Contraception Essay, Research Paper
Eng. Writing 101
M W 1 – 2:15
Almost 3,500 years ago, men in Egypt wore condom-like sheaths as attractive and
eye-catching penis covers. By the 18th century, condoms were being made from sheep
intestines. In Victorian England, sexual stimulation was believed to shorten one’s life, so
sex once a month was considered more than enough. In the ancient Middle East, Arabs
placed pebbles in the uteruses of female camels when they set off on long journeys. They
thought that a foreign object in the uterus prevented pregnancy. In today’s society, there
are many types of contraceptives designed to fit our changing lifestyles. Eighty-five
percent of women who don’t use contraceptives during vaginal intercourse become
pregnant each year. The only guarantee against pregnancy is not having intercourse, but if
used correctly the modern methods of contraception can reduce the risk of pregnancy.
Except for abstinence, the male condom, which is made of a tight material that
covers the entire penis, is the safest way to prevent AIDS and STDs. They are also nearly
one-hundred percent effective in preventing pregnancy when used properly and with
spermicide. The failure rate of a condom, when used correctly and by itself, is about two
percent. More often they fail around twelve percent of the time. There are a few different
types of materials that condoms are made of . The most popular are made of latex.
Polyurethane or animal skin are also used. The latex condom is the strongest of the three.
The many kinds of condoms on the market are lubricated, non-lubricated, ribbed, and
lubricated with spermicide. They also come in a wide variety of sizes. All of these can be
purchased at local drug stores, gas stations, grocery stores, health clinics, and many
A more recent type of birth control is the female condom, which is sold in the
United States under the name Reality. It is a polyurethane tube that looks a bit like a big
male condom. One end goes inside the vagina, covering the cervix, and the other rests
outside, which creates a little plastic tunnel. The cost is about three times of a male
condom and some people find it creepy looking. This condom is a good method for those
women whose partners refuse to wear a condom or have trouble sustaining an erection
when they use a condom. It is also good for the females who are sensitive to latex. This
is the only other birth control method besides the male condom that offers STD and HIV
protection. The failure rate is about twenty-six percent, but some test show that it is more
reliable if used consistently and correctly.
The pill is also another commonly used form of birth control. It is a tiny little pill
that should be taken at the same time everyday. If used in the proper manor, they are
almost one-hundred percent effective, but they don’t offer any protection against HIV and
STDs. If the user sometimes forgets to take them, take them at different times everyday
or use antibiotics while on the pill, then they are about ninety percent effective. Some
women experience side effects, such as, painful breasts, weight gain, nausea, headaches,
and depression, while others experience no side effects. There are different varieties of the
Pill so a switch can be made if the user is having problems. One good note for women
with painful periods is that the Pill often makes their time of the month almost cramp-free
and shorter. The Pill may protect against ovarian cancer, but nobody knows the effects of
using daily hormones for a long time. The Pill has also been linked to heart attacks,
strokes, breast cancer, and cervical cancer. The Pill is a little more expensive than either
of the condoms which will cost approximately $200 a year, plus the clinic visit, but all of
this may be covered by insurance or Medicaid.
Another form of contraception is Norplant, which consists of six match-size
capsules that are implanted in the upper arm. Over five years, they slowly release
synthetic progestin. Only about four percent of the woman who use Norplant for the
complete five years get pregnant. The teenagers who use Norplant are less likely to get
pregnant than the ones who use the Pill simply because they forget to take it. Smokers
should avoid using Norplant because it increases the risk of cardiovascular problems. Like
the Pill, it has also been linked the breast cancer About seventy-five percent of the women
who use Norplant have irregular menstration for the first year, and some have serious
spotting in between menstration cycles. This method does not offer STD or HIV
protection. Noplant may be less effective for women who way more than 154 pounds.
The cost ranges from about $345 to $370 for a five year period.
Depo-Provera is another treatment for birth control. This an injection of synthetic
progestin, which seeps into the bloodstream gradually over the next three months. It is
ninety-nine percent effective and research show that it causes fewer health problems than
the Pill. Some women have menstrual irregularities and weight gain, and it may also
increase the risk of breast cancer in younger women. This method does not offer
prevention against STDs and HIV. The cost is normally around $120 a year.
The diaphragm, one of the oldest forms of birth control, is a disk shaped shallow
cup that is filled with spermicidal cream or jelly and is inserted into the vaginal cavity prior
to having sex. It is about ninety-four percent effective if used consistently and correctly.
There are almost no side effects or dangers and it offers some protection against the
gonorrhea and trichomoniasis. It costs around $20 plus the clinic costs.
Finally, Spermicides are great to use with a condom but they are not as safe when
they are used alone. They increase your protection against gonorrhea and chlamydia.
Spermicidal foams and suppositories seem to work better than creams or jellies, which are
usually designed to be used with a diaphragm. When used alone the effectiveness ranges
from 3 to 21 pregnancies per 100 users.
In conclusion, there are many different types of birth control methods in today’s
society. Not all of them are made for every individual out there. It all depends on the
risks and side effects that you want to take. Some are more reliable and healthy while
others are unpredictable and strenuous on the body. The costs can range from 75 cents a
day to $200 a year. Nothing is 100 percent effective against pregnancy, STDs, and HIV,
except for abstinence.