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Sex + Relationships

Contraceptive Pill Dangers: Why We Should Consider Other Birth Control Methods

According to an article published by EL PAÍS, women who were born between 1980 and 2000 are responsible for the reduction of the curve related to the use of birth control pills. The north-American biologist, Elisabeth Lloyd, said that about 20 to 30 percent of women who take this medicine have the possibility to develop depression. Weight gain, headache, and increased risk of stroke are some more reasons for their decision to stop this hormonal treatment. “There are studies which affirm that the constant use of contraceptive pills can help to spread mammary cells, leading to cancer“, complemented doctor Anne Kristhine, a gynecologist who graduated from the Medical School of Alagoas (ECMAL) who works at Hospital Oswaldo Cruz.


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So what are the alternatives that can be used to eliminate these harmful hormones? We have two options: natural contraceptives or non-hormonal birth controls. The natural ones are those that don’t need an instrument, all they need is your own body. “Coitus interruptus” is an example of this method, and it is the practice of withdrawing the penis from the vagina before ejaculation to prevent pregnancy, and in this same field can also be included the Fertility Awareness Based Methods (FABMs) and Lactational Amenorrhoea Method (LAM). Although they can be an alternative, they have “a really big failure index” answered doctor Anne Kristhine. 

The other method is called “non-hormonal birth controls“, and they are safer than the other. IUD (Intrauterine Device) is the most famous and favorite one and can be made of two materials: copper or silver. Their efficiency is the same, but the cost in Brazil and its length are determinant factors for the choice. The gynecologist explained that “the IUD has a local action, durability greater than five years and it is reversible (…) there is no preparation or anesthesia, and the patient goes for a  basic clinical exam, which is accessible in all general hospitals“. The copper IUD is cheaper and lasts ten years, while the silver one is more expensive and has five years of duration — this is because not all the girls are non-allergic to copper, and silver is a more expensive material.


Photo by Reproductive Health Supplies Coalition on Unsplash

Independently of the contraceptive method you are going to use, it is always important to consult your doctor because he/she is the one who is going to help you decide which one is better for your health. Otherwise, it is also important to highlight doctor Anne Kristhine’s assertion: “All the methods have a failure, and these failures come from low access to family plans education (…) when a woman has this information, the efficiency is almost 100% safe.

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The article above was edited by Giulia Lozano Pacini.

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Hello, world. Journalism student here. Passionate about reading, writing, and telling other people's stories.
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