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Monthly Archives: March 2017

Safety Using Condoms

Safe Condoms

Condoms may not offer the greatest and 100 % safety in terms of preventing unwanted pregnancies but there is also a big percentage that it may help in reducing the number of the unwanted pregnancy statistics. These alone would qualify such rubber contraceptives to be labeled as ” condoms”. It would be a smarter move to use the simplest and most affordable means of contraception nowadays which is safe condom. Another aspect of safety in condoms is that these rubber contraceptives are able to help insulate you versus sexually transmitted disease as well as the dreaded AIDS, syphilis and many other sexual diseases.

As a matter of fact, history would tell us that condoms were not actually invented to prevent having a pregnancy but rather to prevent acquiring the various transmissible sexual diseases, such as syphilis. Truly, the condoms of today can be considered as safe condoms knowing the ultimate reason for their invention was due to being safe and protecting people from getting sexual diseases.

Always make it a point that before you use any kind of condom, you first have to check if they are indeed safe condoms? Look by the kind of materials used; whether it was made from latex, lambskin or polyurethane. They are all easily accessible, cheaper and eco-friendly especially if you do not mix them in water or anything fluid. These safe condom have elasticity of about 800% before they would break. While polyurethane is the type of material, made of plastic actually, that would best be kept away if you want to help protect our environment.

Expiry Dates And Safe Condoms

Also, remember that safety condoms are those that are within the expiry dates of manufacture when you use them. Otherwise, the latex material may have undergone degradation and therefore can lead to leakages and spills which of course, are dangerous, as it may lead to unwanted STD s and pregnancies. Other factors that cause the safety condoms to be otherwise include poor storage. Remember to always store your condoms in cool and dry places to ensure using condom at all times. And last of all, exposure to various substances such as oil may also increase the tendencies of your condoms to wear and degrade easily.

Durex Play

Durex condoms are already available in different sizes, textures and flavors. In terms of material, there are now the latex and non-latex for sensitive people. The non-latex condoms are made from a material known as polyurethane that won’t cause allergy but is still soft to the touch to allow for greater sensitivity.

Of late, the manufacturer of Durex came up with a new innovation beyond the usual condoms. This time, it focused on another aspect of achieving pleasure for adult users which is through vibrations. Called Play, the new line of Durex products aims to encourage adult consumers to do a little experimentation with the way they seek pleasure from each other. It comes in four major types – the Vibrations, Ultra, Touch and Pure Fantasy.

The Vibrations features a ring that vibrates for 20 minutes. It comes with a tiny switch that can be turned on and off without much fuss. This is ideal for first time users.

The Ultra provides longer vibrations of up to 40 minutes. Users need not worry about noise as this product does not create a sound when in use. Also, it is waterproof and can be used with the condom on or even without the rubber. It is best used with a lubricant to experience a high level of pleasure.

The Play Touch is worn on the finger. This enables both men and women to provide their partners with stimulating touches to arouse their sexual desires. No sound is emitted when in use. The product is also not affected when it gets wet and it can even be used again as long as you see the need for it.

The Pure Fantasy product is a vibrator that can be used in different speed levels. It’s considered to be a personal massager with no noise vibrations that can easily be adjusted according to the mood you want. Also available is the Durex Play line is 2 in 1 gel. This gel can serve as a lubricant as well when necessary and can be used all over the body. It can be used by people with sensitive skin because of the presence of aloe vera which is a proven skin moisturizer.

Emergency Contraceptive

In the UK, there are currently two types of emergency contraceptive pills: Levonelle and ellaOne. EllaOne is a relatively new drug and not easily available. I will focus on ellaOne later in this article. The use of Levonelle is well established and is readily available from:

  • Your GP
  • Pharmacist
  • Family planning clinics
  • Accident and Emergency

Levonelle is free when obtained from your GP, using an NHS prescription and from family planning clinics. Certain pharmacists are able to provide the emergency contraceptive without a doctor’s prescription, however a charge of £26 is levied. Accident and Emergency departments should only be used as a last resort.

How does it work?

Levonelle is a progesterone based hormone (a female sex hormone). We still don’t know for certain the exact mechanism of how it works. The general consensus is that it inhibits ovulation (release of an egg from the ovaries); however, it may also prevent fertilization (fusing of sperm and egg) and possibly implantation. The emergency contraceptive pill does not cause an abortion. Technically speaking, an abortion can only occur once a fertilized egg has implanted it self into the lining of the womb.

Levonelle is extremely effective when taken correctly and has been shown to reduce the risk of pregnancy down to 1%.

How do I take it?

Levonelle is not suitable for everyone; it is contraindicated in the following cases:

  • Prophyria (a very rare condition)
  • Severe liver disease
  • Previous ectopic pregnancy
  • May not be suitable in conditions such as Crohn’s disease

Time is crucial when it comes to taking Levonelle. It must be consumed within 72 hours of unprotected intercourse. Ideally, it should be taken within 12 hours after unprotected intercourse. As time elapses after unprotected intercourse the effectiveness of the drug decreases significantly:

  • Levonelle taken 0-24 hours after unprotected sex – 95% effective
  • Levonelle taken 25-48 hours after unprotected sex – 85% effective
  • Levonelle taken 49-72 hours after unprotected sex – 58% effective

Levonelle is well tolerated by most women, however some women may experience nausea and vomiting. If you vomit with in 2-3 hours of taking Levonelle then another dose must be taken. Other common side effects include headache, dizziness and breast tenderness. Less common side effects can include irregular spotting and bleeding. After taking Levonelle, if you suffer with an early or delayed withdrawal bleed, or your period is on time but is abnormally heavy, then an ectopic (implantation as occurred, but not in the womb) pregnancy must be excluded, and it is advisable to see your doctor as soon as possible.

Alternatives to Levonelle

If the time elapsed after unprotected intercourse is greater than 72 hours, or if Levonelle was not tolerated, then alternative emergency contraception must be considered to prevent an unwanted pregnancy. There are currently two options:

  • EllaOne
  • Intrauterine emergency contraceptive device

EllaOne (ulipristal)

EllaOne is a new emergency contraceptive which was given a license last year. Small trials including women from the UK, USA and Ireland have shown ellaOne to be effective at preventing unwanted pregnancy even after the 72 hour limit normally advised for Levonelle. This means the drug could be taken up to 120 hours (five days) after unprotected intercourse.

EllaOne is a prescription only medication. It will not be available over the counter until more is known about its long term safety profile.

The Intrauterine Emergency Contraceptive Device

The Intrauterine emergency contraceptive device, also known as the emergency IUD, is a small copper device that is inserted into the uterus (womb) via the vagina. It has the benefit of being effective up to five days after unprotected intercourse and can continue to be used as a regular contraceptive. The disadvantage is that it must be fitted, which would normally take place at a family planning clinic.

Long Term Contraception

Studies examining the emergency contraceptive found that many women went on to become pregnant in the next cycle, as they continued to have unprotected intercourse. This indicates the importance of considering long term, or continued contraception.

After taking Levonelle or ellaOne, it is wise to discuss continued contraception with your doctor or family planning clinic. Suitable methods for long term contraception may include:

  • Combined oral contraceptive
  • Progesterone only pill
  • Progesterone injection (taken every 3 months)
  • Contraceptive implant (inserted into the skin of the arm and lasts 3 years)

Effects Hormonal Contraception

Hormonal birth control is one of the most common contraceptive methods. Hormonal contraceptives are made with artificial (synthesized) hormones, which work with your body to prevent pregnancy. Generally, they suppress ovulation, which makes pregnancy almost impossible. Though hormonal methods are the most widely used, there are some things to consider before you know if they are right for you – and if so, which specific method to choose.

First of all, there are many people who should not use hormonal methods of birth control. This should all be discussed with your doctor, but the risk factors include: anyone who suspects they might already be pregnant, anyone who is breastfeeding, anyone who has active liver disease, anyone over age 35, smokers, anyone with diabetes, anyone with blood clotting problems, and several more. Enlisting the help of a professional will help determine what, if any, risk factors are present for you, and if it is safe for you to begin using hormonal contraceptives.

As with any prescribed medication, there are also many side effects to be aware of. The most common side effects are: weight gain, acne, nausea, dizziness, headaches, depression, vaginal infections, high blood pressure, loss of libido, and blood clots, to name a few. There are also several rare and extremely dangerous side effects that are worth mentioning. Stroke, liver tumors, gallstones, and jaundice are rare but possible side effects of hormonal birth control methods. It is best, as with any medication, to be aware of the potential risks but always discuss them with a doctor before making any decisions.

Hormonal contraceptives are known to be a pretty effective method of birth control. It is no wonder that they are so widely used. Being aware of the risks associated is important when making a decision as to which method is right for you. Whatever option you choose, enlisting the help of a physician to guide you through the process is always recommended. It is important to make the right decision to avoid complications in the future. A little education about your options can help make the process go a lot more smoothly.