Surveys show that an estimated fifty percent of all pregnancies in Ghana are accidental. It’s surprising to read about it, especially since there have been more and more choices presented to the people for birth control. It is pretty saddening to know that half of those unplanned pregnancies were caused by failure of the chosen contraceptive method used, and the other half because one or both of the partners did not use any form of birth control at all. Another frustrating survey result said that roughly ten to fifteen percent of all sexually active women do not use birth control, and about eighty-five percent of those women would be expected to become pregnant within a year.
Choosing to use contraceptives rely on a lot of different factors. A person’s health, the frequency of sexual activities, the number of sexual partners, the desire to have children, and religious and moral belief systems may come into play.
A person’s health affects the choice of contraceptive as certain medications meant to alleviate medical conditions may affect the efficacy of oral contraceptive pills. Here are some of the medications that may have unfavorable drug interaction with the birth control pill:
· broncodilators used for asthma relief
· anti-seizure drugs
· certain antibiotics
· specific brands of anti-fungals
· tricyclic antidepressants
· anti-anxiety medications
Also, people with certain medical conditions are discouraged to take oral contraceptives:
· a history of blood clotting diseases
· uncontrolled hypertension
· a history of cardiovascular diseases
· severe liver disease
People who frequently engage in sexual activities and with multiple partners should consider using a birth control method that does not only protect them from accidental pregnancy, but also shield them from the potential risks of acquiring sexually transmitted diseases (STD). For this scenario, the male condom is the highly recommended. It does a good job from preventing skin-to-genital fluid contact during sexual intercourse, as well as preventing sperm from reaching the egg.
For people who are in a monogamous sexual relationship should have no problems with STDs. If their primary concern is of having a surprise pregnancy, studies show that the birth control pill is ninety-five percent effective if the packet instructions are followed to the T. Another very efficient birth control method is the intra-uterine device (IUD). According to the Food and Drugs Administration (FDA), it is ninety-eight to ninety-nine percent effective in preventing pregnancy.
You might want to think hard if you want to have children in the future or not. There are reversible and permanent birth control measures to help you with this concern. For couples who already have children and do not wish to have more, sterilization is the best method to use. It permanently stops a person’s ability to bear and create children. The surgical procedure is called vasectomy for men and tubal ligation for women. It is a one time procedure and it doesn’t affect a person’s sexual drive and hormone production. For people who wish to put off having children for later, reversible contraceptive methods should work best for them until such a time that they are ready to start a family.
For people with strong religious and moral beliefs, the natural method should suit them best. It does not require for a person to ingest medication or insert devices into their bodies to prevent pregnancy. The church recommends practicing sexual abstinence until a person decides to marry. Those who cannot wait can practice the withdrawal and the fertility awareness method to avoid accidental pregnancies.
Whatever birth control method you choose to use, make sure that it fits every aspect of your life. Think it over very thoroughly, consult a doctor or an adviser if you must. What’s important is that you come up with the best contraceptive method that you can stick to.