How to make YOUR Contraceptive Decision:The following questions are for you and your partner to think about, talk about and plan when choosing a contraceptive method. Additional questions can be submitted to Ask-a-Nurse.
Is the birth control method effective?
• A contraceptive method's effectiveness rate is increased by combining it with a second method (for instance: oral contraceptives plus condoms).
Is the birth control method safe?
• Having a discussion with your health care provider can help determine if you may have specific conditions that may increase your risk with certain contraceptive methods.
• Contraceptive methods available today, including birth control pills and Depo-Provera have not been proven to affect long-term fertility.
• It is important to use condoms to protect yourself from sexually transmitted infections (STI's) and pelvic inflammatory disease (PVD) that cause scarring. These are the most common causes of infertility in young women.
Does the method fit my current lifestyle?
- Ask yourself:
- Is it my choice or is it the method that someone else thinks I should use?
- Do I have worries or concerns about the method?
- Am I going to be comfortable inserting things into my body?
- What's my partner's attitude towards the method?
- Do I feel confident using the method consistently and correctly?
- It is important that you use your contraceptive method consistently and correctly each and every time to prevent an unplanned pregnancy!
- Equally important is that you understand the correct way to use your method. If you don't understand, ask your health care provider, nurse, health educator or pharmacist AND always read and keep the package information inserts.
Will the method protect me from sexually transmitted infections?
- The major risk for contracting an STI is high risk sexual contact with more than one lifetime partner. Lifetime risk of an STI with 1 partner is five percent. Two to three partners increase the risk of STI by five times. Four to six partners increase the risk of STI by 10 times and 16 partners increase the risk by 30 times.
- The absence of symptoms does NOT indicate the absence of infection in either women or men.
- Annual screening for STI's is effective in detecting STI's most of the time.
- Only condoms reduce the risk of sexually transmitted infections. (Remember male condoms are available in latex, polyurethane and animal membrane - Animal membrane condoms are not effective in preventing HIV infection)
- PROTECT YOURSELF AND YOUR PARTNER! TAKE CHARGE!
It is very important that you have open, honest communication between you and your partner - as well as between you and your health care provider!
What do I do if I may be pregnant?
If you suspect you may be pregnant, you can come to the Health & Wellness Services to have a pregnancy test done. Having your suspicions confirmed or denied will help you decide what to do next.
• To get a pregnancy test: Call the Health & Wellness Services at 507.457.5160 to schedule an appointment. You will be asked to provide a urine sample in the clinic.
• If the test is negative: You will be asked to return for a second test if you do not have your period within 10 -14 days. You will have the opportunity to schedule a gynecological exam if you have not had one within the last six months. If you are not pregnant, talk to the clinician about the symptoms you are having that made you suspect pregnancy. You may also want to schedule an appointment to learn more about your contraceptive options. Perhaps you may want to try a different method of birth control. If you haven't been using one, you may want to start.
• If the test is positive: You will receive counseling and referrals which address your options (carrying the pregnancy to full term, adoption alternatives, terminating the pregnancy). You need to make sure to give yourself time to explore your feelings and your options.
Pregnancy Care Resources:
Winona County Public Health 507.457.6400
Family Medicine of Winona 504.454.5050
Winona Clinic, LTD 507.454.3680
Pregnancy Counseling Resources:
WSU Counseling Center 507.457.5330
Catholic Charities 507.454.2270
Questions or Concerns?
For more information or question, please contact Ask-A-Nurse.