Chemical contraception

Chemical Contraception

Chemical contraception is a preventative contraception methods designed to stop pregnancy before it occurs. It works primarily by stopping the release of an egg from the ovary and secondly by thickening the mucus in the cervix which then prevents sperm from entering the uterus.

Chemical contraception is typically administered through topical applications, oral tablets, injections, or implants. They can be purchased over the counter or prescribed by a medical professional.

Types of Chemical Contraceptives

  • Oral Contraceptives (The Pill): Contains both progestin and estrogen hormones. Prevents ovulation and thickens the cervical mucus.
  • Progestin-Only Contraceptives (the Mini-Pill): Contains only progestin which helps to prevent ovulation as well as thickening the cervical mucus.
  • Injectable Contraceptives (Depo-Provera): Progestin-only hormone delivered in a shot that is effective for 3 months.
  • Implantable Contraceptives (Nexplanon): A single rod containing a progestin-only hormone inserted underneath the skin of the upper arm, typically effective for up to 3 years.
  • Intrauterine Contraceptive (IUC): A small, plastic T-shaped device with a copper wire wrapped around it, inserted into the uterus. Effective for up to 10 years.

Benefits of Chemical Contraceptives

  • Long-term protection from pregnancy.
  • Certain chemical contraceptives have also been shown to reduce menstrual cramping and bleeding.
  • Can help to regulate irregular menstrual cycles.
  • May also reduce the risk of certain types of cancers and pelvic inflammatory diseases.

Possible Side Effects of Chemical Contraceptives

  • Headaches, nausea, and breast tenderness.
  • For some people, chemical contraceptives can have a negative impact on their mental health, such as depression, mood swings, or anxiety.
  • Weight gain or loss.
  • In rare cases, some chemical contraceptives can lead to a slightly higher risk of stroke or heart attack.

Final Thoughts

Chemical contraceptives are an effective method of preventing pregnancy if used correctly. It is important to discuss all options with your healthcare provider and decide which one is best for you.