Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Contraception - 1

This will not be a single post but a series of post about Measures of contraception & the sensible use of various Contraceptive measures available.

Contraception is simply referred to as any method by which a woman doesn't get pregnant while still being sexually active.

Methods of contraception are divided into
                                  - Reversible (woman can conceive soon after they stop using the method) 
                                  - Irreversible/Permanent (inability to conceive once the method has been used)

Reversible Methods can be of Various Types like Barrier methods (e.g. condoms), Hormonal (Oral Contraceptive Pills), Mechanical (Intrauterine devices like Cu-T).

Today's post will be focused on Barrier Methods.

Barrier Methods - As the name suggests, act as a barrier in preventing the egg & the sperm to meet thereby preventing Pregnancy from taking place.

The commonest Barrier protection method in use these days is the Male Condom (& yes female condoms do come, but they are very expensive, cumbersome to use & at times uncomfortable). 

Male condoms are the easily available, cheap,easy to use, safe & disposable contraceptive devices.
The added advantage of Condoms is that they prevent transmission of STD's & HIV infection.

But a few Things need to be kept in mind while using a condom. For that it's essential to understand that Condom is like a glove that covers the penis & the ejaculate containing sperm is collected in this glove thereby preventing it from spilling into vagina. For the Condom to function efficiently it is therefore essential that the condom is of right size, good quality and covers the penis completely, has space to collect the ejaculate & is intact to prevent the ejaculate from spilling accidentally & beating the purpose of the device.

Check-list before using a Condom -
- Press the tip of the Condom to remove air if any in the condom
- Before using just pour a gentle stream of normal water in it to check there is no leak.
- While removing after coitus make sure that there is no spilling of the ejaculate in vagina & also check the condom for any tear that might have happened during the act.
- In case of tear / leak in condom please make sure to I for your partner and get them to Consult a Obgy specialist.
- It increases the efficacy of condom if the female uses a spermicidal jelly, but this should be done in consultation with your OBGY specialist.

Using condom has no effect on the sensation of the sexually act as is commonly believed.
Also the latest condoms are free of the allergic reactions that sometimes used to occur with latex condoms.

But more important than knowing all this is Acting "Responsibly". It is very Important for sexually active Men & Women (of any age group) to "SAY NO TO UNSAFE/ UNPROTECTED SEX".
U should insist that your partner use a Condom while having sex, because AIDS/ STD's do not have any sexually preferences. They affect both the sexes & AIDS kills both men & women equally. If the partner has any reservations get him to talk to a doctor but donot give in to "Unprotected Sex" in any case.

Also, getting accidentally pregnant due to unprotected Sex, not only leads to emotional problems, apart from the toll repeated pregnancies & abortions to get rid of unwanted pregnancies take on the body of women.

I have seen countless patients go through the mental & physical trauma of the effects of such irresponsible acts, at times even leading to deaths.

I once had a patient, a young girl who got infected with HIV because she had had unprotected sex only once with her boyfriend because he refused to use Condom even when she Insisted, both being unaware that her Boyfriend was HIV +ve. There are many such stories that we as doctors come across daily, Incidents which ruin families & individuals.


I'll wrap up this post with this bit of Caution. We live in the age of Information, the motto of which is "if it's a question, it can be googled". But what can't be googled IS how to use that information correctly, this especially applies to Medical Information. The Information that is available online is what We doctors read all our lives in our books, but the reason why we have to slog 8-10 yrs of our lives becoming worthy consultants is so that we can decide which information is worth using for the welfare of our patients & which is not. My point is don't get swayed by the flood of information, at times too much information can kill.


Dr.Dheep said...

As usual, a timely post. An estimated 2.31 million people live with HIV in India & 6.7 million women undergo abortions annually in India. Just adding a few clarifications... With the commercially available condoms, there is no need to fill water to check for leaks. Also to keep in mind is that the Condom has to be worn before penetration before the penis touches the female genitalia. The reason being prostratic fluid (pre-cum)also can contain sperms. Awaiting the rest of the series. Keep up the good work.

meeta said...

Thanks for the information that u have added doc :)

Surubhi said...

Well done Meeta....this is clear and easy to understand. As you so rightly said we have a lot of information on hand these days but don't know the correct way of using it and this is one way we can spread the word to the kids today who really don't have anyone older to ask. Am so proud of you darling :)