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The 4 Birth Control Methods Available at Prevén

One of the concerns sexually active women face is related to birth control. Before, there weren’t many options apart from abstinence and a few medicinal herbs. Now, there are many options offered at a local clinic. Since 1969, the Office of Population Affairs (OPA) gave Puerto Rico federal funds in order to offer Planned Parenthood services. This made the creation of Prevén possible, and their offering of birth control methods for women. The condom is still an effective method, and protects against most STDs, but here are some more options offered by Prevén:

1. The Pill

The pill is a pretty simple pregnancy prevention method. You take one pill a day, and that’s it. You have to take it every day though, preferably at the same time, so make sure to use an alarm or an app to help you remember. The pill releases hormones that either make the mucus lining of the cervix thicker or don’t allow the release of an egg from the ovaries (no egg, no pregnancy). A variety of pills are offered at the Prevén clinics in Terrace and the UPRM Medical Services building.

2. Intrauterine Devices (IUD)

This device, often in a T-shape, can contain copper or a hormone like progestin. It is inserted into your uterus by a professional and can protect you from pregnancy for years. Removal is just as quick and painless, and your ability to get pregnant quickly returns afterwards. In the case of a ParaGard IUD, it’s hormone-free, and works with copper wiring. It can also work as emergency contraception up to five days after having unprotected sex because the copper-ion rich atmosphere it creates within the uterus prevents fertilized egg implantation just as it inhibits sperm movement. This device does not protect against STDs however, so remember to always use it in tandem with a condom. This one will generally last for 12 years, unlike hormonal IUDs like Liletta, which only lasts 3. However, hormonal IUDs can help ease cramping, and even stop periods completely. Both the copper and hormonal IUDs are available in the Terrace and UPRM Prevén centers.

3. NuvaRing

The NuvaRing is self-administered and helps you control your cycle. It is a small, flexible ring that releases hormones into the bloodstream to prevent pregnancy. The ring is placed deep into the vaginal canal by yourself at the beginning of the month, and removed at the third week in order to let your period flow. The convenience of it trumps that of the daily birth control pill, since it is inserted once a month instead of ingested daily. The NuvaRing is available in both the Terrace and UPRM Prevén centers.

4. Plan B

Accidents happen, and sometimes you may forget to take your birth control pill or a condom. Not to worry though, Plan B is there to help. This is not the same as an abortion pill, since it cannot terminate an existing pregnancy, but what it can do is prevent a sperm from meeting an egg up to five days after having unprotected sex. However, it is most effective when taken within 48 hours. You can find Plan B in both Terrace and UPRM Prevén centers.

These are a few methods offered in Prevén centers, but be aware that they do not prevent STDs, so use a condom to avoid them (which are available at every Prevén clinic for $5). They may have side effects that include nausea, vomiting, and spotting between periods.  However, they usually clear up in the first few months. Always consult your doctor before taking any kind of birth control contraceptive, and make sure to pick the right one for you. Overall, listen to your body and its needs to make sure you can be happy, healthy, and pregnancy-free.

For more information, you can visit your local Prevén clinic. You can also visit their website here.

Andrea is an English major at UPRM typing life away one word at a time. As an accomplished tutor for the English Writing Center and peer-instructor, she has helped non-native speakers understand the nuances of the English language. She has taken DC by storm through an internship in the United States House of Representatives and is more than ready to tackle her future dreams. When not writing, you can find Andrea with her reading the book of the week or participating in something new.
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