Mrs. Mehta came to my opd and she was looking stressed out as her pregnancy test was positive. She was feeling guilty as she had delivered a baby 8 months back only and she was not prepared for this pregnancy. Had she or her husband used some contraceptive method she would have been in a better position today.
Contraception has many advantages as it helps in spacing and family planning, also prevents maternal morbidity from unwanted abortions for unwanted pregnancies and for new mothers it gives time to replenish their stores of iron and calcium so after a gap of two to three years they are ready to bear another healthy pregnancy. There are some myths associated with all types of contraceptive methods so it’s always better to discuss all options with your gynecologist and choose one which best suits your needs.
For men, we have barrier contraceptive called as condoms and if used regularly and consistently it’s very good and has very few failure rates. For women, there is a wide range of contraceptives and it’s also called as Cafeteria approach in which we offer all type of contraceptives to them and woman has a right to make her informed decision and she can choose the contraceptive which will fulfill all her needs. Most popular women contraceptive is oral contraceptive pills or OCP but there are also some strong myths associated with OCPs such as weight gain but as said it’s a myth and has no scientific evidence. There are different combinations of pills available and also very low dose pills are available which have minimal or no side effects. One more type of pill is available called as POP (Progestogen only pill) which can be used immediately post-partum without affecting the milk production. Now hormonal contraception is also available in the form of a vaginal ring with similar efficacy and mechanism of action. Another hormonal contraception Emergency Contraception is the most misused contraceptive and it should be avoided and should strictly be used for emergency situations such as failure of other contraceptives, slippage, leakage of condom, or conditions such as rape and should never be used as a regular contraceptive. Among other methods are the Intrauterine devices such as Copper – T and Mirena and they are also called as Long Term Reversible Contraceptives as fertility returns as soon as they are removed. Some injectable contraceptives and female condoms, diaphragms, cervical caps are also available.
If we talk about permanent methods, for females tubectomy is done and for males, Vasectomy is done. With the latest technology, both procedures are daycare procedures with immediate recovery. Permanent methods should only be opted if family if complete and there is no desire to have more children later.
Make your informed choice and live a healthy and safe life.