Not having the right information before "getting intimate" can lead to a heck of a surprise. Below we take a look at 10 facts about contraception and sexual health that you may not have known. We’ll start with a few for the guys, as information about male contraception is not as widely spread.
A Vasectomy Doesn’t Mean Instant Sterilization
After a vasectomy procedure, it takes on average around 15 to 20 ejaculations before a man becomes totally sterile. Only after two consecutive ejaculations are free of sperm is the man considered sterile. So, if you’re back in the saddle pretty quick after your procedure, make sure you and your 10 Facts You Didn’t Know About Sexual Health, Contraception and the Dreaded Vasectomy
Vasectomies Are Usually Painless
Guys can put their fear of the dreaded “snip” to rest; thinking about the procedure will probably cause you more discomfort than the actual procedure itself. While some patients do report very minimal, mild pain, many won’t experience any pain at all. Men who would still prefer to avoid some of the initial discomfort have an option in the form of “no-needle” vasectomies, where the painkiller is applied via a sort of “air gun” that numbs the area with a puff of air. Some men even report going back to work after the simple, 30-minute procedure.
Your Sex Life Will Be Undisturbed After a Vasectomy
While some may cringe at the thought of having sex immediately after coming home from a vasectomy, it actually has no effect on your sex drive, sexual performance, or stamina. As mentioned above, though, don’t assume that just because you underwent a sterilization procedure that you are completely sterile soon after.
Half of all Unplanned Pregnancies are Due to Inconsistent Contraception
Alright, it’s the ladies’ turn now. Half of all unplanned pregnancies happen because of inconsistency and erroneous information. Skipping the Pill for a day or two, only using condoms right before ejaculation, being on the fence about motherhood (and whether you want it or not), and not carrying protection on you at all times are just a few ways that unexpected pregnancies can occur. So do everything you can to stay consistent, timely, and organized.
Using Both a Male and Female Condom Will Not Increase the Effectiveness of Contraception
While in theory (and on paper) it might seem obvious that the best way to be doubly sure of effective contraception is by using condoms for males and females together, this simply isn’t true. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. Studies have shown that using both types of condoms during regular intercourse actually increases the likelihood of pregnancy, since tears can occur more often due to higher levels of friction.
Sex During Menstruation Will Not Necessarily Prevent Pregnancy
It can be easy to get facts mixed up, and common sense may lead you to believe that pregnancies can’t occur during your menstruation cycle. And while highly unlikely, it is actually possible! If you’re a woman with a particularly short menstrual cycle, you may ovulate just a few days after your period. And since sperm can live for up to three days, it is possible to conceive in that time window. Also, many women mistake “breakthrough bleeding” for their period, which can happen smack-dab in the middle of ovulation (when you’re the most fertile). If there’s any question, use contraception.
It’s More Accepted Than You Think
Over 99 percent of all American females between the ages of 15-44 who have had at least one sexual encounter have used some type of birth control in their lives. The implied taboo and public debate surrounding birth control should not prevent you from making a smart decision – one that is best for YOU.
Smoking While On the Pill Really IS Dangerous
If you’re a smoker and you take the Pill, you’ve likely been warned by your doctor numerous times of the dangers. Or, perhaps you have lied to your healthcare provider as to not get a scolding. Either way, smoking while on the pill truly is devastating to your health, especially if you smoke more than 15 cigarettes a day. This deadly combination can increase your risk of blood clots, heart attacks, and stroke. Now, I don’t know about you, but that sounds like reason enough to either quit smoking or change your method of contraception.
Constant Use of Plan B Won’t Harm Your Body
Many women believe that regularly taking Plan B can harm your body. This misconception is largely attributed to the strong side effects that include nausea, vomiting, abdominal pains and severe headaches. Even though Plan B is meant to be emergency contraception, it has been clinically proven to be safe for frequent use. Because of its high cost and inconvenience, however, you should consult your gynecologist if you find yourself constantly using emergency contraceptives, and have them prescribe standard birth control pills.
Finally – A Male Birth Control Pill!
So maybe there was one more left for the guys out there after all. Women will be pleased to know that a form of male birth control is finally in development. Researchers are testing several options, including a daily pill, a patch or gel applied directly to the skin, an injection, or an implant placed under the skin. Sound familiar, ladies? While you may not find it on store shelves quite yet, it’s comforting to know that men will soon be able to do their part without having to potentially undergo vasectomies.