Contraceptives for adolescents, newly married and unmarried girls
Are you considering contraceptives? Read this medical article by Dr Sanjeev regarding the side effects and advantages of using contraceptives for adolescents, newly married and unmarried girls.
In many countries especially in India most of the girls get married at very tender and adolescent age and become a mother even when their body is not ready enough for that. In Western Countries and now a days even in India many young girls even if they are not married gets pregnant due to unawareness and lack of knowledge and then they have to undergo risky process of abortion or may even acquire some deadly disease like AIDS.
A proper counseling is required regarding spacing and delaying the birth in such adolescent girls and awareness towards proper method of contraception is required.
Though, the best contraception for young unmarried girls is to say “NO”. However there are some measures of contraception which can be used in young girls with a wide range of safety and some which should not be used.
Barrier method of contraception in young girls
Barrier method is considered as best in young girls as it not only prevent pregnancy, but is also protective in transmission of sexually transmitted disease from one partner to other like AIDS.
The most commonly used barrier contraceptive is condoms, but in many cases men refuges to use this as they find it uncomfortable. In that case woman can use TODAY sponge with spermicidal cream.
Though the period of abstinence is difficult for young couple, but they should be aware of unsafe period which is considered widely from 7th day of 1st menstruation day to 21st day. There is a myth that the menstruation period is most unsafe, but the truth is just reverse as those are the safest period.
Intrauterine contraceptive devices
Intrauterine contraceptive devices includes Lippes loop, Copper T etc. It is not a preferred method for unmarried or newly married couple without any issue; however it is a good choice for a parous young woman if there are no contraindications and considered as one of the best method for spacing childbirth. Now a days there are some copper device which can be kept for even 5 to 7 years without any problem.
For a woman with heavy period and painful period progesterone copper device is suggested.
Hormonal Contraceptives in young girls
There are various forms of oral contraceptive pills and most commonly used is combined oral contraceptive pills which contains estrogen as well as progesterone.
Combined oral contraceptive pills
Combined oral contraceptive pills can be safely taken by young couples. Most of the brand like Ovral L comes up with 21 tablets in a pack. It is taken from the 5th day (1st day is considered as the first menstrual day) for continuous 21 days and then a gap of 7 days. The period will be in this gap period. Then again after a gap of 7 days new pack should be started irrespective of the number of days of the period.
If a girl forgets to take the pill in a day, she should immediately take it as soon as she remembers and the next dose should be as scheduled and should not be delayed. But if a woman forgets 2 days, she should opt another contraceptive method for that entire cycle and should start afresh from the next cycle.
One must remember that if a young nulliparous girl below the age of 24 years takes combined contraceptive pills for continuous 4 years, there is a chance of breast cancer. So a girl with a family history of breast cancer should be cautious and should not use for long.
Progesterone only pills
Progesterone only pills are also called lactating pills and is not preferred over combined oral contraceptive pills because of the side effects of irregular bleeding, amenorrhea and high failure rate.
However this is the most preferred contraceptive measures for lactating mother. Please look here for detail about this pill.
Mini pills or Progesterone only pills
Injectable contraceptives and dermal implants
The another drawback of combined oral contraceptive pills is problem in its compliance, as it has to be taken regularly, often a girl misses and then she have to go for another contraceptive measure for the entire cycle. Injectable contraceptive and dermal implants are acceptable in young girl if the side effects she can tolerate.
These are the newer form of contraception and detail about them can be seen here.
Dermal implants for long term contraception
These contraceptive measure once taken can be effective for long term, thus there is no more worry for missing pills.
I don’t feel it is necessary to describe why this is not a preferred mode of contraception for young girls. As it is a permanent method of contraception, even Government of India passed a law that permanent sterilization with surgical procedure should not be performed in a woman less than 20 years with two or less children and the youngest child less than 2 years.
Thus these are some methods of contraception in young adolescent, newly married and unmarried girls, one can choose the best suitable method for them and I would suggest barrier method and combined oral contraceptive pills for them.
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