Being in control may mean different things to different people. For women, deciding when to conceive is perhaps the most crucial choice. Fortunately, there are several effective contraceptive measures you can trust to stick to your reproductive goals and plans. Statistics show that 9 out of 10 American females in the age range of 18 to 64 have relied on birth control at some point during their reproductive years.
But ironically, nearly 50% of pregnancies in the country are unintended. That means contraceptives fail half the time, right? The truth is that most failures happen due to personal blunders. Lack of awareness is one reason women fail to use birth control properly. Besides unplanned conception, some methods can cause more harm than good.
Knowing the potential mistakes is the first step to avoid them and stay in control. Here are a few serious blunders women should avoid.
Blunder #1: Choosing the Wrong Method
When it comes to contraceptive methods, women are spoiled for choice. Over the years, permanent contraception has been the most popular method. Birth control pills, hormonal patches, female condoms, and intrauterine devices (IUDs) are also acclaimed for their efficacy. In a recent update, the FDA has approved the first non-prescription daily oral contraceptive.
Having too many choices means you are prone to picking the wrong one. For example, permanent birth control is a mistake if you change your mind and want a baby down the road. Daily pills aren’t great for women with busy lifestyles because it is easy to miss a daily pill on a jam-packed day. You must skip IUDs if you fear in-patient procedures.
The best piece of advice is to consider your lifestyle and preferences while choosing a contraceptive measure. You shouldn’t regret your choice later.
Blunder #2: Overlooking Potential Side Effects
Women often fail to dig deep enough to understand the potential side effects of birth control methods. Failing to do so means you aren’t making an informed decision. For example, hormonal pills can cause nausea, breast tenderness, headaches, bleeding, and increased blood pressure. In rare cases, they elevate the risk of blood clots, stroke, and heart attack.
Likewise, IUDs entail risks such as breakage, uterine perforation, internal infections, and expulsion. The Paragard lawsuit is an example of the side effects of these devices. You can imagine the severity of the risk from the fact that 2,094 cases are pending in the Paragard litigation as of now.
According to TorHoerman Law, women suffering from Paragard complications may require aggressive interventions such as surgery and hysterectomy. Knowing your rights is crucial as you can claim compensation worth ranging from $10,000 to $400,000, depending on the seriousness of your case.
Blunder #3: Not Using a Backup Method
While most contraceptives have a high success rate, none of them is foolproof. Some methods offer the best results when used in combination with others. For example, condoms work well with spermicidal foams. Conversely, birth control pills may lose their effectiveness when taken along with some other medications.
Backup methods can be your saviors as they prevent an unwanted pregnancy even if the primary method fails. A morning-after pill is a good example to stay safe if you miss out on your daily pill during a cycle. You may consider using a condom along with an IUD for extra protection. Going the extra mile is better than ending up with an unplanned baby.
Blunder #4: Skipping Regular Checkups
Routine check-ups with your doctor are essential when using a birth control method. You must be regular with them even if you don’t notice unusual symptoms or discomfort. Women using IUDs need to be extra cautious regarding routine medical appointments because undetected breakage can lead to complications.
Skipping these appointments is a blunder you should avoid. Besides leading to undetected issues, it can spell missed opportunities to explore new and effective methods. At times, you may need to switch birth control methods due to a change in your lifestyle or circumstances. Your healthcare provider is the best person to guide you.
Birth control gives you freedom and control, but you cannot take a set-and-forget approach to it. You cannot trust any method completely because accidents happen and contraception fails. However, avoiding these potential blunders can lower the risk of an unplanned pregnancy or unexpected side effects.
Also, make informed decisions and be open to moving to a different measure as your needs and lifestyle evolve over the years. All you should focus on is to protect yourself from an unplanned pregnancy.