iWoman: No to contraception-shaming! Be educated about the importance of Birth Control.

10:01:00 AM

Back when I was still a nursing student, we've discussed about Contraception which is more commonly known as Birth Control and Family Planning. So if you try and ask me about this topic, I would be very happy to have a great conversation regarding this. But this is not the case with those who are not really familiar with the importance of Contraception. For some of them, especially those who are conservative in this issue, it is considered as a tool for "promiscuous women". This kind of thinking is the main reason why a lot of women are discouraged to use a contraception and are embarrassed to even talk about it with their partners or parents when in fact, it is truly important to discuss this matter so that women can fully understand its benefits on her health and reproductive system.

So when I learned about an event with reproductive health as the topic, I immediately signed up and thankfully, I was invited to be part of this mini seminar. This event happened last July 27, 2016 at Cerchio Grill and Lounge with Dra. Anna Belen Ignacio - Alensuela as guest speaker. 

This talk is a part of a campaign called #knowmore.livemore which aims to educate women about the importance of taking care of their reproductive system and sexual health. Prior to the discussion, a fact and myth game was conducted which is very helpful so that wrong information about Contraception may be corrected to lessen the scare or the discomfort that women feel when it comes to this topic.

Indeed there are a lot of beliefs that are wrong when it comes to using contraceptives. Some of those beliefs regarding contraceptives, specifically the Birth control Pills, that are actually not true is that it makes you fat, it causes acne, it can lead to cancer and worse, it can make you infertile. In fact, Dra. Anna explained that Pills can actually help you treat your acne and prevent weight gain. It also has benefits such as lowering the risks of having anemia and hypertension, manage your PMS (Premenstrual Syndrome) and of course, unwanted pregnancy. Pills can also help you regulate menstruation, thanks to the hormones it contain.

In Dra. Anna's discussion, she reiterated that the Philippines' population has increased dramatically over the years which is a big problem that should definitely be addressed ASAP and may have been prevented if only women had the knowledge on how contraceptive should be used. Aside from the population increase, incidence of unwanted pregnancies have plummeted and what's really saddening is that women, as early as 14 years old, are sexually active and are getting pregnant. What makes the situation ever worse is that they commit induced abortions and others suffer complications that result to maternal deaths.

The government has been trying to provide a solution for this issue through the Reproductive Bill but up to this date, this law has not been approved. That is the main reason why campaigns such as the #KnowMore.LiveMore exist. Dra. Anna, then started her lecture with the history of oral contraceptive which she believes is the most effective birth control method.

There are certain types of Oral Contraceptives and the type of pill that a woman should take would depend on what benefit she needs. It is highly recommended that a woman who would be using Pills or any other birth control method should visit an Obstetric-Gynecologist. A representative from the company behind the Oral Contraceptives: Minipil, Cybelle, Liza and Lyzelle, was also present during the event to give us a bit of introduction on what these types of pills can provide to its users:

  • Minipil - recommended for first time users since it has the lowest dose out of all the other types of pill. It is a combination of 100 mcg Levonorgestrel + 20 mcg Ethinylestradiol which means that it has the least side effects.

  • Cybelle (P425.00) - this is the best pill for those suffering acne as it contains Cyproterone acetate 2mg + Ethynylestradiol 35mcg will be prescribed. This is also prescribed for women with PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome).

  • Liza (P600.00) & Lizelle (P629.00) - perfect for those who experience dysmenorrhea, PMS (bloating and mood swings) and weight gain as it is made up of Drospirenone and Ethinylestradiol. Make sure to consult your Ob-Gyn for the specific dosage suitable for you as this type of pill has different doses. 

Although I don't use this as my contraceptive because I'm not good at maintaining medicine and I tend to forget taking daily, I chose a different birth control. But I highly recommend that you first visit your OB-GYN and let her explain to you each contraceptive and pick the method that you think would best fit your lifestyle and health issues.

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