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Loose Cannon
 
The Ultimate Birth Control & Pregnancy Thread

OK, I've had enough of all the threads that start off "We're 17 and fucking like bunnies, but we hate condoms so we don't use them - do you think I'm gonna get her pregnant?". I have thus far resisted the temptation to flame the hell out of everybody who posts one, because this is the Bone Closet and I respect the rules. I have instead channelled my righteous indignation into a constructive means of providing advice and thereby keeping Gen[M]ay's unwanted pregnancy rates down. However, I will allow myself one open-ended flame: those of you who post those threads are all fucking retards. Should anybody post a future thread asking a question that is answered in this thread, I will loudly and abusively remind you of this fact.

So here goes. First, some general points:

SEX IS THE MEANS OF HUMAN PROCREATION.
THE PRODUCTS OF SEX ARE
BABIES.

If you are unable or unwilling to support a child for any reason, whether it be financial, emotional, or because you're 16 and fucking in your parent's basement, you should either not be having sex at all, OR (if you really can't control your primal urges) you should be USING EFFECTIVE BIRTH CONTROL.
YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR THE CONSEQUENCES OF YOUR ACTIONS.
If you cannot take said responsibility seriously, you should not be having sex. Remember that it takes two to tango - guys, that means if you get your girl knocked up, you have to deal with it too, so it's worth your while to take sensible precautions.

OK, rant over: here's the info:

For every available method, I will try to give a brief summary of how it works, the average percentage rate of pregnancy (ARP) while using that method - an ARP is defined as the average number of pregnancies among women using nothing but the method in question FOR ONE YEAR. That is, if you have sex for one year on this method, the ARP is the percentage chance of you getting pregnant.

FDA published ARPs(1997, so no coverage of patch or ring)
FDA Guide to choices(1997 again)

I'll try to give some of the most obvious pros and cons in terms of how it affects your sex life on the front line. More in depth info about precise mechanisms of action can be found by , on the leaflets that come with the packaging of the birth control product, by talking to your pharmacist/doctor/family planning nurse or taking night classes in pharmacology.

People in committed relationships should sit down and talk about the most appropriate method for them BEFORE they start having sex. To those not in committed relationships, I would recommend condoms, since they are the only method to offer reliable protection against STDs. To everybody, I would seriously recommend considering a combination of contraceptive methods in order to increase effectiveness.

Implants (Norplant and Implanon) ARP 0.09%
An implant inserted just below the skin to slowly release hormones which inhibit both ovulation and the ability of the uterine lining to accept a fertilised ovum. New prescriptions use Implanon. Norplant is no longer available for new prescriptions but those already on Norplant can continue to use it.
Pro: Visit your doctor, get it implanted and you're set for however long your implant lasts for (variable at request).
Con: Can take a year or two for fertility levels to return to normal, so if you decide to start a family, it won't happen immediately. No protection against sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).
Norplant Information
UKFPA Implanon factsheet
Implanon official site

"The Shot" (Depo-Provera) ARP 0.3%
An injection of the same progestins that make up Norplant.
Pro: visit your doctor, get a shot and you're good for three months.
Con: Can cause irregular menstruation at first, usually settling down after two to three months, also sometimes nausea, headache, breast tenderness and weight gain. Very rarely can cause depression. Increased susceptibility to osteoporosis. No protection against STDs.
Depo-Provera

"The Pill" ARP 5%
(It should be pointed out, however, that at least 3% of the pregnancy rate is believed to be caused by human error, ie. forgetting to take the pill, etc.)
Two types available, both with roughly the same ARP. The progestin only pill fools the body into thinking it is already pregnant, making the uterus less able to accept a fertilised ovum. It also thickens the cervical mucus, reducing the chances of sperm ever reaching an ovum. The combined oral contraceptive contains progestin and oestrogen, so has the same effects as the progestin only pill and additionally suppresses ovulation.
Pro: Makes menstruation more regular and (for most women) less painful. If you are regular about taking the pill, it is still one of the most effective, convenient and painless methods available. As an added bonus for teenagers, there is anecdotal evidence that most pill formulations help reduce acne.
Con: YOU HAVE TO REMEMBER TO TAKE THE PILL! For those of you with short attention spans, this may prove difficult. Offers no protection from STDs. Prescription only.
The Pill

Ortho-Evra ("The Patch") ARP approx 2%
An elastoplast that secretes through the skin the same oestrogen and progestin hormones used in the combination pill. On the market for less than 18 months, so no significant statistical data is available, but in theory its efficacy should be similar to that of the pill minus the human error factor, since there's no daily action required. One patch lasts for a week, she wears it three weeks on and then one week (menstruation) off.
Pro: Nothing to remember daily, just weekly. Most of the same benefits as the combo pill with reduced likelihood of human error. Remains effective regardless of bathing, etc.
Con: The most common side-effects reported during clinical trials were breast discomfort, headache, application site reaction, nausea, upper respiratory infection, menstrual cramps, abdominal pain, nausea and/or vomiting, and mood swings. The patch is less effective for women over 198 lbs. No protection from STDs. More exact data will probably not be available until the Patch has been on the market for another year or so. Prescription only.
Ortho-Evra

Nuva-Ring ARP approx 1%
A soft flexible ring, approx two inches in diameter, inserted into the vagina, impregnated with the same oestrogen and progestin hormones used in the combo pill. Worn for three weeks continuously then discarded. A new ring is then inserted after a week's break. Same mechanism of hormonal action as pill and patch. Like th Patch, a recent release on the market, so the statistical data is not yet significant.
Pro: Unlike diaphragm, etc. exact positioning is not necessary. Same benefits as the pill with greatly reduced likelihood of human error.
Con: A very small percentage of women report discomfort caused by having a foreign object in the vagina. The ring CAN slip out (rarely) and if out for three hours or more, full protection against pregnancy is not regained until a week of continuous use has passed. Common side effects include yeast infection, vaginal discharge or irritation, upper respiratory tract infection, sinus infection, weight gain, and nausea. More exact data will probably not be available until the Ring has been on the market for another year or so. No protection against STDs.
Nuva Ring
Hi-Res Photo of Nuva Ring - link courtesy of ShoelessOne. Thanks!

Intrauterine Device (IUD) ARP 1-2%
A T-shaped device inserted into the uterus, usually made of copper and sometimes impregnated (no pun intended) with progestin. Works by introducing a foreign object in the uterine environment which causes the body to reject embryos. One of the lowest failure rates of all methods.
Pro: Extremely long term. The Copper-T device can be left in place for up to 10 years.
Con: Has been associated with pelvic infections and inferitility. Modern IUDs have solved most of these problems. No protection against STDs.
Paragard Copper T380A

Male Condom ARP 14%
Barrier method, covers penis, usually coated with spermicide (but also available without), so most sperm die and those that don't (in theory) never reach the ovum anyway.
Pro: Best available protection against STDs. If you are sexually active OUTSIDE of a committed relationship, this is by far your best choice.
Con: Can be bad for spontaneity ("hang on, I know I've got a condom here somewhere"), but if you build the putting on of the condom into foreplay, this is actually a bonus. Reduces sensation for both parties, but thin condoms are available. Condoms can break. Also, if either of you have a latex or spermicide allergy, then investigate polyurethane condoms or non-spermicide-coated condoms - the last thing you want is an allergic reaction down there
Durex
Trojan
Mates Condoms (UK)

Female Condom ARP 21%
Barrier method, inserted into vagina before sex. Usually spermicide-coated.
Pro: Protection against STDs.
Con: Even worse than male condom for loss of sensation and interruption of spontaneity. It is also possible for the man to "miss" the condom on entry, pushing the condom to the side of the vagina, thereby rendering it totally ineffective.
Female Condoms

Vaginal sponge ARP 20% unless you've already had children, in which case it rises to 40%.
Sponge soaked in spermicide (usually nonoxynol-9) inserted into the vagina before sex and left in place for up to 12 hours afterwards.
Pro: Not many. Only really effective as a redundant secondary method.
Con: Associated with risk of Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS). Inappropriate for spermicide allergy sufferers. No protection against STDs.

Cervical Cap/Diaphragm ARP 20% unless you've already had children, in which case it rises to 40%.
Flexible rubber cap to cover the neck of the womb, acting as a barrier to sperm entry. Usually coated in spermicide.
Pro: Allows repeated sexual activity in short spans of time without the need to worry about renewing the contraceptive.
Con: Associated with HIGH risk of TSS following prolonged use. Can cause foul odours and/or vaginal discharge. No protection against STDs.

Vaginal Spermicide ARP 26%
Spermicide inserted in to the vagina before sex as a foam, suppository, film or gel (most commonly Nonoxynol-9). In theory kills all sperm in the vagina before they can fertilise an ovum.
Pro: Perfect use ARP is as low as 5%. Available cheaply without presecription. Foams and gels provide additional lubrication.
Con:Messy! Must wait a few minutes after insertion before intercourse, so could be bad for spontaneity. Vaginal douching post-intercourse not recommended for at least 30 min, so not good if you like to feel clean immediately afterwards. New dose of spermicide needed for each act of intercourse, even in short space of time. Some spermicides can irritate vaginal lining. No protection against STDs.
http://health.yahoo.com/health/drug/202531/overview

Withdrawal ARP 19%
Taking it out before he spurts.
Pro: Full sensation.
Con: Sperm is present in low concentrations in the penile discharges long before orgasm, making this method about as effective as crossing your fingers. Ultimately unsatisfying, since you deprive yourselves of the opportunity to climax together. No protection against STDs.

Rhythm method ARP 25%
Monitoring of the woman's temperature fluctuations, period timings, and other biological observations to determine when she is at her most fertile - you then avoid having unprotected sex at these times.
Pro: Full sensation, except when she's ovulating.
Con: Sperm can survive for up to 36 hours in the uterus - so if she ovulates within 36 hours of your last sexual activity, the risk of pregnancy is high. No protection against STDs.
Rhythm Method

No contraception ARP 85%.

IMPORTANT: EMERGENCY CONTRACEPTION
If you make a mistake, you should seek emergency contraception. If you think there is a risk you might become pregnant because, say, the condom broke, take it just in case. It's usually available from most pharmacists confidentially. I would DEFINITELY NOT recommend using it as a means of regular contraception - it is an emergency measure only.

The morning after pill is essentially a very high dose of the same hormones found in regular contraceptive pills. It is most effective when taken within 72 hours (3 days) of a SINGLE act of unprotected sex, and various sources quote its effectiveness to be between 75% and 89% for preventing pregnancy in such cases. Its efficacy has been shown to extend to 120 hours (5 days) after a single act of unprotected intercourse, with a rapid decline after that period.

Where to get it?
USA:
1-800-230-PLAN (7526) for a Planned Parenthood
or 1-888-NOT-2-LATE (668-2528) for a list of your local EC providers.
or 1-800-994-WOMAN (9662)
EC-Help
www.getthepill.com

UK:
UK Family Planning Authority Phone 0845 310 1334, or 0141 576 5088 in Scotland, or 028 90 325 488 (Belfast)
or 028 71 260 016 (Derry) in Northern Ireland.
Also, you could try NHS walk-in centres or phone NHS Direct on 0845 46 47.

Worldwide:
http://www.not-2-late.com/
http://ec.princeton.edu/ (same site, in case forwarding is broken)
Consortium for Emergency Contraception
In France
In Germany
NorLevo(Spanish)
TN Relaciones (Spanish) Having difficulty finding a Spanish site with details on how to actually obtain the pill. Will keep looking.

Info:
USA National Women's Health Info Center
Advocates for Youth

You get the idea. is your friend

Personal experience: I've had one pregnancy scare: my girlfriend and I had sex and the following morning she took her pill, but vomited half an hour later (she had pericarditis and the painkillers hadn't kicked in) - she took the morning after pill and everything was fine.

OK, I'm done. I spent hours researching and typing this, so show some appreciation by not posting another "what birth control method should we use" or "help my gf might be pregnant" thread. Ever.

Various further resources:
***FDA Information site***

Planned Parenthood Federation of America
Contraception Online
Epigee
Cool Nurse
Emedicine
Family doctor
Brook Clinic network (UK) - very good site for young people looking for contraception advice.

And for interest:
History of Contraception

edit: BTW, feel free to PM me if you notice any glaring errors/omissions/broken links, if you want further information or if you want to discuss any of this.


----------------------------------------------------------------------------


Contributed by SlickChicFallen
I've seen too many threads lately about "I think I got my gf pregnant" or "I think I'm pregnant", so I've decided to give a helping hand. I've done some research about pregnancy from sites like www.webmd.com and others (see bottom of thread for more).

Here are many of the common signs of pregnancy, AND other problems/illnesses that could be associated with these signs:

1) a missed period (DUH): this may take several weeks to know whether your period is just late or if you've missed it completely; and you won't have another period until after the child is born
-could also be a result of tension, stress, changes in birth control (pills or injections), excessive gain/loss of weight, fatigue

2) constant tiredness or fatigue: its a result of the pregnancy hormones pumping through your body, usually appears 1-6 weeks after conception
-could also be a result of tension, stress, depression, poor diet, flu, lack of exercist, poor sleep, or lack of sleep

3) Nausea or Queasyness: "morning sickness", though it can occur anytime during the day or night; again, as a result of those happy pregnancy hormones, usually occurs 2-8 weeks after conception
-could also be a result of food poisoning, tension, infection, gall bladder problems, flu, or other problems

4) frequent need to pee: especially as the baby grows, your bladder is pushed down upon and you need to pee more and more frequently; its also a result of those happy pregnancy hormones, usually occurs 6-8 weeks after conception
-could also be a result of urinary tract infections, drinking diuretics (things that dehydrate you, sodas for example), tension, diabetes, or drinking of excess fluids

5) painful breasts: sore/swollen, like one would get right before their period, except worse; usually occurs 1-2 weeks after conception
-could also be a result of bodily adjustments to birth control pills, begining of your period, or fibrocystic breast conditions

6) darkening of the nipple: breasts are for breast feeding, so they're gonna go through some changes; usually begining 1-14 weeks after conception
-could also be a result of a hormonal imbalance (birth control pills or other)

7) bleeding or "spotting": blood is usually pink or brown, its a result of the egg implanting; occurs about a week or so after ovulation
-could also be a result of the begining of your period, or body adjustments to starting some method of birth control

8) backaches/headaches: can start within a few days of conception
-could also be a result of dehydration, caffine withdrawl, back problems, mental stains, eye strain, or other problems.

9) food cravings: usually last the entire pregnancy, but specifically in the first trimester
-could also be a result of poor diet, stress, depression, or imminent menstration

10) mood swings: results from the sudden change in hormones
-could also be a result of hormone level changes from starting/stopping birth control, PMS, or other new medications

11) increased vaginal discharge: could be a change in the amount, to consistency, to color
-could also be a result of yeast or other vaginal infections, or imminent menstration


Please be aware that if you think you, or someone you love, is pregnant, keep yourself or them calm. Stress can change how your body functions to lead you to believe that you have symptoms of pregnancy that might not actually be there.

The only way you can be sure is to take a pregnancy test. These tests range from urination tests, to ultrasound, to physical examinations, to blood tests. You can go to your normal doctor or health care provider, or you can go to a variety of planned parenthood clinics. These tests can detect pregnancy as soon as days after conception.


www.webmd.com
www.babyzone.com
http://www.umm.edu/pregnancy/beforep...pregsigns.html
http://pregnancy.about.com
http://health.yahoo.com
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Last edited by Loose Cannon; 06-14-2005 at 04:14 AM..
Old 10-15-2004, 04:33 AM Loose Cannon is offline  
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Spoonie
 
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Good work, champ.
Old 10-15-2004, 04:46 AM Spoonie is offline  
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Loose Cannon
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spoonie
Good work, champ.

Thanks. the number of res on here who shouldn't be breeding finally got to me.
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Old 10-15-2004, 04:47 AM Loose Cannon is offline  
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ruffz
 
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it would be a shame if you did all that work to be denied a sticky
Old 10-15-2004, 05:31 AM ruffz is offline  
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Arjuna
 
Fucking solid man - I've been waiting for someone to throw up a "contraception FAQ" of sorts. Job well done.

I'm not trying to rain on your parade but I have some additional info/discrepancies (I work with all this stuff on a daily basis), so in the interest of getting all the information out there, here we go:

Norplant: Norplant has been discontinued in many countries due claims that its effectiveness rapidly decreases in the later years of its "effective period" - so women are expecting it to last 6-7 years but it actually staying effective for only 4-5. Doesn't happen in all women, but enough. There can also be scarring issues when removing the implants.

Pill: some studies have found that "typical use" ARP is closer to 9-10%. FDA still publishes the 5% number on both the progestin-only and combo pills. The better you are at taking it (same time, every day, no missing days) the better. Perfect use puts it at about 0.1-0.5%, depending on the pill.

A note while we're here: Ortho Evra (the patch) and the Nuva Ring (the ring) went on the market two years ago. Both work the exact same as combo birth contol pills, with the advantage of not having to remember to take one every day. Thus, the perfect use ARP is no different than BC pills, but its typical use ARP should be lower than BC pill typical use because there is less to screw up. Anyway, if you are on the patch, you wear one every week for three weeks and then take a week off. Ring: one ring lasts for all three weeks then you take it out for a week and put a new one in (insertion into the vagina...it sits by the cervix and just hangs out).

Male condoms: I've never seen any literature stating that spermidical condoms and nonspermicidal condoms have any difference in effectiveness. In fact, there is new stuff coming out about nonoxynol-9 irritating vaginal/anal lining, making blood-blood contact more likely and thus STD transmission more probable, should the condom break. There isn't much spermicide on the condom (and spermicide is not very effective even in high amounts - 26% ARP on its own), so if there is a failure it isn't going to make a dent in the swimmer count. Good lubrication to prevent breakage in the first place will go much further than using a spermicidal condom. Failure rates for both run about 14%, typical use.

Also, there are male condom options for those allergic to latex: polyurethane condoms are sold just about everywhere, but they are associated with a slightly higher breakage rate. They are believed to stop as much STD transmission as latex condoms when they do work properly. There are also lambskin condoms, which have pores too large to block viruses (i.e. HIV), so they are solely contraceptive barriers. Not sure on their breakage/failure rates.

Female condom: a note on loss of spontaneity - female condoms (and cervical caps) can be put into place up to 12 hours before sex and are effective. So you can conceivably put it in before going out for the night. Not being a female, I have no idea if there are comfort issues involved. Cervical caps are also often reusable.

Morning after pill: Most effective within 72 hours, like you said (86% effective at the 72nd hour in preventing pregnancy, around 95% when taken immediately). It is now prescribed for up to 120 hours (5 days), effectiveness probably around 70-75% and dropping rapidly by that fifth day.

IUDs can also be inserted in a morning-after situation (effective up to 7 days for preventing pregnancy following unprotected sex) and are 99.9% effective in this task.

Planned Parenthood is real good about getting people access to emergency contraception.


Anyways, good stuff man, I like the thread. Sticky if possible.

Last edited by Arjuna; 10-15-2004 at 12:18 PM..
Old 10-15-2004, 05:40 AM Arjuna is offline  
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Loose Cannon
 
Thanks for feedback Arjuna. Obviously, I've done my best, but it's difficult to cover everything, so additions/corrections are most welcome.
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Old 10-15-2004, 05:47 AM Loose Cannon is offline  
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Arjuna
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Loose Cannon
Thanks for feedback Arjuna. Obviously, I've done my best, but it's difficult to cover everything, so additions/corrections are most welcome.


No problem - its taken me years to get all the little details here and there. Lot of stuff out there on this. GJ
Old 10-15-2004, 05:52 AM Arjuna is offline  
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kevets
 
I love you.

EDIT: no not in that way / not that there's anything wrong with that

edit 2: sticky-worthy!
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Old 10-15-2004, 07:14 AM kevets is offline  
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humbabba
 
The info is nice, the preachy attitude is going to turn off your intended audience. Nice try though, chief.
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Old 10-15-2004, 07:17 AM humbabba is offline  
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Scrotum
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good thread. will read again
Old 10-15-2004, 07:35 AM Scrotum is offline  
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Vigilante
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You are God. I am getting fed up with all the BC threads as well. I don't mind the "What's the side-effects of <insert brand name here>?" but the "Hep my gf is pregnant I'm only 12!" threads are just begging to get char-broiled.
Old 10-15-2004, 07:42 AM Vigilante is offline  
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Threshold
 
if you dont want to get pregnant, just have anal sex
Old 10-15-2004, 07:57 AM Threshold is offline  
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Loose Cannon
 
Quote:
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if you dont want to get pregnant, just have anal sex

Nice post, moron. Gen[M]ay is five forums up. You seem to have gotten lost
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Old 10-15-2004, 08:39 AM Loose Cannon is offline  
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kevets
 
It's technically a truth statement... but unfortunately it may not an option in all relationships.

lol i'm picturing it added into your list as an option - anal sex - ARP 0% - pros: no chance of pregnancy, etc, etc, / cons: not every girl will do it, etc, etc,

bump anyway for a useful thread. maybe as time goes on links detailing each option would be added for lazy bastards like myself.
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Kruzen
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holy shit i thought free_willy was making bone closet threads for a minute




great thread :thumbsup:
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