Contraceptives can be effective in helping to prevent pregnancy when used correctly. By contrast, misuse and not fully understanding contraceptives can lead to an unplanned pregnancy. If you are planning to use contraceptives, it is important to avoid mistakes. Here are some common mistakes that are made with contraception and what you can do to avoid them.
Failing to Factor in Health Conditions
When you are taking prescription medications, there is a chance that the effectiveness of the medications can be impacted by other health conditions you might have. The same holds true with oral contraceptives.
In order for oral contraceptives to be effective, your body has to be able to absorb them. Unfortunately, if you have a digestive disorder, such as Crohn's disease, it can interfere with your body's ability to absorb the contraceptives. Talk to your doctor about other forms of birth control that are non-oral.
Forgetting to Have a Backup
Contraceptive methods, such as the Depo-Provera contraceptive injection and oral contraceptives, sometimes have a waiting period before they are considered to be at their most effective. For instance, if you do not receive the injection within the five days of your period ending, you could still be at risk of getting pregnant.
Talk to your doctor to determine whether or not your particular form of contraceptive has a waiting period. If there is one, you need to have a backup for birth control handy. Condoms or a diaphragm are easy-to-use options that offer the protection needed.
The Contraceptives Are Expired or Improperly Stored
Whether you are using condoms, an oral contraceptive, or another form of birth control, they can expire. When contraceptives expire, they are less effective in helping to prevent birth control.
It is important that you keep track of the expiration dates of your contraceptives. A good rule of thumb is to check the dates each month. Toss any that are expired.
The effectiveness of some contraceptives can be impacted by improperly storing them. For instance, NuvaRing can be stored at room temperature up to four months. However, direct sunlight or extreme temperatures can reduce the amount of time that you can safely use the ring and expect it to be effective.
There are other mistakes that could potentially impact the effectiveness of your contraceptive. Talk to your doctor about your chosen method of birth control and what you need to do to ensure that it is as effective as possible.