All you need to know about contraception

Many women find the use of contraception appealing for peace of mind and to enjoy a fulfilling sexuality. Here is some information on the subject.

Contraception: an important issue

History tells us that around the world and throughout the ages, women have tried a great number of contraceptive methods, including some questionable ones. For example, some writings from the past indicate age-old use of oral potions, vaginal douches or vaginal suppositories containing dubious substances to say the least, in order to avoid pregnancy.

Fortunately, in this day and age, women can choose among a wide range of safe and effective options when it comes to contraception. The decision to make use of them is a fundamentally personal choice: pregnancy―whether or not it is wanted―always has significant repercussions. Contraception is a topic that warrants the attention of women, so they can make informed decisions.

A wide range of options

Because the last few decades have provided a multitude of studies and discoveries, women can now choose among the following options:

With such a range of possibilities, it can be difficult to make the right choice. First, it is important to point out that all of these methods are considered effective when they are used properly. Each of them has their advantages and some disadvantages, which you will have to weigh carefully, while taking into consideration, among other things, your age, lifestyle, preferences, health and the medications you take.

It is recommended to have an in-depth discussion with an informed healthcare professional.

The right questions, for the right decision

Here are some questions you should ask yourself to make an informed decision:

  • Which method do I like the most?
  • Which method is best suited to my routine and lifestyle?
  • Do I feel that I can use this method reliantly, as recommended, to ensure maximum effectiveness?
  • What is my personal situation (in a relationship, single, etc.)?
  • Should I choose a method that also protects me against sexually transmitted infections (STIs)?
  • What are the disadvantages of the method I have chosen?
  • What are the side effects, if any?
  • How should it be used?
  • In the case of hormonal contraceptive, what is the frequency of administration?
    • oral contraceptive: every day
    • contraceptive patch: should be changed every week
    • vaginal ring: should be changed every four weeks
    • injectable contraceptive: injection every three months
  • How often do I want to be menstruated?
  • Etc.

Don’t be afraid to ask a lot of questions to the professional you are consulting.

Some important reminders

Here is some information that is good to know about the various contraceptive methods:

  • In order for a contraceptive method to be effective, it must be used exactly as recommended. Improper use can lead to an unplanned pregnancy.
  • The condom is the only method known to protect you against STIs.
  • You should never use a condom or an oral contraceptive past the expiry date.
  • It is important to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations on how to store the contraceptive. Never expose condoms or medication to extreme temperatures. For example, do not leave them in your car.
  • If, for any reason, you have not followed the dosage instructions, for example, if you forgot to take a dose of a hormonal contraceptive, promptly speak to your pharmacist, who will tell you what to do.

Emergency oral contraception (“the morning-after pill”) is not considered a contraceptive method, strictly speaking. If, however, you did not use a contraceptive or if the contraceptive failed (for example, a broken condom), the morning-after pill can make it possible to avoid an unplanned pregnancy. Its effectiveness is optimal if it is taken within 72 hours after intercourse. The principle of “the earlier, the better” applies here. You must go to the pharmacy, and the pharmacist will meet with you privately in a closed office before giving you the emergency oral contraception.

Speak to your pharmacist for additional information about contraception and the available methods.

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All you need to know about contraception

Many women find the use of contraception appealing for peace of mind and to enjoy a fulfilling sexuality. Here is some information on the subject.
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