What Reasons Establish our Contraceptive Choices?
Every one is unique in their own way. Our bodies may function in a similar fashion but everyone is different. When it comes to our physical health people have physical differences amongst each other such as allergies, immunity, weight, temperament and environmental sensitivity.
When we think about contraception we need to take into consideration a person’s individuality and choice. For some people a condom suffices, however, some women are more comfortable with taking pills while others just prefer to take injections.
Contraceptive choice matters when it comes to age, relationship of the couple, mental health, comfort level with the contraceptive in use (allergies, sensitivity and irritation), hormonal levels, availability and price.
A woman’s age is a huge and important factor when it comes what kind of contraception she uses. Usually woman aged of 40 and above (apart from women who have reached menopause) desire to use more long term contraceptive methods. Women over 40 usually use IUD and depot Provera acetate injections. Some women who are and above 40 also choose sterilization because they already have children and do not want more. Women below 40 usually use short term methods such as condoms, pills, IUD, insertion and withdrawal. The reason for this is that they want to get pregnant in the immediate future.
A woman’s relationship with her partner may show what kind of method is being practiced. A person’s relationship status depicts what kind (if any) of family planning method is put into action. Research suggests that couples who are in a short term relationship such as “causal dating” are prone to use contraceptives like condoms and pills. It has been proven by many researchers that the longer the relationship duration is, the decision amongst couples to use a condom decreases. Long term couples usually go for hormonal therapy such as injections as a form of family planning.
According to many studies there is a correlation between a person’s mental health and a person’s reproductive health. In accordance to this a person’s mental health does affect their choice of contraceptives or weather or not they use contraception at all. A woman menstrual cycle affects her mental health as well and child birth and menopause. Mental health issues such as post partum depression cause women to take contraceptive measures, however, the use of condoms prevail in this scenario because for women who are lactating hormonal contraception could cause harm to the breast feeding child.
There is a high possibility that a couple’s choice to not choose a particular contraceptive is the physical side effects, allergies and reactions they have to it. For example, women who take hormonal contraception might get prone to:
- vaginal discomfort
- nipple discharge
Due to these discomforts women may abandon this contraceptive method. Also a lot of men and women are allergic to latex (the material of which condoms are manufactured) which causes couples to use other means to prevent unwanted pregnancies.
Hormonal contraception has the ability to create mood disorders such as PPD (Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder). Therefore, couples reside to condom use. Also Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is a hormonal issue known to cause issues like mood swings, anxiety and depression. Many women struggle with fertility when diagnosed with PCOS hence they avoid hormonal contraceptive methods and opt for condoms as well.
In many rural areas in Pakistan, India, Afghanistan and Africa contraceptives are difficult to attain or unaffordable. Social and religious taboos prevent couples from obtaining contraception as well. This causes couples to indulge in the withdrawal method. This method is not the best way to prevent pregnancies but unfortunately for some it is the only way.
There are many reasons which dictate contraceptive choice. It is always better for couples be open and comfortable to discuss their choices. Gaining advise and information from a doctor is also a good way for couples to identify their options.
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