Think you know everything there is to know about birth control? Here are 10 facts that may surprise you.
10 surprising facts about birth control options
1. The pill can do more than protect against unplanned pregnancy.
It can also provide relief for women who suffer from conditions like polycystic ovarian syndrome or endometriosis. It may also help ease painful periods and address hormonal imbalances, acne and irregular periods.
2. Into natural family planning? There’s an app for that.
Some women prefer not to use any birth control options and instead rely on natural family planning. It takes time and knowledge of your body to get it right, so you’ll be pleased to know there are apps like Natural Cycles to help you avoid life-altering slip-ups.
3. There’s only one birth control option that protects against STIs.
Condoms are the only form of contraception that safeguard you against contracting HIV and STIs. You should use condoms every time you have sex, even if you’re using another form of birth control.
4. Some forms of emergency contraception may not work effectively for plus-size women.
If you weigh more than 75 kg, be sure to check with your pharmacist or clinic that you’re using the most effective form of emergency contraception. Some morning-after pills don’t work as effectively as others for plus-size women.
5. Women under 24 are less likely to use contraception.
It’s been found that less than half of women between the ages of 15 and 24 use some form of birth control, while the number is significantly higher for women aged 25 and older. This is concerning because teenagers and young women are most likely to be negatively impacted by unplanned pregnancy.
No matter your age, if you’ve begun menstruating and you’re sexually active, you should be using birth control.
6. The pill isn’t for everyone.
If you have a history of breast cancer, or if you’re a woman over 35 who smokes, you should chat to your doctor or gynae about other forms of contraception, as the pill may pose certain health risks to you.
7. Here are the top 5 birth control options in South Africa.
According to the ECHO consortium, the most reliable methods of contraception available in South Africa are the implant, the IUD, the injection, the pill and the condom.
8. You don’t need permission to use contraceptives.
Everyone is entitled to use birth control, whatever their age, without consent from their parents or partners.
9. There is no ‘best’ type of birth control.
With so many options available, the ‘best’ type of contraceptive for you is the one that most suits your lifestyle, your body and your mid to long-term parenting desires.
10. You can get contraceptives at your clinic
Don’t want to go to the doctor? You don’t have to. You can visit any clinic or Marie Stopes centre to discuss birth control options and find the right one for you. It’s a dependable and affordable way to protect yourself against unplanned pregnancy and STIs.
Get protected! Find your nearest Marie Stopes centre and pop in to get the facts about contraception, then find the right option for you.