Birth Control Devices

The Cost of Convenience: Exploring the Risks of Birth Control Devices 

Monday 22nd Apr 2024 |

In today’s fast-paced world, convenience is king, even when it comes to managing our reproductive health. Birth control devices have totally changed the game, giving us easy ways to plan our families and take charge of our fertility. Whether it’s popping a pill each day or getting a little device inserted that lasts for years, there’s something for everyone.  

Even though birth control devices are handy tools, they have their own downsides. Think of it like this: taking that daily pill might give you a bit of a headache or make you feel queasy. And those fancy IUDs? Well, they could cause some discomfort or irregular bleeding! That’s why it’s key to know what you’re getting into before you dive in. 

The WHO reported that 77.5% of women (of reproductive age) used modern contraceptive methods – birth control devices – to meet their family planning needs in 2022; in 1990, it was down to 67%. Those numbers are bound to have gone upwards in the last two years. While so many women are already using these devices, how many of them are aware of the risks they expose you to? 

Birth control devices might seem like the ultimate convenience, but let’s not forget about the fine print. Come with us on a journey of the risks associated with birth control devices so that you can make better choices about your reproductive health.  

Understanding Birth Control Devices 

When it comes to managing fertility, birth control devices offer a diverse array of options tailored to fit individual preferences and lifestyles.  

From the convenience of daily pills to the longevity of intrauterine devices (IUDs), understanding how these devices work is key to making informed decisions about contraception. Let’s learn about the three most commonly used devices below:  

Birth Control Pills  

Birth control pills contain synthetic hormones that regulate your menstrual cycle and prevent pregnancy. 

Healthline notes that there are two kinds of birth control pills – progestin-only (also called minipills) and combination pills. Women around the world use combination pills most commonly. Levora, Ocella, Velivet, Beyaz, and Azurette are some of the leading brands that sell these pills.

While these pills are super effective, they can also bring on some side effects like nausea, headaches, or mood swings. It’s like a tiny rollercoaster ride for your hormones! 

Barrier Methods (Condoms and Diaphragms) 

Barrier methods like condoms and diaphragms are your frontline soldiers against pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections (STIs). They work by physically blocking sperm from reaching the egg. 

However, if they’re not used correctly or consistently, they might not provide the best protection. It’s like wearing armor, but if it’s not properly fitted, you might still get a little poke. 

Intrauterine Devices (IUD) 

IUDs are small, T-shaped devices that get inserted into your uterus; they’re primarily of two kinds. Hormonal IUDs can reduce menstrual bleeding and cramping, while copper IUDs provide non-hormonal contraception. 

TorHoerman Law observes that despite IUDs being long-lasting and generally safe to use, some products can lead to injuries at the time of their removal. Besides, there’s a small risk of discomfort during insertion or even a rare chance of expulsion of IUDs from the uterus.  

Risks Associated with Birth Control Devices 

When it comes to birth control devices, they’re pretty handy for preventing pregnancy, but there are a few things to keep in mind about the risks they can bring along: 

Hormonal Side-effects: 

Did you know that synthetic hormones are an important ingredient in making birth control devices? Examples of devices that contain them are birth control pills, patches, and hormonal IUDs. We agree that they might be effective at preventing pregnancy, but they’ve also shown side effects in some women.  

These side effects include softer breasts, mood swings, headaches, a feeling of nausea, and changes in your period cycle. If you’re on hormonal birth control and observe these symptoms frequently, you must discuss it with your gynecologist.  

Non-Hormonal Side-effects: 

Even if you’re not into hormones, things like copper IUDs or barrier methods like condoms can have their own quirks.  

For instance, copper IUDs may lead to heavy bleeding and cramps in some women. Barrier methods, if not used correctly, pose a higher risk of failure and might not protect you from STIs and STDs.  

Rare Complications:  

While uncommon, birth control devices can sometimes lead to rare but serious complications. For instance, inserting or removing IUDs from the uterus might also cause uterine perforation.  

The removal of some IUDs can also lead to injuries, which is seen in the case of Paragard IUDs. These IUDs are sold by Teva Pharmaceuticals and have received complaints of injuries, including bleeding, infection, and organ damage. 

The Paragard IUD lawsuit is the consequence of these complaints. Lawyers estimate the potential settlement amount to fall somewhere between $10,000-$400,000 for each victim. 

While these complications are rare, it’s imperative that you know about them and reach out to a medical expert in case you notice anything amiss.  

Long-term Effects: 

Talking about the long-term effects of birth control is like dipping your toes into a pool of uncertainty. From bone health to heart health, cancer risk, and even fertility, there’s a lot to consider. 

Medical News Today notes that using birth control pills – especially the ones that have both estrogen and progesterone – can make women vulnerable to developing blood clots. Blood clots increase your chances of having a heart attack or a stroke; a smoking habit boosts it further. 

Furthermore, using birth control for more than five years consecutively has also been tied to an increased likelihood of cervical cancer in women.  

Overall, while birth control methods can help prevent pregnancy, it’s wise to share any worries you have regarding long-term effects with your gynecologist. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)  

Is birth control implant safe?  

Studies have shown birth control implants to be safe for most people. However, like every other medical device, they have some risks and side effects that your gynecologist will familiarize you with.  

What is the safest birth control system?  

Research shows that implants and IUDs work the best to prevent pregnancy, and are also very convenient to use.  

What are the hormonal methods of birth control? 

The hormonal methods function by preventing your ovaries from releasing eggs. This prevention makes other changes in your body to decrease the likelihood of your pregnancy. The most common examples of hormonal methods of birth control include pills, patches, rings, shots, and implants.  

To sum it up, delving into the realm of birth control devices reveals a complex landscape where convenience and risk are intertwined. While these devices make it unbelievably easy to manage fertility, you must learn to identify potential risks they carry before getting in.  

Balancing the cost of convenience with an understanding of its risks helps you make better, more informed decisions for your reproductive health.