Contraception

At some point in a young woman's life, the doctor asks if we are sexually active and if we are taking the appropriate measures to prevent a 'surprise'. Unfortunately, contraception isn't a 'one size fits all' type of thing, and they can often cause side effects and take a toll on our young, still developing bodies.

We have taken a lot of time researching and asking appropriate people endless amounts of questions to provide you with the information that you need to understand what types of contraception are available, how they work, and the side effects that you may experience.

These options may or may not work for you. Keep an open mind when going through these, because one may be better suited to you than another.

If you have any questions regarding contraception, please email us at hello@the-lunatique.com.

Let's begin.

MALE CONDOM

What is it?
A latex sleeve that's shaped to fit on an erect penis. 

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What does it do?
A condom works as a roadblock for the sperm travelling into the vaginal canal to find its partner in crime...the egg.   Condoms also prevent the spread of STI's and STD's...beautiful!

Side Effects and Disadvantages
Now in a perfect world, condoms would be the only form of contraception. BUT as we all know, it's not a perfect world and condoms can often break if they aren't the right size, have been put on incorrectly, or if you are having hot and heavy sex (here's hoping!). 

For many people, their body doesn't agree with latex and that's still fine. There are condoms out there that are made out of different materials for those who are allergic. You'll know if you're allergic if you feel a burning sensation after you've used one. 

FEMALE CONDOM

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What is it?
The female condom is basically the same as the male condom, however instead of going around his reproductive organ, it goes inside ours!

What does it do?
It works in exactly the same way as the male condom, providing a barrier for the sperm traveling through the vaginal canal to mingle with the egg inside of the ovaries. And much like the male condom, it too protects you from STI's and STD's. 

Side Effects and Disadvantages
We've mentioned it before, but allergies and breaking are the two most serious disadvantages of the female condom. It has also been known to become stuck inside the female (it might seem slightly funny, but yes, it happens).

THE PILL

What is it?
The contraceptive pill is a little pill of hormones you take daily to prevent pregnancy. 

What does it do?
In short terms, it 'tricks' your body into thinking it is pregnant so that it doesn't actually fall pregnant. Smart, maybe. Good for you? The jury is still out.

In more detail, the pill contains a man-made mix of the hormones estrogen and progesterone to prevent ACTUAL ovulation. A female cannot get pregnant if she is not ovulating because there is no egg to be fertilised. It also thickens the mucus on the cervix. The thicker the cervical mucus, the harder it is for the sperm to swim to the egg.

The 'period' that you are experiencing while on your off-week of the pill is not actually a genuine period. Instead, it is what's known as 'withdrawal bleeding' and is occurring due to the level of hormones dropping in your pill. When these levels drop, it causes the lining of your uterus to shed. It is not actually considered ovulation as you are not releasing any eggs.

Side Effects and Disadvantages
It is different for each and every one of us, as no two humans are the same. Many of us, however, can experience very similar side effects while taking the pill.

There has been a lot of debate lately about whether the pill is still considered safe for us to take. There are some short term and long term side effects that have been linked to the contraceptive pill:

Short-term side effects include spotting, nausea, breast tenderness, weight gain, headaches, mood changes, decreased libido, vaginal discharge, and missed periods. 

Long-term risk and side effects, however, are slightly more serious and can include ovarian and endometrial cancer, and blood clots. 

HORMONAL RING

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What is it?
A hormonal ring is a jelly-like ring that is inserted int the vagina like a tampon and contains the same two hormones as the pill (estrogen and progesterone). You can leave the ring in for as long as three weeks at a time. It has been used to help women with irregular periods, cramps and endometriosis.

What does it do?
The hormones are absorbed by the vaginal wall and travel through the bloodstream to stop the ovaries from releasing eggs. These two hormones also cause the mucus on the cervical wall to become thicker and make it harder for the sperm to travel to the egg.

One positive side to the hormonal ring is that women have experienced lighter, shorter and less painful periods, no weight gain and clean skin. 

Side Effects and Disadvantages
There have been a number of tests completed on the hormonal ring and the results vary.

For the women that were tested using the hormonal ring, almost 10% fell pregnant (oopsy) and they do not prevent against STI's and STD's, so if you are going to use the ring, make sure that you use it in conjunction with another form of contraception such as a condom!  

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IUD/MIRENA

What is it?
The IUD (Intra-Uterine Device) comes in two different types - the copper IUD and the progesterone IUD.

The copper IUD is a plastic device with a copper wrapped stem and the progesterone IUD is a t-shaped device with a cylinder containing progesterone around the stem instead.

What does it do?
Progestogen IUD - A T-shaped device with a cylinder containing progestogen around the stem. 

Basically, both IUD's work in the same way by changing the lining of the womb so it's not suitable for pregnancy, manipulating the sperm's movement and ultimately deciding the sperm's survival. Sounds pretty smart. And the Mirena/IUD only releases hormones directly into the uterus, helping prevent side effects like acne, weight gain, heavy periods.

Side effects/Disadvantages?
Just like every other contraception, it is not 100% effective BUT you cant forget to take it (unlike the pill) which is an upside. If it's not inserted correctly by the doctor, it may come out during your period if it's been dancing with your string (rare). There is a slim chance of infection after the initial insertion..that's just your vagina getting used to this foreign item.

INJECTION (DEPO-PROVERA)

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What is it?
Depo Provera is given by injection and lasts for 3 months. It's similar to progesterone, the hormone our ovaries make during a cycle. 

What does it do?
When Depo Provera is injected, the natural production of this hormone stops and the ovaries will not release an egg. The injection has a 99.8% success rate if given every 3 months. After a few injections, most women stop bleeding altogether as the hormone is stopping the lining of your uterus from thickening like it would during a normal cycle. So the bleeding stops and magic..no more period. 

Side effects/Disadvantages?
Very minimal to no weight gain. Headaches, abdominal pains, and mood changes. Reduced sex drive (nooooooooo!!!) 6-12 months recovery time for your cycle to be normal again after you stop using Depo Provera.

 

SURGICAL STERILIZATION

What is it?
You may know it as "getting your tubes tied" and that's pretty much accurate, it's correct term is "tubal ligation". 

What does it do?
This is a permanent method of contraception and most women who have their tribe of little warriors opt for the surgical sterilization or to have their fallopian tubes tied so eggs cannot travel down to the uterus. 

Side effects/Disadvantages?
The usual complications that come with surgery. And it's irreversible.

 

IMPLANT (THE ROD)

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What is it?
The implant is a plastic, very thin rod that is inserted under the skin near your bicep. 

What does it do?
Just like most of the other contraception's available, once the rod is inserted under the skin, it releases the hormone progestin and prevents the ovulation process from happening. It works for up to 3-4 years depending on your body but it's a long-term contraception. It can be taken out whenever you want so that's a positive. 

Side effects/Disadvantages?
- Doesn't protect you from STI's/STD'S.
- Not 100% effective but pretty close ranking at 99%.
- Better/worse skin
- Weight gain/loss
- Mood swings/level out
- Hurts when you hit it... oh my.

 

COITUS INTERRUPTUS

What is it?
THE PULL OUT METHOD... I know right... it has a medical term, what the hell! 

What does it do?
Just before the fireworks are about to explode, the firework technician pulls out and the firework combusts into the sky causing a beautiful and sometimes messy show. 

Side effects/Disadvantages?
Well... you know.

 

CALENDER RHYTHM METHOD

What is it?
This is a natural form of contraception by tracking your cycle and having a better awareness of your body. 

What does it do?
You track your monthly cycles, on the high-risk days throughout your ovulation you use condoms or abstain from sex to prevent pregnancy. It is one of the least reliable forms of contraception but if you are strict with it and really tune into your body, you can be fine. 

Side effects/Disadvantages?
If you're not strict with this, you can have a slip up (ask Kate, she'll tell you all about it.) As amazing as it is not putting any hormones in your body, this method is very sketchy to say the least. You have to know your vagina really well and it's really easy to have a mishap.

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THE PATCH

What is it?
A transdermal patch that you wear on the skin of your belly, booty, upper arm or back. 

What does it do?
Think of it as a 3/1 shift.. you wear the patch for 3 weeks, and take it off for one. Remembering not to reuse the same patch more than once as it releases certain amounts of hormones that are absorbed by your skin to then prevent pregnancy. The key to these types of contraception's is to be organised and know when you need to take it off or change it up. 

Side effects/Disadvantages?
No protection from STI's/ STD's, it's not 100% effective if you don't use it correctly and it can obviously come off very easily. 

DIAPHRAGM

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What is it?
A diaphragm is a small shallow cup-shaped saucer made of soft silicone you insert each time before you have sex... 

What does it do?
Being silicone makes a diaphragm easy-ish to insert, you just fold it in half and insert into your cervix. Easier said than done gals. We are all different sized too... so diaphragms come in all sizes for your comfort.

The diaphragm is a brick wall for sperm if inserted correctly. It works as a barrier or a "cock block" for Spermy and LittleMiss Egg to get freaky. You can add spermicide to her diaphragm to make it more effective too, the chemical paralyzes the sperm in its tracks and leaves little miss egg waiting at the gate. 

Side effects/Disadvantages?
They are pretty difficult to use correctly and that is never a good thing when you're trying to put this object in your vagina whilst getting hot and heavy... it's a recipe for disaster. Spermicide can cause irritation and start to hurt after long periods of use. 

 

GIRLS... IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS, EMAIL US hello@the-lunatique.com