Who said preventing and avoiding pregnancy was easy? In fact, both are personal decisions that are not always easy to translate into everyday life. Fortunately, these days, there are many options available to help you prevent unwanted pregnancies. Before choosing an option, don't forget to consider your personal needs, lifestyle, and physical health.
Method 1 of 5: Using Contraceptives
Step 1. Use a condom
Latex condoms are the most common type of condom placed on a man's penis prior to vaginal penetration. The use of condoms is able to prevent semen from interacting with fertile eggs so that it is effective in preventing pregnancy. In Indonesia, condoms can be easily purchased at pharmacies and supermarkets.
- Condoms are also able to protect all parties who have sex from the transmission of sexually transmitted diseases, in addition to being effective in preventing pregnancy.
- Condoms are made of thin latex so they can tear during use. If the "accident" occurs, surely the percentage of pregnancies will increase.
- Some people are allergic to latex so they prefer condoms made of plastic.
Step 2. Use a condom specifically for women
Similar to regular condoms, female condoms are also made of latex. The difference is, the shape is more like a pocket ring. Later, you will need to insert the pouch into your vagina and let the ring hang outside. The female condom is useful for holding semen that comes out during sexual intercourse and preventing it from entering the woman's body. In Indonesia, female condoms are also sold in several large pharmacies at varying prices.
- Female condoms can reduce the risk of sexually transmitted diseases by protecting the vagina from direct touch.
- The effectiveness of female condoms is slightly lower than regular condoms. Some people even claim that the use of female condoms is not as comfortable as regular condoms.
Step 3. Diaphragm
This shallow dome-shaped contraceptive is made of silicone and needs to be inserted into the vagina to prevent the meeting of semen and egg during sexual intercourse. Generally, the use of a diaphragm is combined with a spermicide in the form of a gel that can prevent sperm from moving, in order to increase its effectiveness.
- Because every woman has a different body shape, choose a diaphragm with the correct size. If necessary, consult the appropriate diaphragm size with a doctor!
- The diaphragm has a fairly good effectiveness, but is not able to prevent the transmission of sexually transmitted diseases.
Method 2 of 5: Using Hormonal Contraceptives
Step 1. Birth control pills
Often referred to as the “birth control pill”, these contraceptives contain synthetic estrogen and progestin hormones that can prevent a woman's eggs from leaving her ovaries. As a result, pregnancy will not occur. If taken correctly, the effectiveness of birth control pills is very high! In addition, you can buy them easily at various pharmacies and hospitals with a doctor's prescription.
- Birth control pills must be taken every day at the same time for it to work effectively. This means that skipping the pill will significantly reduce its effectiveness.
- Birth control pills can have negative side effects for some women. In addition, different pill brands also contain different levels of estrogen and progestin. That's why your doctor may prescribe a different brand of pill if the pill you're currently taking has negative side effects for you.
Step 2. Hormonal contraceptives
In fact, the hormones used to make birth control pills can be distributed throughout the body in other ways. If you don't want to take a pill every day, consider the following options:
Depo-Provera or injectable contraceptives. Injecting contraceptives should be done every three months in the arm area. Although it is very effective at preventing pregnancy, some people report side effects that may occur after its use.
The contraceptive is in the form of a plaster. Generally, this device is placed on the arm, back, or thigh area, and works by distributing hormones through the skin. Plaster-shaped contraceptives should be changed every few weeks.
Ring-shaped contraceptive. This ring-shaped contraceptive must be inserted into the vagina once a month, and works by releasing hormones that can prevent pregnancy.
Implantable contraceptives. Shaped like a small tube and inserted into the arm, this device is capable of releasing hormones to prevent pregnancy for a maximum of three years. Remember, implantable contraception should only be inserted and removed by a specialist!
Step 3. Use intrauterine devices (IUD)
The IUD is a small metal device that works once it is inserted into the uterus by a doctor. One type of IUD functions by releasing hormones. Meanwhile, there is also an IUD which is made of copper and is useful for influencing sperm mobility and preventing it from fertilizing an egg.
- The IUD is very effective and can last up to 12 years. However, the price of course will be more expensive than other contraceptives.
- If you're worried that your menstrual cycle will be disrupted, try using an IUD made of copper, especially since it won't disturb your hormonal balance or cause hormonal side effects.
Method 3 of 5: Correcting Behavior
Step 1. Don't have sex
By not having sex, of course there will be no gap for semen to interact with the egg. As a result, this method is also 100% effective at preventing pregnancy if applied consistently.
- Some people even stop having any form of sexual contact. But actually, to prevent pregnancy, the only sexual activity that needs to be avoided is vaginal penetration.
- Because this method needs to be equipped with a strong intention, many people find it difficult to use it as a reliable contraceptive in the long term.
- Don't forget to use another form of contraception if you start having sex again!
Step 2. Raise awareness of your fertility
Often referred to as a natural contraceptive, this method only allows women to have sex outside of their fertile period. When they are in their fertile period, which of course opens the opportunity for pregnancy, women who apply this method must completely stop having sex. To increase its effectiveness, you must fully understand and appreciate the perimeter of its fertility.
- To improve your personal fertility condition, there are three ways to calculate your fertile period: the calendar method, the mucus method, and the temperature method. When combined, these three methods are very effective in determining a woman's fertile period!
The calendar method requires you to keep track of the three different phases in the menstrual cycle with the help of a calendar. After that, you need to find the same pattern and use that pattern to predict the next ovulation.
The mucus method requires you to check the condition of the mucus in the vagina. In other words, you need to observe changes in the color and consistency of the mucus when the fertile period arrives.
The temperature method requires you to check your basal body temperature every day and be aware of an increase in the number indicating ovulation.
- The drawback of natural contraceptives lies in the complexity of the process. In other words, you have to devote a lot of time and attention to getting accurate results. If you forget to track your mucus condition or basal body temperature for a few days, the accuracy of the results will likely decrease significantly.
- Meanwhile, the advantage of natural contraceptives is that the process is completely natural. In other words, you don't need to take extra hormones, use tools that don't feel comfortable, or pay a certain fee to do it.
Method 4 of 5: Applying the Operative Procedure
Step 1. Perform female sterilization procedures
In women, the operative procedure aimed at preventing pregnancy is to close the fallopian tubes through a process called tubal ligation. This method is very effective in preventing pregnancy but must be done with great consideration, especially because the condition that is formed will not be changed in the future.
Step 2. Perform a vasectomy for men
In fact, men who don't want to fertilize their partners can have an operative procedure to block their vas deferens, which is the channel that allows sperm to flow. As a result, sperm will not mix with semen and when the man ejaculates, the semen that does not contain sperm will not be able to fertilize his sexual partner. In some cases, the canal that was cut in a vasectomy procedure can be put back together. However, this procedure should only be done if you are aiming to be permanently sterile.
Method 5 of 5: Preventing Pregnancy After Sex
Step 1. Use emergency contraception
Known as Plan B, the emergency contraception is packaged in the form of two pills containing levonorgestrel. The pill should be taken immediately after sexual intercourse to maximize its benefits. The sooner the pill is taken, the greater its effectiveness in preventing pregnancy.
- Emergency contraception is available at most major pharmacies and hospitals.
- Remember, emergency contraception should not be used as a substitute for regular contraception. Understand that emergency contraception is the last method of protecting you from pregnancy after unprotected sex!