Local news and opinion reaching the communities of nosara, samarA and Nicoya
Log in |
Return to homepage
home regional community sports entertainment surf nature health en Espaņol English
     
Archives
December 09
January 2010
February 2010
Water Edition
March 2010
April 2010
May 2010
June 2010
July 2010
August 2010
September 10
October 10
November 10
December 10
January 2011
February 2011
March 2011
April 2011
May 2011
June 2011
July 2011
August 2011
September 11
October 11
November 11
December 11
January 2012
February 2012
March 2012
April 2012
May 2012
June 2012
July 2012
August 2012
September 12
October 12
November 12
December 12
January 13
February 13
March 13
April 13
May 13
 
Media
Partners
  El Pais
  Inside Costa Rica
  Costa Spirit
  Q Costa Rica
  Today Costa Rica
  El Sabanero
connect
FaceBook
Twitter
 
CLASSIFIEDS
 
community
  Nosara Animal Care
   
  Nosara Info
   
Esquelita de Nosara
  Friends of Nosara
   
  Nosara Civic Association
  Nosara
Wildlife

Contraceptive Methods Prevent Pregnancies and Save Lives

By Francisco Renick, M.D.

As their name suggests, contraceptives were created with the purpose of avoiding unwanted pregnancies, while allowing couples to remain sexually active. However, the goal of some birth control methods has changed, as is the case for condoms, which are the only birth control method that can help prevent sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) such as gonorrhea, syphilis or HIV.

To begin with, do you know at what point a woman can become pregnant? The female reproductive cycle is typically 28 days long, although it may be shorter or longer. Day 1 is the first day of menstruation. Approximately on day 14 a women ovulates and, if fertilization (the union of an egg and sperm) occurs, she may become pregnant. If this does not happen, the egg degenerates and is expelled during menstruation. This marks the beginning of the next menstrual cycle. It is very important to keep in mind that the menstrual cycle’s length varies greatly from one woman to another and therefore each case should be assessed individually by a physician.

Having said this, the most common birth control methods include:

Rhythm method (natural family planning): it consists of not having sex during a woman’s fertile days (when she is ovulating). This method is most effective in women with regular menstrual cycles and for those who have a steady partner. Ideally, in a 28 day cycle, women should avoid having sex between days 8 and 21 of the cycle.

Cervical mucus method (Billings ovulation method): in this method, women must observe the appearance of any vaginal discharge (mucus), learning to recognize its changing patterns and characteristics throughout the month. When a woman is not ovulating, mucus is scant, whitish, sticky and pasty. In contrast, when a woman is ovulating mucus will become abundant, clear and quite stretchy. When using this method, sexual intercourse should be avoided when mucus indicates that ovulation is taking place. If you are planning on using this method, it should be combined with the rhythm method to increase its effectiveness.

Birth control pills or shots: these methods consist of combinations of hormones that influence the uterus and ovaries. By taking these pills regularly, they prevent ovulation from taking place, thus preventing pregnancy. There are many different types of birth control pills and therefore it is important that your doctor prescribes the right one for you. Birth control shots are another type of hormonal method that is administered every 1, 2 or 3 months, depending on what’s most convenient for each woman.

Female and male condoms: these are barrier methods that prevent sperm from entering the uterus and reaching the egg. Their main advantage is that they are the only contraceptive method that protects against some sexually transmitted diseases by avoiding direct contact between people and their body fluids. However, if used incorrectly or if they are damaged or expired, they may not properly prevent transmission of human papillomavirus (HPV), genital herpes, hepatitis B or HIV.

What is the right way to use a condom? Open the condom wrapper carefully to avoid tearing it and place the condom over the erect penis before any sexual contact, making sure it covers the entire penis. Remove it immediately after ejaculation, while the penis is still erect. Never reuse a condom. Of all contraceptive methods, this is the most inexpensive and easiest to get. You can request them at the Ebais or buy them without a prescription at any supermarket or drugstore. If you usually store them in your wallet or car, you should discard them and buy new ones, storing them in a cool, dry place.

Keep in mind that none of the above methods are 100% safe and should be combined to improve their effectiveness. In addition, be extremely cautious when choosing sexual partners; many sexually transmitted diseases have no early symptoms and can only be diagnosed through a blood test.

Editorial Note: “Statistics from Costa Rica’s National Statistics and Census Institute (INEC) indicate that just in 2011,13,867 teen pregnancies were registered;70% took place in rural areas. The Nosara and Samara districts are considered rural areas, with teenage pregnancies also occurring here. As the only local media, the Voice of Nosara is committed to inform and educate readers about different birth control methods so that we can all make informed decisions, thereby avoiding sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and unwanted pregnancies that could possibly lead to serious complications or even death.

If a girl under the age of 17 becomes pregnant, her pelvis and bones will be unable to properly support her unborn baby’s weight for nine months as her own body has not fully developed, possibly leading to a miscarriage or spontaneous abortion. She could also face other complications such as urinary tract infections, bone disorders, anemia and pregnancy-induced hypertension. The situation is even worse for girls under 15: the risk of dying during childbirth is four times greater than in adult women and their babies are exposed to preterm birth, low birth-weight and malformations. If the mother is under 15, the baby is three times more likely to die in its first year of life.


 

More Health News

Research Shows Excess Hair Mercury Levels in Central Valley Area Residents

According to research conducted by Ovsicori-UNA and Wesleyan University in Connecticut, USA, approximately 60% of human hair samples collected in the Central Valley area exceeded the alert level for mercury.

Six Techniques to Build Confidence and Achieve Success

When we feel confident, we are more likely to be happy, treat others well and make good choices that lead to success. On the other hand, when life seems difficult and our self-esteem is low, we are more likely to be depressed and make poor choices.

Four Nutrients to Protect Your Health Down the Road

1. Cinnamon: This antioxidant rich spice will help balance your blood sugar- a healthy dose of cinnamon adds a flavor boost to sweet and savory foods. You can use this potent spice generously on oatmeal, yogurt, lattes, coffee, roasted squash, sweet potatoes and sweet treats.

 

Contact us: NOSARA [email protected] / PUBLICITY and ADVERTISING [email protected]
Copyright 2012© The Voice of Nosara