In my opinion, Choices is easy to read and packed full of information about abstinence and contraceptives. I feel that it’s vital that we educate ourselves and our children about abstinence and contraceptives.
Upon entering my local health department I see a whole wall full of pamphlets about birth control. It’s a little overwhelming. With Choices I am able to review all the options available. Unlike the many pamphlets, Choices is the one source that lists the advantages as well as the disadvantages of each contraceptive. Choices also lists 1-800 numbers and web addresses for each contraceptive in case I have any questions.
The centerfold of the vagina was brilliant! I learned a great deal while reading those two pages. I didn’t know that a woman at the age of 37 or 38 had only 25,000 eggs left. I’m 38 so naturally this fact jumped off the page when I read it. Another thing that caught my eye was the information about the fertility awareness methods (and the four approaches). “The Standard Days Method” is a safe, simple way to assist women in choosing which days in her cycle to abstain from sex to avoid getting pregnant. Who knew such benefits occur from wearing a cycle bead necklace. The actual diagram of the vagina is very educational. Being able to see where contraceptives actually work, in regards to the vagina, is as beneficial as understanding how they work.
I was glad to see that Choices addressed several myths associated with contraceptives. I actually believed one of the myths – until Choices taught me otherwise. It was #5 “Birth Control Pills Cause Cancer”. Wrong!! Choices says that pills prevent colon, ovary, and endometrial cancer. Pills do not increase a woman’s risk for breast cancer.
On a scale from 0 to 10, I would give Mirena an 8. It is the most effective reversible method ever developed. It keeps hormone levels steadier and lower than the pill. Menstrual flow and cramping is dramatically reduced. Mirena can be left in place for 5 years, however a woman’s natural fertility returns immediately upon removal.
If your man refuses to wear a condom you may want to try using a female condom. No prescription is required and they can be purchased over the counter. They provide protection against STD’s and can be put in up to 8 hours in advance. Personally, I don’t think I would find the female condom too appealing; therefore I give it a score of only 3.
Long before I had my tubal, I used the pill for several years. I also smoked and I began to worry about blood clots and the other risks associated with smoking and the pill. A new product called “the sponge” came onto the market. I stopped taking the pill and started using the sponge. It was easy to insert and easy to remove. No, I did not get pregnant. Unfortunately, the sponge was taken off the market and I went back on the pill. In 2005, I had my tubes tied. Back then the Mirena IUD didn’t exist. I think that if I had the chance to re-do the past, I would choose Mirena over getting my tubes tied.
On the back cover of Choices there is an imaginative tool for women that outlines three types of partners. It looks at desirability, their potential as a date and their risk to women. It helps women decide if a potential partner is a good or bad possibility as a date or mate. There are crucial questions that you should ask yourself about the potential boyfriend. Does he do drugs? Is he respectful towards women? Is he physically violent? You should beware if he is a lot older than you; has a past history of cheating. Other red flags to look for: he doesn’t listen to you, makes you feel pressured to do sexual things you don’t want to do. You get the green light to go for it if he listens, respects, encourages and makes you feel good about yourself. I rate the back cover a 10 because it gives valuable advice on choosing a mate.
There really wasn’t anything that I disliked while reading Choices but if I had to choose something it would be that there were no side effects listed for each contraceptive. Other than that, I found it to be very informative and well written. My overall score is a 9!