November 13, 2001
While the condom may have come to the fore as the most publicised method of contraception in the past decade, it seems that many women, like men, prefer more 'convenient' methods. Jennifer Paterson sits down for a contraception Q&A with a few girlfriends.
Sarah Thompson is 22, and not currently in a sexual relationship. Emma Hamilton and Carly Prince are 25, and have just started sleeping with a new partner. Cristina James is 24, and currently in a long-term relationship.
1. Your preferred method of contraception?
Sarah: He can get a vasectomy! (kidding). More seriously I prefer to use the pill.
Cristina: Since I am in a serious relationship and only with the one partner I am using the pill. If not I would be using condoms but I really loathe them.
Emma: The pill by a long shot. I've also tried using a diaphragm, the rhythm/withdrawal method and condoms.
Carly: I use condoms when sleeping with a partner initially, but we usually move to just using the pill after a while. While I know there have been a lot of campaigns outlining the fact that condoms don't 'kill the moment', the reality is that they do interrupt the flow of things.
2. Pros/cons of this method?
Sarah: I've never had any problems myself on the pill but it's not really effective if you are on antibiotics and it's only 50 percent effective if you are taking St Johns Wort - a lot of people aren't aware of that.
Cristina: My breasts have also become slightly larger! We don't have to use condoms. Periods become regular and less painful. It's a pain having to remember every single day to take it, and buying it every month.
Emma: Not so good for casual sex. Fabulous in a relationship - no mess no fuss no stopping to get a condom, no bother, just go for it. I don't usually forget to take it but that could be a problem for some I guess. It also has excellent health/looks side effects for me, more regular, less painful periods and increased breast size.
Carly: Well I have had to experiment with a few types of pill, as some gave me skin problems. The one I am on is fantastic now, my skin is great. I haven't really noticed a increase in breast size, but that was never something I needed anyway. Obviously if you remember to take it, it's convenient and makes my periods very regular.
3. Any major complications you've had from using it?
Cristina: Not really. Forgetting to take my pill one day and had to use condoms, but that's not really a complication.
Emma: Ummm... no.
Carly: Well apart from a few skin flare ups on one kind of pill, no major complications.
4. Do you think females take on more of the resposnsibility in this area than males?
Sarah: Yes, hence the first statement
Cristina: Yes I do. Sometimes those boys get so caught up in the heat of the moment that they let responsibility fly right out the window! My current partner reminds me when I'm with him to take the pill and he's always bought the condoms.
Emma: Not at all. I am more than prepared to take responsibility for taking the pill and do so even when not in a long term responsibility. However, loads of guys I've been with have the condom thing down pat, more than I do as I hate the things, but hmmm, they're a necessary evil sometimes?
Ultimately I know hardly anyone, male or female that wants to mess with unplanned pregnancy. Therefore, I find that both sides involved 'do their bit' to make sure it doesn't happen. The biggest bitch? When I was in a long term relationship and using a combination of rhythm/withdrawal methods, if it went pear shaped I had to go through 2 days of nausea on the morning after pill. Not nice, but better than getting pregnant.
Carly: I think that it's something which is shared pretty equally if you're in a good relationship. Casual sex-wise men are the ones who have to deal with the condom side of things - I don't envy that at all!
Reprinted with permission from Editforce