So, I’m three days late…in writing this post, since World Contraception Day occurs on September 26th. I promise I wasn’t delayed with this post just to include that terrible pun, since scares of unwanted pregnancies are nothing to joke about. If you are having a type of sex that could lead to pregnancy but do not currently want to become pregnant, it’s important to know your contraceptive options!
Check out the World Contraception Day’s Guide to Contraception. If you are a Barnard student, make an appointment with Health Services (there are several awesome contraception experts). There are also several books in the office to get acquainted with your options, but the nurse practitioners are really friendly and great resources, not to mention the ones who will be prescribing you pills or referring you to other forms of birth control. If you are not at BC and do not have much insurance coverage, try to find a local Planned Parenthood. They will help you find low- or no-cost contraception that works for you.
Remember too that condoms are considered a form of contraception, but that safer sex practices must be maintained even when a person is on hormonal birth control or in sex acts where pregnancy is not a risk, such as anal or oral sex. Did you know there are flavored condoms [available in the WW office!] specifically for mouth-to-penis contact? Don’t forget about dental dams [also available at WW] for mouth-to-vagina or mouth-to-anus contact. Anal sex carries high STI risks, so always use condoms with lots of lubricant!
A very important caveat that’s worth restating: hormonal birth control does NOT protect against STIs–only condoms and other latex barriers, used correctly, will protect you from STIs.
I noticed that the vision of World Contraception Day is “a world where every pregnancy is wanted.” For some interesting discussion of the implications of a world with only wanted pregnancies vs. a world with no unwanted pregnancies, check out this blog at RH Reality Check.