Educate Yourself

The articles presented in this Birth Control Guide are designed to give you an overview of the subjects they discuss. If there is a particular topic that you are interested in learning more about, we strongly encourage you to do your own research. After all, education and knowledge is power. When doing your research, though, try to find resources that present an unbiased view or consult different references for a variety of viewpoints. And remember: don't believe everything you hear.

Hidden Bias
As you sort through all your literature, keep in mind just who is providing you with information. For example, while birth control manufacturers are obliged to give you accurate information concerning their products, they may downplay some of the side effects or risks in order to encourage their use.

If you notice that similar studies on contraception have varying results, then check to see how the studies were done. There are many things that can affect the results of a study. Whether participants were typical users or perfect users of the contraception; how long the participants have been using the particular method of contraception being tested; the age of the participants; whether female participants have had children; and whether or not participants have finished having children can all alter the results of a study.

At the Doctor's
Your health care provider can be a great source of information when it comes to birth control but you may need to take their advice with a grain of salt. Like most other informational resources, doctors are inclined to have their own biases when it comes to contraception. Many prefer to prescribe the birth control pill and may downplay the associated health risks and failure rates of this type of contraception.

This is not to say that you shouldn't discuss your contraceptive choices with your doctor; in fact, it is very important to discuss with your health care provider your birth control options. Just be sure to do your research, ask questions and then decide on a method of birth control that is right for you. Whether that method is an IUD, diaphragm, natural family planning methods or the pill is up to you.

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