Tina and Dan are considering various birth control methods. They are a newly-married couple who practiced abstinence before marriage and plan on starting their family within a year.
Choose possible methods of contraception for the couple and discuss the advantages and disadvantages they would need to consider at this point in their lives.
The two methods that look the most advantageous to this couple would be a condom and spermicide or a diaphragm and spermicide. I say that because sterilization is not an option because they plan on starting a family within a year. On the other end of the spectrum, just spermicide, withdrawal, or rhythms have too high of a failure rate to last for that long without pregnancy. I would also not advise birth control pills or UID’s because of some of the negative side effects. Therefore, either a condom and spermicide or a diaphragm and spermicide offer the perfect balance of non-permanence and low failure rates. There are advantages and disadvantages to both condoms and diaphragms. The common disadvantage to both types of contraception is decreased spontaneity. The diaphragms offer increased sexual sensation for both the male and female partners, but at the price of a higher failure rate. The diaphragm has a failure rate of between 6 and 21%, depending on proper use; whereas, the condom’s failure rate is a consistent 12% (Rathus, Nevid, & Fichner-Rathus, 2005). On the other hand, the condom comes at the cost of decreased tactile response on the part of both the male and female partners. One factor that might not affect this couple is the barrier for STI’s that the condom represents. This couple is in a long term, committed relationship, but you can never be too careful these days. Both the condom and diaphragm can be dislodged and therefore can become ineffective if not positioned and maintained properly. Moreover, the condom is more dependent on the male partner and the diaphragm is more dependent on the female partner. Since the female partner would take most of the physical burden of pregnancy she might prefer to have the responsibility of contraception. Also, a diaphragm offers no defense against STI’s. Both the condom and the diaphragm include spermicide as a secondary contraceptive. Sometimes these chemicals can irritate both the female and male partner’s genitals.
Linda is a young single woman with active dating life. She chooses to be intimate only with long-term committed partners. She is wary of the risks associated with sexually transmitted infections and has decided that she does not want to be a single parent.
Choose possible methods of contraception for Linda and discuss the advantages and disadvantages she should consider at this point in her life.
There is only one combination of contraceptives that I would advise this lady to use: condom and spermicide. This is the only combination that offers any clinically proven defense against STI’s (Rathus, Nevid, & Fichner-Rathus, 2005). If she used condoms in conjunction with spermicidal jelly, then her and her partner would be able to reach almost birth control pill failure rates. The greatest downfall to this type of contraceptive is that half of the implementation is not under her control. She could insist on positioning the condom herself to relieve any related anxiety. She does have control over the spermicidal jelly. It would be important that she made sure that the jelly was placed in the right areas and at the right time before coitus. It is also important that she leave the spermicide within the vagina for a fair amount of time after coitus and before cleansing. If she is worried about STI’s she should also not use any type of animal-based condoms because their pores are big enough for STI’s to pass through. The biggest drawback to this combination of contraceptives is a severe restriction of spontaneity. The male partner would have to sheath his erect penis and the female partner would have to apply spermicide and wait for it to take effect before coitus could commence.
Rathus, S.A., Nevid, J.S., and Fichner-Rathus, L. (2005). Human sexuality in a world of diversity. (6th ed.) Boston, MA: Allyn and Bacon.