Contraception Essay Examples & Outline
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Contraceptive methods have been there for thousands of years but in the last fifty years the methods of contraception have increased tremendously. Different contraceptions work in different ways. There are hormonal methods like the pill, barrier method like the cervical cap, Intrauterine devices and sterilization. There is also the emergency pill. Most contraceptives work in different ways such as preventing release of the egg, blocking the sperm from reaching the egg , blocking the functioning of the reproductive organs or ensuring the fertilized egg from implantation (Committee on Contraceptive Development 134). A fertile woman who is sexually active has many options to family planning but should bear in mind that no method is 100% effective against sexually transmitted diseases except abstinence from sex.
There are two types of hormonal contraception.
The differences involve the type of hormone contained, the amount of hormone that is used and how that hormone is administered in the woman’s body. The hormone of use is usually progesterone or estrogen and can be taken orally, injected into the skin, implanted in the body, absorbed from a patch or placed in the vagina (Darney 68). How the hormone is delivered determines how effective it is and if the exposure is continuous or not.
All the hormonal methods are very effective and reversible but do not protect against sexually transmitted diseases. The pill is made from synthetic hormones and is one of the most effective barrier methods. It comes in two forms one is the combined form which contains estrogen and progestin, it works by preventing the ovaries from reaching maturity interfering with ovulation. When there is no ovulation there is no egg to be fertilsed. The pill is packed in small caps of either 21 days or 28 days.
The second type is the mini pill; it has only one hormone progestin which works by thickening the cervical mucus preventing the sperm from going through the cervix. It also makes the uterine lining less receptive to an egg that has been fertilized and has to be taken every day. The pill cannot protect against sexually transmitted diseases. The pill needs discipline when taking it for it to be effective (Mastroianni 98).
The mini pill is recommended for women who need to avoid estrogen due to medical reasons such as liver disease and some types of blood clots in the veins. It is also best for nursing mothers since it has no effects on breastfeeding. The pill may lose its effectiveness when taken with drugs like tetracycline. It might also lessen its effects when a woman vomits or diarrhea. Symptoms such as spotting or vaginal bleeding, tender breasts or nausea can be expected within the first three months after use.
Studies show there is no significant weight gain while on the pill contrary to popular belief. Mood swings, pigmented skin, melasma may occur with contraceptives. There is also possibility of amenorrhea which is rare. Using the hormonal pill does not increase possibility of birth defects in babies though a nursing mother should not use combination contraceptives because it can limit the milk and proteins in the milk and the hormone also gets into the breastmilk. Female smokers using pill risk getting a stroke or a heart disease contrary to non smoking females on the pill.
Blood clots are frequent with low dose oral pills but at a low risk as compared to pregnant women. The pill is not for women with clotting tendencies. Female smokers over 35 years should not be using contraceptives. When a woman experiences cramps in the legs, blurred vision or loss and flashing lights, shortness of breath, pain in the abdomen, coughing blood or swelling in the leg, they should contact a doctor immediately (Darney 123). The benefits of taking the pill apart from being highly effective is that it can influence regular menstruation, it can reduce the menstrual flow and cramps.
Researchers have evidence that the pill might protect against pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) and anemia. Combination pill can reduce t acne, cysts in breast and ovaries and ectopic pregnancy, uterine and ovarian cyst. Women on the pill are unlikely to develop rheumatoid arthritis and osteoporosis (Committee on Contraceptive Development 102). The patch is worn on the skin on the low part of the abdomen, buttocks or upper part of the body except the breast. It releases estrogen to the blood. One patch can be used for a week and is not worn during menstruation.
The vaginal ring also releases progestin and estrogen and is worn for about three weeks inside the vagina. It is also taken out during menstruation and a new ring inserted. Emergency contraception is not like the other methods of birth control. It is used after sex if the chosen birth control method fails like a condom burst. The implant also offers a long term protection against and can stay for up to three years and offers no protection from STI’s. It also contains progestin which is released daily and has same effects as the pill. A nurse or a doctor inserts it in the arm and is more effective than the pill due to lack of human error.
Those opposing hormonal contraceptive use usually argue that is not right, is anti life and not natural. They also say it is the same as abortion and separates sex from its intended purpose of reproduction. This is a problem for Muslims and Christians who believe life starts at contraception. They also argue that hormonal contraception has consequences such as health risk because of the side effects it carries and it also raises many questions among the medical fraternity of how it really works because it allows conception to take place and then makes the uterus a hostile place. Hormonal contraceptives do not prevent sexually transmitted diseases and allows people to have multiple sex partners and also unlike barrier methods offers no protection against these diseases (Darney 67).
They say it gives rise to a dangerous contraceptive culture. Those opposing contraception argue that it is against humanity because potential humans are not born and can be used as eugenic. Sometimes types of hormonal contraception are mistaken for population mass control for certain races. There are also beliefs that contraception leads to depopulation. Some form of contraception like pills are prone to human error and therefore might lack to fulfill the intended purpose of preventing pregnancy.
Contraception gives rise to a culture of sexual immorality because it makes it easier for unmarried people to have sex and not have children. It allows people to have sex purely for fun. This makes immoral behavior less risky and undermines public view on morality making it easy for people to cheat on their partners and in the process might weaken family ties.
Committee on Contraceptive Development. Developing New Contraceptives: Obstacles and Opportunities. New York: National Academies Press, 2000. Print.
Darney, Philip D. A Clinical Guide for Contraception. New York: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2010. Print.
Mastroianni, Luigi. Developing New Contraceptives: Obstacles and Opportunities. New York: National Academies, 2000. Print.