If you’re sexually active, you’ll probably have wondered about the different forms of birth control available. Most people know about the withdrawal method, the condom, and The Pill. But how much do they really know about effective contraception and the options they have?
52% of sexually active Malaysian women don’t use any form of birth control. This effectively puts us amongst one of the lowest in the area compared to our neighbours (Singapore – 71%, Thailand – 73%). It explains the high number of unplanned pregnancies and abortion rate in the country.
Many swear by the withdrawal method. That is, until they get their first unplanned child. Research has shown that out of 100 couples using withdrawal, 22 will get pregnant in a year.
There are also some who go by the morning after pill as a regular form of birth control. However, these are meant to be used as an emergency contraception method for instance where you think your regular contraception may have failed (ie: ripped condom). The higher dosages of synthetic hormones in these pills and can cause unwanted side effects and should not be taken regularly.
With so many misconceptions on the proper techniques of birth control, perhaps it’s time to better equip ourselves with the right knowledge and be responsible for our own sexual health.
Read about the different methods available below and discuss with your partner and doctor which would suit you best:
While you can obtain birth control pills over the counter at some pharmacies, we highly recommend seeing your gynaecologist for a better understanding on what suits you best. It’s nothing scary, they’re used to it!
During your visit, your doctor will ask you about:
- General stuff
Your age, number of children, smoking habits, and occupation
- Sexual relationship
Are you in a monogamous relationship or have you had several sexual partners?
- Gynaecology history
Do you have painful, heavy or irregular menses?
Do you have any precious history of fibroid, ovarian cysts, endometriosis, or ectopic pregnancy? When do you plan to get pregnant?
What were your previous contraception methods (if any)?
- Medical history
Any history of blood clots, stroke, hypertension, heart attack?
Factors to consider when choosing a suitable contraception:
- Does it need to be reliable or do you not mind getting pregnant at some time?
- Do you need to take it everyday? Do you have the discipline to?
- Can you cope with the cost? (in general, contraception that doesn’t need to be taken daily is more pricey)
- Do you want a permanent or temporary method of contraception?
- Does it affect the return of your fertility?