Nothing can put the breaks on a fun night of sex like a birth control malfunction. One minute you're in the groove, and then suddenly you remember you forgot to take your pill. Talk about ruining the moment — panic is so not sexy. If you want to stay on top of your contraception game, certain birth control hacks will maximize the efficiency of pills, condoms, and devises that keep you out of the diaper aisle.
When it comes to birth control, there is a lot to be thankful for — effectiveness, availability, and variety to name a few. Modern medicine has given women and men many choices when it comes to being able to have sex without getting pregnant and, in some cases, without contracting a sexually transmitted disease. When used correctly, birth control can do a stellar job and get the work done. But unfortunately, nothing is 100 percent guaranteed, which is why if you are using birth control (or thinking about starting or switching methods), it's good to know some tips for maximum effectiveness.
Before you buy that next box of condoms or think about trying a vaginal ring, read through these nine birth control hacks to get the most out of your contraception.
1. Implant It & Forget It
For a truly hands free approach to birth control, consider Long-Acting Reversible Contraception (LARC). Currently, there are two options available for this method: IUD and birth control implants. Since the devise is implanted into your body, it releases the appropriate amount of hormones each day, so you don't have to remember to take a pill. Just keep in mind, these help to stop baby making, but don't protect against STDs.
2. Change Condoms Every 30 Minutes
Getting down for a long sex sesh? Don't start and end with the same condom. NHS England noted that friction can increase the chance of a condom tear, so make sure to change to a fresh condom every 30 minutes to be safe.
3. Have Plan B On Hand
Not all safety precautions are foolproof, so it's good to have a back up plan in your medicine cabinet. If you want to avoid a last minute scramble for the morning after pill, keep a pack in your purse at all times. This way you will never need to panic about making it to the pharmacy in time.
4. Double Up
It take about a week for the pill to start working it's magic. That means, for the first seven days, you are going to need extra contraception, such as a condom or a diaphram. There is no harm in being too careful, so go ahead and be extra cautious.
5. Set Reminders
If you want to make sure you remember to take your birth control pill, try setting an alarm on your phone to prompt your memory. This way if you get distracted, you'll always have a reminder.
6. Make Sure It's Safe
Novelty condoms might be fun and flavorful, but it doesn't mean they're safe. Check wrappers for the BSI Kitmark which ensures condoms a safe and effective.
7. Try A Vaginal Ring
Don't want to remember to take the pill every day, but aren't ready to get a LARC implanted? Meet in the middle with a vaginal ring. Products like NuvaRing are placed in the vagina for three weeks, and removed for one to allow for a period. This is another good options for those who want to not think about birth control on a daily basis.
8. Know When To Say "No" To Lube
Something just don't mix, like latex and oil. If you use an oil based lube with a latex condom, you could have trouble on your hands. As Our Bodies, Our Selves noted, the oil will break down the latex in the condom, which can cause rips and tears. Make sure to read labels on your products before getting down to business to avoidany mix-ups.
9. Do Your Homework
There are a lot of myths out there about what can make the pill less effective. Such as eating grapefruit, getting the flu shot, or taking antibiotics. As Planned Parenthood notes:
The only medications that will reduce the effectiveness of combined hormone methods like the pill are the anti-tuberculosis drug, rifampin (Rifadin) and anticonvulsants/anti-seizure medications such as Tegretol, Dilantin, Mysoline, phenobarbital and the anti-fungal medication griseofulvin.
Always make sure to tell your doctor what medications you are taking before starting birth control to make sure there are no conflicts.