What Do You Think About Your Method of Birth Control?

ollege students were asked about their contraceptive methods. Here are some of their personal stories and their opinions of their method.

Female: I recently tried the hormonal patch. It was rel­atively new, and I wanted to see what it was all about.

I always had trouble remembering to take my pill at the right time, and I figured that it would be much easier to only have to remember once a week instead of seven times a week. The excitement didn’t last for very long. The patch got in the way of so many things. My boyfriend felt that it got in the way when he touched me. It both­ered me because it stuck so hard and the glue and pieces of fuzz from clothing were hard to remove. After only 5 months of using the patch I decided that taking a pill every day wasn’t so bad.

Male: My girlfriend uses birth control pills. She did put on some weight, but I didn’t mind. The pill doesn’t seem to affect her sexual desires, and she doesn’t have many side effects. I try to help as much as I can by re­minding her to take it and paying for it each month. If she forgets to take it, we use condoms.

Female: When I first started having sex I also used a number of different types of backup (just in case the pill didn’t work). I used condoms, but they were a has­sle, and my boyfriend at the time didn’t like using them, so we tried spermicides. First we used film, and that was okay, and then we used jelly. I think that was the best. It came in pre-filled tubes, and it was just like putting in a tampon. So easy, and we didn’t have to wait for it to dissolve. It was so cool, I could even carry it in my purse and no one knew the difference.

Male: I used to use nothing but the pull-out method. BAD BAD BAD!! That was the worst thing that I ever did, talk about stress! I was not educated about differ­ent birth control methods, and my girlfriend at that time informed me that if I just pulled out that she

wouldn’t get pregnant. I thought she knew what she was talking about so I believed her. I use condoms with all my partners. I definitely don’t want to get an STI and want to be sure my partners don’t get pregnant until I’m ready.

Female: We use birth control pills because a child at this time would definitely not be good!

Male: My girlfriend and I have been using a di­aphragm for about a year now. We like it because she can put it in early and we don’t have to be bothered during sex. I don’t mind her using it at all.

Male: I’m not in a relationship right now, but I have been having casual sex with a few different partners. I hate to say it, but I’ve just hoped they are on the pill because I don’t use condoms. I know I should worry about infections, but since the sex is never planned, I just hope they know what they are doing.

Female: I’m on birth control pills, and I love them. I do not use condoms while on it, even though I know I should. The only problem I’ve found with the pill is that at first I gained a little weight, but if I really tried to eat healthy, I was fine. The pill is definitely good for a long­term committed relationship.

Male: My girlfriend just got one of the patches, and she put it on her stomach. Sometimes it bothers me a little when I rub it during sex, but really I don’t care. I try to remind her to change it, and so far it’s been working out well.

Female: I have been on the pill for 5years and have had no problems. I like it because it is easy and the side ef­fects are small. Occasionally I might forget to take it, but never more than one night, and then my boyfriend and I use a condom. He doesn’t mind, because like me, kids are not high on our list of priorities right now.

Source: Author’s files.

the sponge out of the vagina. Like the diaphragm, the sponge can be inserted and re­moved by either the woman or her partner.

Effectiveness

Effectiveness rates for the sponge range from 75% (typical use) to 89% (perfect use). Like the diaphragm, these rates depend on the user, and failure rates are higher in women who have had children (Hatcher et al., 2004).

Figure 13.6

What Do You Think About Your Method of Birth Control?What Do You Think About Your Method of Birth Control?Instructions for proper insertion of a contraceptive sponge.

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What Do You Think About Your Method of Birth Control?What Do You Think About Your Method of Birth Control?What Do You Think About Your Method of Birth Control?

Advantages

Contraceptive sponges can be purchased without a prescription. Once inserted, sexual intercourse can take place as many times as desired during a 24-hour period. The sponge can be also be put in prior to sexual intercourse, which may increase sexual spontaneity. Sponges do not affect hormonal levels, are disposable, and do not require routine clean­ing. In addition, although they do not require partner involvement, men can be in­volved in the insertion of the contraceptive sponge if desired.

Disadvantages

The contraceptive sponge may increase the risk of toxic shock syndrome and urinary tract infections. Unlike the diaphragm, the sponge cannot be left in place during a woman’s menstrual period. Other disadvantages include required touching of the geni­tals, which may be uncomfortable for some women; a foul odor if left in place too long; possible spermicide-caused allergic reaction in the woman or her partner; high expense if used frequently; and difficulty for some couples to insert and remove. In addition, some men can feel the sponge inside and may find it uncomfortable.