Are there better ways that are shared? Or reasonable compromises?

With most, we still leave ourselves open to STIs at least, and most come with unwanted significant health risks, short or long-term. 

Why are we taking all the risks?

Is society giving us an “informed choice”?

Whilst access to safe, effective and informed contraceptive advice (of all sorts) should be available as a right to all, it should not be the first line of treatment where contraception is not the aim, particularly in pre-teens and teens where it is the case too often. The price is paid forward, not in a good way. 

Whilst pharmaceutical intervention to balance hormones does not fix anything, merely masking and potentially temporarily reducing symptoms, there are natural and safe options for balancing hormones and correcting skin conditions. These, without dispute, are often not a quick fix and may take longer to take effect; however, they are more balancing without the nasty side effects.

Two of the most common forms of pharmaceutical contraception prescribed in this age bracket are Yasmin (OCP), known for being a significant contributor to Depression, and DMPA (injectable contraceptive depot), which research links to a close association with a substantial decrease in bone density in conjunction with acne, headaches, bloating and weight gain.

In terms of the more natural methods, whilst the side effects are low, they are not the more commonly prescribed or considered. They do, of course, for the most part, leave us still open to STIs, UTIs and unwanted pregnancies. More modern contraception methods/interventions were sold to us as the best option for women to take control of their health. Who has control?

Let’s look at what we sign up for and allow ourselves to make an informed choice:

Type of Contraception:  None provide protection against STI’s with exception of condomsSide Effects – short term  Side effects – Long term
Physical Barrier type:  Diaphragm, condoms, Cervical cap, FAMRisks of STI’s, UTI’s, unwanted pregnancy   
OCP’sCOCP combined.Breakthrough bleed, nausea, headaches, breast tenderness; suppresses ovulationHormonal imbalance: Depression; Increased risk of stroke, heart attacks, thromboembolisms, DVT
POP progestin only  Breakthrough bleed: risk of pregnancy if not taken at correct time; suppresses ovulationHormonal imbalance, especially androgenic effects;
Implants and InjectionsImplanonBreak through bleeding; problems with removalHormonal imbalance
DMPA- Provera, Depo-ProveraMenstrual cycle thrown out of whack initially; acne, headaches, bloating and weight gainHormonal Imbalance; Low bone density; Weight gain; amenorrhea,
NuvaRingBreakthrough bleed, nausea, headaches, breast tenderness, vaginal discharge and painHormonal imbalance
Ortho EvraBreakthrough bleed, nausea, headaches, breast tendernessHormonal imbalance
Norplant (banned in some countries)High side effect rate; breakthrough bleed and headachesHormonal imbalance
Chemical BarrierVaginal SpermicideGreater risk of HIV infection as spermicide affects vaginal surface integrity 

What is your best cost:benefit option …. Is it time to discuss a compromise?