Until December 30 of 2020, Argentina had one of the most restrictive legislations on abortion. With a narrow victory, the Senate approved its legalization in the first 14 weeks of pregnancy. Previously it was only allowed in case of representing a risk to the mother’s life, in case of rape or if the pregnant woman was mentally ill.
Immediately the controversy was unleashed. Society assumes that women are the only “guilty” ones when they have an abortion. When in fact, relationships are between two people, and in most of cases they do not use protection, risking not only getting pregnant but also contracting a sexually transmitted disease.
Sex education is still seen as a rare topic and most of the time the methods used are quite curious, such as drinking Coca-Cola with Alka Seltzer before having sex.
There are many contraceptive methods: the natural ones like the rhythm method; the temporary ones like the pill; intrauterine device; injections; and the definitive ones like tubal ligation or vasectomy.
Today I will show you #sinrecato the advantages and disadvantages of these contraceptive methods:
1- Natural Methods: they are based on the functioning of both the male and female reproductive system. They are used to prevent pregnancy, but not sexually transmitted diseases (STDs):
- Coitus interruptus: it consists of taking the penis out of the vagina before ejaculation; that is, so that the semen does not remain inside the woman. Its risk is very high because before ejaculation, the man expels a liquid that has sperm and can fertilize.
- Rhythm: it is the recording of the menstrual cycle during a year to identify the fertile days of the woman; that is, when she is ovulating. The idea is to avoid having sexual intercourse during those days. It only works in women with regular menstrual cycles, like clockwork.
- Body or basal temperature: this involves taking the woman’s temperature every day, in the same place of her body (mouth or armpit), before getting out of bed, from the first day of menstruation until her next period to mark the days of ovulation. The normal temperature is between 96.8°F (36°C) and 97.7°F (36.5°C), while at ovulation it rises to 98.6°F (37°C) or more and remains elevated until the next menstruation. On days when the temperature rises, sexual intercourse should be avoided.
- Cervical mucus: it is a liquid that is in the cervix and becomes crystalline and transparent, similar to egg whites, during the days of ovulation, time in which sexual intercourse should be avoided.
- Breastfeeding: it consists of breastfeeding the baby at least every three hours, more than five times a day, which decreases the probability of ovulation. Its effectiveness is 80 to 95 percent, depending on the proper use of the method. These methods are unreliable because of the difficulty in learning and the discipline it requires, there is a high risk of unwanted pregnancy, STDs and the reduction of sexual spontaneity.
2- Temporary methods: they can be interrupted at any time and fertility will return if the woman wishes to get pregnant. They are 98 percent effective and are classified as follows:
- Hormonal: they work through hormones that prevent ovulation and alter the cervical mucus so that sperm do not pass through. For any of these methods it is important to have a medical prescription and to understand that they do not prevent STDs. Also, they are classified into: monthly or quarterly intramuscular injections, contraceptive pills, subdermal implant (placed under the skin of the woman’s forearm), effective for up to 5 years, patches and emergency contraception (pill to prevent pregnancy).
- Barrier: chemical or mechanical methods that interfere with the encounter of the sperm with the egg: condom, diaphragm and spermicides.
- Devices: a small element that is placed in the woman’s uterus and acts as a barrier between the ovum and the sperm. There are two types: the copper T or intrauterine device (IUD) and the hormonal endoceptivo.
3- Definitive Methods: surgical procedure that can be practiced in both men and women. Their efficacy is 99.8 percent. There are two types:
- Tubal ligation: it consists of tying the fallopian tubes to prevent fertilization. It is an outpatient surgery. It does not require hospitalization.
- Vasectomy: surgery in which the vas deferens, through which the sperm pass, are cut. It is an outpatient surgery. It does not require hospitalization.
Myths and truths
- It does not cause sexual impotence.
- It does not produce changes in the patient’s weight.
- It does not reduce sexual desire and potency.
- It does not cause changes in the production and quantity of ejaculations.
- It does not prevent sexually transmitted diseases.
- It does not decrease physical strength.
- Does not increase the risk of developing breast or cervical cancer.
- It does not make the patient put on weight.
- It does not reduce sexual desire.
- It does not protect the patient of sexually transmitted diseases.
When a man or woman over 18 years of age does not wish to have children or has already had the desired number of children, he or she can access these methods of definitive contraception. Although both surgeries are reversible, in case that at some point they change their mind (tubal recanalization and vasectomy).
Finally, I would like to recommend you to do the proper research about these methods, look up in certified websites or ask your doctor. Do this with the purpose of taking care not only of yourself but also of your partner.
Traducción del español: Catalina Oviedo Brugés.