Birth Control & The Clitoris
Right, so sex education at all levels is seriously lacking. I could go on and on about how little is taught about the clitoris, but instead, I would like to first show this image:
That yellow thing is the clitoris. LIKE, WHOA! This image was not discovered until 2009 and will lead you to this http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/08/28/cliteracy_n_3823983.html about Cliteracy. Yes, Cliteracy! I wanted to thoroughly discuss the clitoris, but this totally encapsulates everything I wanted to say – and does so artistically! Now that we’ve firmly established that the clitoris is huge (i.e. bigger than the average penis size), we should be dealing with all of its glory! And today, I found a great article with tips on how to do this from Men’s Health magazine: http://www.menshealth.com/sex-women/sex-tips-clitoral-stimulation
Looking at another aspect of sex education, let’s take a look at numerous kinds of birth control and what they can do to/for your body. Before I begin I would like to clarify: the only way to get pregnant is when sperm enters the vagina. So, a lot of this info comes from Planned Parenthood and personal experience. Please note that there are 5 for males and 12 for females, 11 of which are internal and/or invasive. Oh, the joys!
First: FOR PENIS OWNERS. External Condom: invented in Poland, the penis condom is most often a sheath of latex rolled over the penis that keeps sperm from going anywhere but around the penis. A guy I dated referred to it as such: imagine a bag over your head, and then you barf; what a visual! Evidently, condoms are not the most comfortable, but they’re 97% effective. Be sure to hold on to the base of the condom when pulling out so as not to allow sperm to enter the vagina. This is also the only method of birth control that significantly reduces STIs, or Sexually Transmitted Infections. RISUG (reversible inhibition of sperm under guidance): Now, personally, this is the best kind of birth control because it a) lasts for 10 years, b) is completely reversible and c) is 100% effective!!! 100%. It’s not yet available outside of India, but seriously, we should be ALL OVER THIS. Here’s a link to a great Wired article all about it: http://www.wired.com/magazine/2011/04/ff_vasectomy/ Vasectomy: cut the vas deferens, tie the vas deferens, shove ‘em back in the scrotum. This is irreversible and there can be complications. When people say “get ‘em snipped” they’re really not kidding. Spermicidal lubricant: it’s a lubricant that kills the sperm. It can be placed on the penis as well as inside the vagina to kill the sperm and make penetration easier. Abstinence: don’t have vaginal intercourse
FOR VULVA OWNERS – lotsa options here, lpals. Cause, of course, why on earth would we do things easily and externally? Naw, let’s do all kinds of crazy things to the vagina, uterus, and our blood instead.
Internal Condom: a cylindrical soft plastic device inserted into the vagina instead of on the penis. Costs ~$4, and is good for one use. The second and only other method of birth control that can significantly reduce STIs. So, condoms help against getting infections. The Pill: a daily pill that must be taken at the same time. This is somewhat expensive ($15-50/month), but most are 92-98% effective. There are a tonne of options, all with slightly different side effects depending on your body. Some benefits include: less painful cramps and reduced acne. These reasons are good ways to get your parents to pay for it when you’re 16 or so. Having sex? Of course not – I need it for my acne! 😉 I am not encouraging anyone to lie to parents, simply saying that if you’re not ready to tell someone you want to have sex soon, there can be other reasons to pump your body full of hormones. Morning After Pill: a pill that disrupts ovulation so that the egg cannot implant in the uterus. Head to a clinic for a prescription for a pill that could make you incredibly sick for 24ish hours, and it must be taken within 72 hours of the suspected pregnancy sex. Make note: it becomes less effective the longer you wait. IUD (Intra Uterine Device): A small T made of copper, which repels sperm, or plastic with spermicide inserted into the uterus. The copper IUD lasts 5 years and is the #1 method used by Canadian doctors for themselves. It costs ~$300, so it’s cheaper than other forms of birth control, and is 99% effective. The cervix is opened up to 10cm to allow insertion and it feels like your butt is going to fall off. Good prep for when a baby is gonna come out though, eh?
IUS (Intra Uterine System): A small T made of plastic that slowly releases progestin, making the uterus inhospitable aka it thins the lining of the uterus so that an egg cannot implant and it thickens cervical mucus so it’s harder for sperm to get through. Patch: similar to a smoking patch, the patch sticks to the skin and releases the same hormones the pill does (estrogen and progestin) to keep eggs from leaving the ovaries. It needs to be changed once/month, to allow for the period to take place, and costs $15-$80/month. The patch is less effective if you weigh more than 198 pounds, or 90 kg. Ring: a soft, plastic, hormone ring inserted into the vagina each month for 3 weeks. Typically doctors give out 3 at a time for $15-$80 each, and they must be kept refrigerated until used. They can barely be felt, but you need to remember to take it out for menses. If used properly, it is 99% effective. Spermicidal lubricant: it’s a lubricant that stops sperm from moving. It can be placed on the penis as well as inside the vagina to kill the sperm and make things wetter. Sponge: a foam sponge inserted into the vagina, it presses up against the cervix and blocks sperm from entering while also releasing a spermicide. You get 3 sponges in a packet costing $9-15. It is 88-91% effective for those who have never given birth, and way less for those who have. One sponge can be worn for up to 30 hours: up to 24 hours before sex, and at least 6 hours after. Shot: releases progestin, lasts for 3 months, costs $35-$100/shot. Diaphragm: a silicone cup inserted into the vagina, lasting up to two years. It blocks the entrance to the uterus and must be used with a spermicide. It is 86% effective and costs $15-$75. Implant: a small rod inserted into the arm, releasing progestin. It lasts 3 years, costs $400-800, and works by preventing eggs from leaving the ovaries. Cervical cap: a silicone cup inserted into the vagina, lasting up to two years. It blocks the entrance to the uterus and contains a spermicide. It is 86% effective and costs $60-$75. Abstinence: don’t have vaginal intercourse
So, moral of the story: THERE ARE LOTS OF OPTIONS! Not very many are external, and it’s up to you which method(s) you’re going to use and discuss. Be sure to talk with your doctor about your options, and DEFINITELY discuss birth control with your partner(s). It’s perfectly acceptable to ask: are you on birth control? Do you have any with you? Personally, I’m concerned if the question isn’t posed. And check out this link about the economics of birth control usage! http://www.populationaction.org/blog/2013/11/12/womenomics-101/
And another thought: if most of these are not letting eggs into the uterus, does that mean there are still a bunch of eggs when the decision is made to go off birth control? What if one continues to use birth control until menopause? There’s all this talk about eggs dying and how there are only a certain number … are we cheating nature by not letting the eggs drop, so to speak? I’m postulating questions but have yet to actually look into this. These are good things to think about!
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