The prevalence of unwanted or rather unplanned pregnancies have been on the rise in the American society and across the globe. In this regard, researchers and scholar have carried out research on different birth control methods to reduce the prevalence of these cases in the society. As a result, one of the birth control methods, which was fully introduced in the second half of the 20th century and has been in use since then with constant improvements, is oral contraceptive. Therefore, this research paper will look at the use of oral contraceptives as the best birth control method as compared to others. This research will begin by mentioning some of the advantages of using this method as well as compare it to other available methods and examine some of the cultural opinion and controversies on its use in birth control. Finally, this research will conclude by ascertaining that indeed, oral contraceptive is the best birth control method.
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The use of birth control methods by both men and women has been in place for many centuries. In consistent with this, different birth control methods have been utilized to prevent pregnancy as one of the approaches towards planned parenthood. Following this point, the society has been able to control the number of children who are born and thus enable it to control population growth. Consequently, research indicates that there are numerous birth control methods which have been developed over time to guarantee that both men and women in the society are able to control their births. One of the birth control methods which is current used widely is oral contraceptive.
To begin with, oral contraceptives are medications, mostly in form of pills which are taken through the mouth to completely prevent pregnancy for a particular period of time. Notably, whereas both men and women use different types of birth control methods, the use of oral contraceptives is used only among women despite the fact that there could be a possibility of developing oral contraceptives for men. In other words, oral contraceptives are currently used only among women. These types of contraceptives have been around for a very long period of time. In reference to McCracken (2010), the use of oral contraceptive has been around for as long as 50 years (p.686). Notably, the first trials of pills occurred in the 20th century, with Margaret Sanger and Mrs. Katherine McCormick as the pioneers. The research which was carried by these women from early 1930s was meant to help women from a low social class to control parenthood and as a result reduce the burden of having a large family. More so, their approach to developing oral contraceptive was based on the fact that hormonal alterations could prevent pregnancy among women.
There are different controversial issues which have surrounded the use of oral contraceptives in the society. Notably, there have been arguments that oral contraceptives have long term effects on women. For instance, it has been argued that using the pill increased the risks of thombophlebitic and cardiovascular disease as well as a suspected slight increase in the incidence of breast cancer (McCracken, 2010, p.685). Despite the fact that there have been a lot of arguments against the use of oral contraceptives as a birth control methods, oral contraceptive remains as the perfect approach towards preventing pregnancy and as a result, effecting planned parenthood.
Advantages of Oral Contraceptives
It is important to note that there are numerous researches and studies which have been carried out in the past to ascertain the benefits and effectiveness of using oral contraceptives as a birth control method. Notably, Bosseti et al. (2002) argues that all the researches which were carried out indicated that the protective effect of oral contraceptives was consistent in all the studies in the analysis, notwithstanding the differences in the prevalence of Oral contraceptive use, lifestyle and reproductive characteristics of women from various countries (p.263). Therefore, these studies disregard the fact that using oral contraceptive has negative effects on women.
In consistent with this, it was found out that women who started using Oral contraceptives at younger ages and reported a longer time since the first use had an apparent stronger protection, which however, appeared to be mainly attributed to longer duration use (Bosseti et al., 2002, p.264). In other words, women who used the Oral Contraceptives for a longer period increased their protection levels against such disease as ovarian cancer. Note that these are some of the most risky diseases which women are vulnerable to in the contemporary society and therefore, anything which could reduce this vulnerability was appreciated.
In extreme cases, where women had been involved in unprotected sex, which could result into a pregnancy, there are emergency oral contraceptives which have been developed to deal with such cases. According to Frost, Finer & Tapales (2008), each year, publicly funded family planning providers enable millions of poor and low-income women throughout the United States to achieve their childbearing goals and avoid unplanned pregnancies (p.787). In this regard, these women are able to protect themselves from getting pregnant, both in cases where they take cautionary measures and also in cases where they failed to take these measures. Remarkably, one of the pregnancy issues which have been of concern to women is getting unplanned pregnancies. This mostly occurred in cases where women had unprotected sex during their unsafe days, yet with no intention of getting pregnant. In such cases, the administering of the emergency pills has worked miracles, with a very high level of accuracy.
There contemporary society has also experienced an increasing rate of abortion. Note that, the current society's sexual activities have been on the rise, with people as young as 12 years being sexually active. As a result, there have been an increased number of unwanted pregnancies which have been reported in the United States and across the globe. Consequently, the cases of abortions which have been reported have also increased tremendously, with most women endangering their own lives as well as exposing themselves to the risks of barrenness in their future lives. However, this could be averted when oral contraceptives are used. Conspicuously, oral contraceptives are relatively cheap and can be bought even as over the counter medicines. The ability of oral contraceptives to be accessed easily and their affordability can be used to reduce the abortion cases as well as deaths and the risks of barrenness among these women. Particularly, Frost, Finer & Tapales (2008) argues that in the mid-1990s, the services supported by public family planning expenditures prevented 1.3 million; about 630,000 of these pregnancies would have ended in abortion and 530,000 would have resulted in an unintended birth (p.779).
As compared to other birth control methods, oral contraceptives were ranked among the safest method and with fewer effects on the user. To begin with, research shows that there are different birth control methods which have been developed so far apart from oral contraceptives. These birth control methods include Intrauterine Device (IUD), permanent birth control (sterilization), the natural method, etc. However, there are serious disadvantages or rather effects which have been noted with these types of contraceptives as compared to oral contraceptives. To begin, the health effects of these types of contraceptives on women are evident. In other words, these methods of birth control pose a serious risk on women's heath. For instance, the use of Intrauterine Device (IUD) could easily damage the womb of the person who used it and as a result prevent implantation in future. In addition, there are serious discomforts and diseases which were associated with the use of IUD. These include clinical pelvic inflammatory disease (Shelton, 2001, p.443). Similarly, the use of the IUD increased the vulnerability to virginal infections.
Apart from increasing the risks of injury and infections among women, the other methods of birth control which are mentioned above have been found to possess a long-term effect on women, some of which were not reversible. For instance, whereas the sterilization method of birth control was effective in controlling pregnancy, this method posed a risk to the woman of not getting a child after it had been administered. Stated in other words, there were cases which have been reported which showed that this method posed a risk of not being reversible. However, this did not occur in all cases. Furthermore, when a reverse of this method failed, the patient was most likely to be stressed as a result of the knowledge that one was at risk of not getting a child. On the other hand, sterilization could cause injuries to other organs of the body during the sterilization process (Famuyide at al., 2008, p.435).
In consistent with this, oral contraceptives have less effects and risks on health as compared to the risks and effects which are caused by the other methods of birth control. It is important to understand that apart from increasing the resistance to certain disease by women in the society, the use of oral contraceptives are have a 99.9% level of efficiency in preventing pregnancy in the contemporary society. Note that the continued research and study has enabled medical practitioners to develop appropriate dose content that has drastically reduced the risks that women are exposed to when using this method of birth control (McCracken, 2010, p.685). The ease with which this method can be implemented has also been found to increase its safety in the medical among its users. In reference to Batur, Elder & Mayer (2003), the safety of oral contraceptives has been demonstrated in millions of women, and taking them is considered safer than pregnancy (p.686-687).
Cultural Opinion and Controversy of the pill
There have been arguments which have arisen since the introduction of oral contraceptive that have raised controversial issues towards this method of birth control. To begin with, birth control has been associated mostly with infidelity in the society. Notably, most people in the society across the globe perceive the use of birth control methods as a way which could easily be utilized by women to be unfaithful to their husbands and erase any evidence against them which could arise as a result of a child being born. In other words, when a child is born, he or she could be used as evidence that the mother had been unfaithful to her husband. Therefore, most husband were found to resist the use of contraceptives, especially oral contraceptives which could easily be obtained and used.
Mentioned in other word, the researches which have been conducted in the society reveals that one of the factors which has led to the resistance of oral contraceptive, especially the emergence contraceptive pills is sexual promiscuity. In line with this, Kauffman (2009), several politicians have voiced their concerns about the 'massive' dosage of birth control hormones which were about t be unleashed on American women and speculated that emergency control pills would encourage sexual promiscuity (p.3). Similarly, there has been an outcry that women's lives were put at risk of being infected with sexually transmitted diseases since most of the women who used oral contraceptives did not take precautions to protect themselves against these diseases. These arguments have resulted in the resistance towards the mass distribution of oral contraceptive across the United States and in other countries across the globe.
Additionally, the use of oral contraceptives in the United States was used by women to postpone marriage and birth and as a result enable to focus on their studies and career development (Abbasi-Shavazi et al., 2009, p.11). This meant that women were able to engage in active sexual activities without the fear of getting pregnant in during their career development period. On the contrary, since the Iranian Islamic laws are very stringent, most women in this nation got married at a very young age while using oral contraceptives to postpone getting pregnant in order to further their careers. These two nations portray a totally different cultural approach to oral contraceptives in their midst.
Despite the fact that there have been a lot of arguments against the use of oral contraceptives as a birth control methods, oral contraceptive remains as the perfect approach towards preventing pregnancy and as a result, effecting planned parenthood. Notably, apart from being among the few birth control methods which increases the ability of the user to resist certain diseases as cervical cancer, research found out that with proper use, it was able to attain accuracy up to 99.9%. Its safety among its users was also ascertained. On the contrary, the arguments which have arisen against oral contraception were unfounded and based on heresy, cultural beliefs and opinions and had no scientific backing. This therefore implies that oral contraceptive is the best method of birth control.