Simply put, birth control involves different techniques and ways to prevent pregnancy. A 2015 survey showed that there were approximately 15.6 million abortions in India alone. This clearly indicates a need for contraception in our society and increased awareness of the same.
LONG-ACTING REVERSIBLE CONTRACEPTIVES (LARC)
LARC options are often more effective, safe and user friendly.
Some LARC options include
- Contraceptive jab- The contraceptive injection is given intramuscularly once in three months.
- Intrauterine Device (IUD) such as MIRENA or Copper T. These are emergency contraception used within five days of unprotected sexual intercourse. MIRENA, for example, releases the hormone progestin, which thickens the cervix’s mucus layer, preventing the sperm from fertilising the egg. IUDs usually need replacement once every five and ten years, respectively.
- Contraceptive Implant- a small flexible rod is placed under the skin of the upper arm. This releases progestogen in the blood, which lasts for three years, thereby preventing pregnancy in that period.
The effectiveness of these methods and products is almost 99.9 per cent, which means they have a better profile and efficacy than contraceptive pills and barrier methods (such as condoms, diaphragm, etc.)
With LARC contraception, women have more freedom and no added stress to remember taking the birth pill every day. This, in a way, gives them autonomy and a well-defined means of family planning for many. As the name suggests, LARC is long-acting, i.e., prolonged. However, the same can be reversed based on the woman’s or the couple’s choice.
The side effects are pretty minimal, but one common reaction is an irregular bleeding pattern in women. There are no other significant effects on a woman’s fertility in the future.
OTHER OPTIONS AVAILABLE:
A few of the other contraception methods are combined oral contraceptives or progesterone-only pills. These are effective too if consumed mindfully and properly without a miss.
More permanent contraception includes tubal ligation for women and vasectomy for men. These are irreversible, and one should only contemplate the same after giving it a proper thought about family planning. Some other urgent contraception comes in the form of a 72-hour pill. But, such medications should only be reserved for sudden emergency purposes and not routinely used for regular contraception.
-Dr. Sagarika Basu,obstetrics and gynecologist at Fortis Hospital Anandapur, Kolkata