is there,and how effective is it?).
we're honest with ourselves we would all probably admit that
having sex before marriage isn't the best of ideas, and we would
all probably be able to say that the reason it's not a good idea
is because it's dangerous. But why is it dangerous? All we
really hear is, "Don't do it", "It's a sin",
"You can get HIV or a baby" and yet we know that there
are devices out there to help prevent those things from happening.
How effective are those methods? What are they? If we have made
the decision to be sexually active, then I feel we should know about
not only the risks involved (of which there are plenty) but also
ways that can help keep us safer and how effective those ways are.
All of our choices, after all, should be informed.
There are many
different forms of "birth control" or contraceptive devices,
going all the way up to surgery. However, I thought it would be
best to highlight the choices that we hear about most often, and
which most young people choose.
One of the
two most popular is the condom. Condoms can be brought at any
drugstore/pharmacy, and they are very cheap. In fact, some centers
give them away. The way that the condom works is by immobilizing
sperm so that it cannot enter the uterus and join with an egg. Also,
because some condoms are made out of latex, they are one of the
only contraceptive devices that help protect against sexually transmitted
diseases, such as HIV. When used correctly, and assuming that the
condom doesn't break, they are between 89-98% effective.
popular method is the birth control pill. There are two kinds
of birth control pill: the combination pill that contain estrogen
and progesterone and others that use only progesterone. Women on
birth control pills take the tablets once a day. They have many
other advantages, such as relief during menstrual cycles, and can
help clear acne up. However, they also carry some major disadvantages,
including weight gain or loss, depression, and the fact that they
must be taken daily in order to be most effective. When taken daily,
though, they are usually between 95-99.9% effective against pregnancy.
They do not protect against sexually transmitted diseases,
though. A physician must prescribe the pill to the woman, though
this usually isn't a problem. Doctors are usually willing to prescribe
the pill, with or without parental consent.
The third option
is a little less popular, though it has recently begun to increase
in popularity. There are several names for this method, including
"Plan B", and the "Emergency Contraception."
It is also called the "morning after pill." There are
two ways to have this procedure done. The first is by having an
insertion within 5 days of unprotected sex. This is usually over
99% effective. The other way is to take two doses of pills 12 hours
apart beginning within 72 hours of unprotected sex. This is usually
between 75-89% effective. There are, however, numerous risks involved
and this method should only be considered if you have unprotected
sex, with no other contraceptive devices used.
Note that the
only method (and one of the only methods, period) that helps prevent
against sexually transmitted diseases is the condom.
you have had sex, with or especially without, a contraceptive
device and have
- Missed your
- Stomach cramps
that something isn't quite normal, then you should go out and buy
a home pregnancy test. They can tell you with 99% accuracy whether
you're pregnant or not.
sexual abstinence is 100% effective against both pregnancy and
STDs. Using birth control method(s) can help reduce the risk greatly
but regardless of whether you are using one of the methods or not,
if you believe that you may be pregnant, it's imperative that you
find out as soon as possible so that you'll have all the more time
to think about the choices you'll then have and want you want to
that sex is one of God's most beautiful, powerful and meaningful
gifts. When saved until you're inside a marriage, it's twice as
powerful and fun, too because the emotional attachment and security
marriage brings you makes it even more special. God is not trying
to keep you from having fun by saying you can't have sex until you're
married: instead, He's trying to give you the best gift of all:
the experience of actually becoming a part of another person, while
knowing that the other person "wants" you for more than
just your body.
See also: Sex before Marriage, Risks
of Unprotected Sex.