Contraceptive mistakes that should be avoided at all costs

While it is astonishing and worrying that contraceptives could fail among so many women, research has shown that some of the pregnancies occur as a result of negligence on the part of the women. But what could these women have done that produced these results?

In Brief

While it is astonishing and worrying that contraceptives could fail among so many women, research has shown that some of the pregnancies occur as a result of negligence on the part of the women. But what could these women have done that produced these results?

– Using oil-based lubricants with a condom, Using expired or damaged condoms, Not taking the pill on time or skipping are some of the mistakes made.

Mistakes happen. It’s part of life. But when it comes to birth control, a mistake can have a big consequence: unplanned pregnancy, risk contracting HIV and STIs.

Research shows that almost half of pregnancies in the U.S. are unintended, and many of them are a result of using birth control incorrectly.

While it is astonishing and worrying that contraceptives could fail among so many women, research has shown that some of the pregnancies occur as a result of negligence on the part of the women. But what could these women have done that produced these results?

Good sex as you age

Using oil-based lubricants with a condom

Baby oil, petroleum jelly and any oil-based lubricant weakens the latex condom and can cause it to tear or break. Also, condoms with spermicides made with nonoxynol-9 can cause irritation and may raise the risk of HIV infection and unwanted pregnancy in women who use it often.

Look for a water- or silicone-based lubricant to use with your condoms.

Using expired or damaged condoms

It’s easy to buy a box of condoms, stash it somewhere, and then forget about it. But they do have expiration dates. Also, where you store condoms is key to how well they’ll work. Keeping one in a wallet or back pocket can damage it from body heat and friction and make it easier to tear.

Check the expiration dates on your condoms and replace them when they get old. Also, keep them away from heat. Store them in a cool, dry place, like a nightstand.

Should you schedule sex?

Not taking the pill on time or skipping

Whether you take a combination oral contraceptive (a pill that has both estrogen and progestin hormones) or a mini-pill (with progestin-only), you need to take it every day at the same time, whether or not you have sex. The timing is especially important with the mini pill. If you don’t stick to a schedule, it’s more likely the pill won’t prevent you from ovulating, which raises your odds for pregnancy.

Be consistent. Set a daily alarm on your smartphone, write it down in your agenda or calendar, or download an app that reminds you to take your pill. This gets you in the habit of taking it on time, every time without a second thought, which makes it most effective at preventing pregnancy.

How much sex should you be having?

The vaginal ring falls out

To use the ring correctly, you put it inside your vagina and wear it for 3 weeks. You remove it for that last week in the cycle, during your period, and then put in a new one. But sometimes the ring can fall out, or you might forget to change it on time. If the ring falls out, rinse it with cool water and reinsert it ASAP or within 3 hours. You’ll still be protected from pregnancy.
But if the ring is out of your vagina for more than 3 hours and it’s the third week of the cycle i.e., not your period week throw it away and put in a new one right away. If you have sex during the next 7 days, use a condom or another barrier method.

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