Your Best Bet For Birth Control: Patch it with a patch, catch with a condom or kill it with spermacide?

We always try anything to get women to remember to plan each pregnancy be safe against STDs and to minimize the side effects while maximizing the non-contraceptive benefits of your method. So what do you choose? Contraception patch? Condoms to snare the sperm? Or just Spermicides to kill off the sperm? Which is the best contraception for you? Some might just question which is most effective? We are constantly trying to improve the pill. Side effect profiles can improve, But effectiveness improve it over 99% effective rates?

My industrial engineering colleges say that if you have something that is 99% effective for the job it is supposed to do, that is not what you typically look to replace. And in fact, in spite of the removal of 98% of the hormone dose since the initial formulation of the oral contraceptive pill, perfect use effectiveness of the pill remains at about 99% with perfect use and ovulation rates are low.

Yet the United States still has the highest rates of unplanned pregnancy in the industrialized world. For almost three decades the unplanned pregnancy rates remain stuck at about ½ of all conceptions yearly. More alternatives are still needed, because typical use of contraception doesn’t offer us the 99% success. We just have too much about the whole process that just doesn't seem to work out for us. For instance with the steroid hormones in most birth control pills and patches women may have small amounts of salt retention and actually increased blood volume that will make women a bit heavier and feel a bit more bloated. And then there is cost, a new study published on line does show that free contraception reduces unwanted pregnancies in teens, which translates into fewer pregnancy terminations.

Not that the makers of contraceptive steroids haven’t tried lots of ways to improve the pills that are available.  Actually there’s a spearmint version of the pill you can chew. (By the way take it with a full glass of water if you decide to swallow). But keeping it available may be more of an issue than you think. In 1965, a mere 40 years ago 30 states had laws prohibiting or restricting the sales and or use of contraceptives. So support the research, plan your sex and remember, there are choices: patch it, catch it or kill it...but only let that sperm through if you really want to conceive!


  1. Here's a great contraception alternative that you don't have to think about every day or every time you have sex (unless you're not in a monogamous relationship and concerned about STDs, of course).
    I'm married, and hope to get pregnant someday, but right not I'm on a lot of medications and need to lose weight and get in better shape. My doctor is worried about the consequences of pregnancy at this point in my life; so at my last check-up, she recommended the NuvaRing, and I love it!
    I've always used the Pill before, and had an awful time taking it regularly, but with the NuvaRing, you only have to think about it once a month when you insert a new one. (I write "NR" on my calendar ahead of time so that I won't forget.) It may seem weird, but it's as simple to insert as a tampon, and it buys you a whole month of worry-free contraception.

  2. NuvaRing is a great alternative too! And studies show that women who want less than q28 day cycles can put the next ring in right after they take one out for cycles that are say 6 weeks long. Going longer than that is likely to produce spotting. I hope more companies come out with rings, and I hope that rings come in generics some day as in our area the biggest block to ring use is actually cost! Thank you for your excellent comments! ST


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