Extra Virgin :: Birth Control Options
Choices about if/when to have children are so personal, with profound physical, emotional, relational and spiritual implications. I know firsthand how much thought, information and communication go into making a decision with your husband that leaves you both feeling healthy and peaceful. Here is a brief description of a few of the many different birth control methods available to you ::
A condom is a thin (usually latex) sleeve put over the erect penis to catch semen so that it does not enter the vagina. This is referred to as a barrier method of birth control. Condoms are easy to use and easily available. However, studies show that with typical use, they are only about 86% effective at preventing pregnancy.
Various forms of birth control fall under this category, but the basic idea is that you take hormones that simulate a pregnancy within your own body. This prevents your body from ovulating, thus making it impossible to get pregnant. Some women don’t like the pill because the added hormones make them feel sick or abnormally emotional, but many women can take a low-dose birth control pill while having few side-effects.
Fertility Awareness Method
By observing and charting your body’s signals, you determine the exact date of ovulation each month and then either abstain or use contraceptives (such as condoms) during your days of fertility each month. This method depends upon self-control and organization, so there is a huge margin for error. However, if you have a regular cycle and both you and your husband are committed to planning and talking it out, FAM can be a great way to prevent or plan a pregnancy.
Intrauterine Device (IUD)
An IUD is a device (often T-shaped) inserted into the uterus, which works by making the environment fatal to sperm. In some cases, the IUD also affects the lining of the uterus, preventing implantation. This is a long-term birth control option, and usually only recommended if you don’t want children for several years. It has a high success rate and a high satisfaction rating with users, but because of some rare yet severe side effects, be sure to fully research this option before deciding if it’s right for you.
This is a pill taken after having sex that will terminate a pregnancy within three to five days after conception. Please do not choose to end a pregnancy, no matter how strongly you feel about waiting to have children. You can trust God, knowing that he is powerful and good, to guide you through parenthood.
There are many other forms of birth control as well, and it’s a good idea to research on your own until you find the method that’s best for you and your husband. Be sure to talk to a doctor, and talk to other wise and godly couples who can tell you their own opinions on the matter. Make sure to talk this out with your spouse until you both feel comfortable with whatever method you choose.
(Photo by Mike Dorner)