Features

Illustrations: Kims Wiens.

In this fast-paced world of modern medical science, it’s hard to keep track of all the different contraceptive methods that you have at your disposal. As such, here’s a quick rundown of some of the most popular. If you have any questions or concerns about the methods mentioned, please talk to your doctor.

Abstinence

FEA_Contraceptives_Abstinance_Kim-Wiens

Effectiveness:

100 per cent.

Protection against STIs: YES

Price:

No tangible cost, but the psychological price you pay could be incalculable.

Fun Factor:

Non-existent—unless you consider a lifetime of untouched genitals to be a good time.


Birth Control Pills

FEA_newContraceptives_Birth-Control_Kim-Wiensnew

Effectiveness:

99 per cent, if used correctly.

91 per cent, if used incorrectly.

Protection against STIs: NO

Price:

Prices vary wildly depending on your health insurance, but most 20-year-old women can expect to pay the following for the rest of their child bearing years:

$10,000 with insurance.

$60,000 without insurance.

(Note: Planned Parenthood Ottawa offers for $10-a-month packs for women under 25. Birth control is also covered under the SFUO health insurance).

Fun Factor:

Medium—simple and easy to use, although different women might experience annoying side effects (nausea, breast tenderness) that may mess up your mojo.


Condoms

FEA_NEWContraceptives_Condoms_Kim-Wiens

Effectiveness:

98 per cent, if used correctly.

82 per cent, if used incorrectly.

Protection against STIs: YES

Price:

Depends on where you live, but around campus you can expect to spend $8-$15 for a pack of 12.

You can also get them for free if you consult with institutions like U of O Health Services, Ottawa Public Health, or the Fulcrum.

Fun Factor:

Low—nobody likes to fumble around in the dark with their privates, especially when the situation is getting steamy.


 Diaphram

Contraceptive_diaphragm

Effectiveness:

94 per cent, if used correctly.

88 per cent, if used incorrectly.

Protection against STIs: NO

Price:

After being fitted for one, cost can range from $25 to $75.

Fun Factor:

Medium—this device is simple to use and portable, even though it needs the addition of spermicide foam to be truly effective.


Intrauterine device (IUD)

Mirena_IntraUterine_System

Effectiveness:

99 per cent, if used correctly.

Protection against STIs: NO

Price:

The cost for a medical exam, an operation to insert the device, and a check-up can equal up to $1,000.

Fun Factor:

High—sure, the initial operation might suck, but you only have to worry about this procedure every five to twelve years depending on what kind of IUD you choose. In the meantime, go nuts.


Pull-out

FEA_NEWContraceptives_Pull-Out_Kim-Wiens

Effectiveness:

96 per cent, if used correctly.

77 per cent, if used incorrectly.

Protection against STIs: NO

Price:

Free of charge, unless you fuck it up. Babies cost a lot.

Fun Factor:

Medium—especially if you get off on high risk activities like tight rope walking and Russian Roulette. However, it can get stressful for the ladies who are often left wondering if the method was effective.


Vasectomy

FEA_NEWContraceptives_Vasectomy_Kim-Wiens

Effectiveness:

Pretty much 100 per cent.

Protection against STIs: NO

Price:

Can be pretty pricey, costing upwards of $1000 for a single operation. But then again, you only have to deal with it once.

Fun Factor:

Low—can be really distressing if you change your mind down the road, since some of these procedures can’t be reversed.