdotes about birth control method effectiveness are often not helpful. The fact of that matter is that EVERY method is going to have plenty of people saying they became pregnant using it because no method is 100% effective, and most methods are used by hundreds of thousands, sometimes millions, of people each year. So, you ARE going to have many people saying they became pregnant while using almost any method, especially user-directed methods like the pill or cervical barriers, because given how many people use a given method, there will have been many people for whom it failed. As an example, in perfect use of the pill, only one in around every 2,000 users becomes pregnant each year. But every year, millions of people use the pill, so that is still going to be a lot of failures, though there will be WAY more users who did not become pregnant. Make sense?

Plus, more people will show up somewhere to say something did not work for them than to say something DID. Additionally, so many people just do not follow or even ever read the directions for a method, so a lot of reports of failures will be user error, but people will not be reporting that it was their error, either because they did not realize they were making errors, or because they just would rather not broadcast that they were the ones who bungled things up.

You really want to focus on documented, broad effectiveness ratings with methods more than anecdotes to get the best picture of effectiveness.

Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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