Sunday, 5 September 2010

holidays, snips and contraception

It's sunday! Which means work starts tomorrow :( booooooooooooo hehe..I've had the most fantastic week off down in London chilling with my friends, living, having fun, attended notting hill carnival for the first time (and couldn't find the bloody naija corner after three hours! I was so gutted. The love of my life Banky W was there :(..i don't wanna talk about it *sob sob* ),falling in love with Don Juane at the open theatre  by the thames under the moonlight, *i looooveeee the theatre, you know how apparently the way to a man's heart is through his stomach or further south?, well, the way to enitan's heart is through the theatre * , drinking, dancing, loving..ahh why can't life be a 24 hour party ??:D :D sucks to be back in leeds to the reality of 7 days of work starting tomorrow! Shucks, being a grown up sucks :P

I was having a conversation with two of my super cool guy friends and the topic of contraception came up, heaven remembers how. Anyhoo I came to realise, much to my dismay, that *most* guys believe the job of contraception lies squarely at the woman's feet and that the snip *they couldn't even bring themselves to say vasectomy! lol* is most certainly not an option. Yep, u read that right. Apparently even when they've had all the number of children they'll love to have, having the snip is not an option because 'what if i want to have another child in my old years?' err..but you would already have had all the children you want! 'yeah, but i want to know my tubes are working, period!' alrighhhtty then i said. Is it then okay to make the woman undergo general anaesthesia to have her own tubes tied when your's is only done under local? What if she wants a child in her own old years? 'well, then she can get it reversed can't she?' All my explanations about how a lady undergoes a proper full on operation to get her tubes tied and how the chances of reversal is a small percentage and also requires a full on operation as opposed to a man having just local anaesthesia for a vasectomy all fell on deaf ears.

The long and short of it was...ladies..err, if you're having sex, contraception is your duty especially if you're with a guy whose idea of contraception is rythm method or having sex whilst the lady is on her period (yes, i had to counsel someone about the folly of that), because at the end of the day, you're gonna be the one preggers and stuck with a baby. The best you're likely to get is a condom, and don't forget that it's around 97-99% effective (which is pretty good to be honest, but the efficacy reduces if an expired one is used, it's not worn properly, it breaks or migrates during sex (yep, people need to go fishing for the condom sometimes)

I get very irate everytime i get seemingly stupid anxious texts from ladies i know worrying they may be pregnant and how can i help, until i realised that people are either very very stupid and no longer afraid of HIV and sexually transmitted diseases or just ignorant. I'm gonna look the other way and assume people are ignorant. So, i'm finally putting up a post on contraception. I'll itemise options below and give a brief spiel about them, hopefully you'll find a suitable method for you. Of course, questions are very welcome, i'll be happy to answer them :)

1. ABSTINENCE: yep! I preach absitence. The ONLY sure way to guarantee you won't get pregnant or contract a sexually transmitted disease is not to have sex in the first place #thatisall. I shall not flog this horse any more.

2. ORAL CONTRACEPTIVE PILL: this is a highly effective ~97% effective WHEN USED APPROPRAITELY. It's a hormonal method of contraception. The gist of it is that you take external hormones 'the pill' and so your body doesn't produce internal ones. The hormones affect the ovaries and influence ovulation. No ovulation = no eggs released = nothing for sperm to fertilise = no conception = no pregnancy! I must stress that when i say hormones, we're talking MICROgrams, so no fear.

There are two types of pills: the progesterone only pill and the combined pill : oestrogen and progesterone. They have slightly different side effect profiles and a chat with your obs&gynae will be a very good idea to help decide which is the better option for you.

How to use it? Take one tablet (they'r really small) once a day round about the same time each day for 28days simultaneously, then a 7 day break and resume on the 8th day. Simple! I must say people have told me that they don't like the pill because they have to take it daily, they're not good with remebering bla bla bla. My response is always the same, if you don't want to get pregnant, taking one pill once a day won't kill you..dillegence is a good virtue to develop anyhoo :P

3. CONDOMS: self If u need more information, please ask. I shall not be answering questions on the different flavours, textures, colours, glow in the dark ones and such *tee hee*

4. INTRA-UTERINE DEVICE aka the coil: aimed at women who've given birth, only because it's easy to get through a cervix that's been open before, but it's not a complete no-no for ladies who haven't had babies before. Once in place, remains for three-5 years, so no fuss. Like the pill, there're two types: the copper coil and the mirena. The mirena is impregnated with progesterone, and just like the pill, you need to speak to ur doctor who'll discuss the pros and cons and assess suitability. It sits in the uterus and basically, if something's sitting in your womb, if on the small chance an egg becomes fertilised, it won't be able to get stuck on the side of the womb (implantation), so no getting pregnant. There is a small chance of a fertilised egg implanting outside the womb that has been attributed to the coil, but this is a big rarity not the norm.

5. PROGESTERONE IMPLANTS: similar to the progesterone oral pill, but this time, it's a little implant placed just under the skin, slow releases over ~ three months. There's also an injection method.

6. STERILISATION aka tieing/clipping tubes: blocking the fallopian tubes prevents eggs from travelling from the ovaries to womb. Eggs are fertilised in the fallopian tubes and need to travel via said tubes to the womb. Therefore, clipping/tieing the tubes prevents this. Often done after a woman has had all the babies she wants to have for obvious reasons.

These are some of the main contraceptive methods available ladies. Please be aware that having sex whilst on period, while standing up, in a particular postion etc are not listed as contraceptive methods. I kid you not, people still think this.

I cannot but mention that apart from condoms, the other methods do not provide protection against sexually transmitted disease and so are adviced to be used in monogamous relationships where both parties have been given the all clear. Having said that, condoms don't protect against every STD. For example, herpes and crabs only require skin contact to be spread and clearly the condom only covers the penis. So please, don't forget regular screening is important particularly before beginning a sexual relationship, and yes that includes HIV screening too!

*all images are from google*

Hope this has been helpful guys. Remember, the only one responsible for your life is you, take control of it.


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