Modern day Family Planning
As we are living in the modern and 'evolved' era, all aspects of life and people's lifestyles have taken a turn, a leap. Old perceptions are going as people embrace new and unprecedented techniques, methods and inventions. From their food, healthcare, transport, home design, communication, grocery shopping, entertainment – you name it. We all are living in ways, using innovation and technology, utilising nature, science, like never before.
So, same goes for family planning and its methods. Couples nowadays are opting for new ways to define and plan their family size and are leaving behind old conventional methods.
Contraceptive methods reflect individual preferences, societal and cultural norms, and local and regional issues affecting contraceptive availability and accessibility, including policies and cost.
What are some modern contraceptive methods?
NuvaRing is inserted into the vagina like a tampon, where it releases a steady amount of estrogen and progestin throughout the month. You wear it for three weeks, then take it out for a week and have your period.
The ring has many perks besides pregnancy prevention.
The ring can reduce or help prevent acne, bone thinning, cysts in the breasts or ovaries, ectopic pregnancy, endometrial and ovarian cancers, etc.
Ortho Evra is a skin patch with hormones embedded in its adhesive layer. You stick it on your lower abdomen, buttocks or upper body where it slowly releases estrogen and progestin for a week. After a week, you peel it off and replace it with a new one. After you've used three in a row, you take a break for a week, during which you get your period.
INTRA UTERINE DEVICE (IUD)
An IUD is a small, T-shaped object that goes inside your uterus.
There are two types of IUDs--Copper IUD that contain copper, a type of metal, and Hormonal IUD that has the hormone progestogen.
The hormones or the copper stop the sperm reaching the egg. Sometimes, sperm does reach the egg (fertilisation) so the IUD stops the egg from attaching to the wall of the uterus
One can get pregnant as soon as the IUD is taken out.
WHY ARE THESE NEW METHODS BETTER THAN OLD CONVENTIONAL ONES?
The oral pills may cause hormonal imbalance in the body. Menstruation may get irregular and hard to predict. Pills may cause nausea, mood swings, headaches, etc.
Many are allergic to the latex used in condoms.
Plus, condoms can break if not put on and placed correctly.
ARE THERE ONLY FEMALE CONTRACEPTIVES, OR CAN MALE HAVE CONTRACEPTIVES TOO?
Males have contraceptives too.
Till now, the forms of contraception available for men are condoms only and vasectomy, which is permanent contraception, i.e., males become sterile.
Oral contraceptive pills for men are underway to be made which will have hormonal components to stop sperm production, etc.
Photo: LS Archive