Contraception and its methods - part 1

If you have an active sexual life or you would like to have one, you have to think about which contraceptive method you want to use. The only problem is that not all of the methods can be applied in the case of teenagers.

It is also to be considered whether you need constant protection, as young people usually have sex occasionally rather than regularly.

Who can you turn to if you’d like to select a contraception method?

Paediatric and adolescent gynaecology is available in many European cities as well as in the bigger clinics; it is one of their tasks to support teenagers in learning about contraception. Healthcare professionals working here have a special qualification for treating young patients, their empathy is guaranteed, so feel free to consult them if you have any questions.

The pill

The safest way for teens is the hormonal contraceptive pill, but prescribing the pill is always an individual decision from your doctor, where several factors have to be taken into account. You can get a prescription if you have had your period for 1 - 1.5 years at least, if these periods are regular, if the hormonal signs of developing mature eggs and ovulation can be traced and if your body is in the right condition. All these do not necessarily depend on age. You can get the pills at 15 if you’ve had your period since you were 13 and you meet all the other criteria, but even if you are 17, you cannot get the pill if your period started only half a year ago.

The pill can be problematic because it is not easy to get used to taking it routinely once a day, always at the same time, so it is often forgotten. Inappropriate routine in taking the pills might even lead to unwanted pregnancy in the case of low-hormone pills.

The pills have not only advantages but also setbacks. Possible side effects include intermittent bleeding, nausea, headaches, and in really rare cases a little weight gain. On the other hand, the pill has a hugely positive effect on oily skin; spots disappear, what is more, there are nowadays pills especially for treating acnes.

Emergency contraceptive pill

Many teenagers have sex often with several months of interruption, so it doesn’t make sense to take a pill regularly. The so-called morning after or emergency pill can be a solution. This kind of pill contains a larger dosage of hormones, and you have to take it within 24-72 hours of the intercourse. If you accurately use it according to instructions, it is a reliable form of protection.

The most frequent problem is that teenagers try to use it as permanent contraception, which leads to girls taking plenty of hormones within a brief time. This improper usage can cause severe bleeding issues and other side effects.

Another setback of the contraceptive pill is that it does not protect at all against sexually transmitted diseases, so we suggest you use it together with a condom if you have a partner who has sex with others besides you.

Hormone injection and hormonal implant under the skin

If a teenager has regular sexual activity but is unable to take the pill as necessary, she can also use injection as a way of contraception. Usually, such injections must be administered every three month. It can cause bleeding issues more frequently, however, and after you stop using the injections, your normal period returns much slower. In case of side effects, you cannot immediately stop its effect. A similar solution is hormone implanted under your skin, but this is less widespread in Europe.

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