On this episode, we hear from birth control expert, Emily Aytes. She uncovers some of the most common questions she receives. Interestingly, Emily shares that both young and older people ask her about birth control as it isn’t widely discussed from her experience. Her personal opinion is that having a birth control conversation with your partner early on allows you to enjoy sex and delve into other parts of your relationship.
Long acting reversible contraception
If you have ever wondered what a LARC is, Emily explains the acronym to us: LONG ACTING REVERSIBLE CONTRACEPTIVE. This includes IUDs which can last between 3-12 years. Emily shares the side effects of the IUD and unpacks NEXPLANON, the copper and plastic iud. Benefits of this include not having to remember anything as these methods provide protection without any further human intervention once they are implanted. If you change your mind and decide to remove the device, rest assured that it’s relatively easy to continue where you left off.
The shot is another commonly taken contraceptive in this category and contains Progesterone. Again, Emily discusses the side effects and notes that this method too is pretty effective.
Other Birth Control Methods
The pill has proven to be a highly effective method from Emily’s findings, however she notes the side effects and the fact that human intervention is required everyday, opening up a window for error and loss of effectiveness.
Touching on condom use, Emily explains how human error can result in a lack of effectiveness while doubling up on methods eg IUD plus a condom, can increase effectiveness. On the positive side, condoms are accessible without prescription and offer a wide range to suit your personal preference.
Planned Parenthood website is recommended if you are interested in a more natural method that does not require any external intervention.
One of the most common questions Emily gets asked is around how pregnancy occurs. For this reason, she explains the biological process for us in an easy to understand way.
We learn more about emergency contraceptive including the morning after pill : Plan B ( no script required) and Ella ( which requires a script) and the Copper T which is extremely effective.
Another common question Emily gets is whether you can get pregnant during your period. While it is possible, she explains it is not likely. For a more behavioural method of contraceptive, Emily discusses withdrawal which is only 78% effective.
Emily Aytes (she/they pronouns) is a community outreach educator with Planned Parenthood in Indiana state. As an educator, her role includes offering comprehensive, inclusive, and medically accurate sexual health information to her local community and beyond.
The majority of her work in the community is with young people in middle and high school classrooms teaching about relationships, consent, birth control methods, STIs, gender, and communication skills.
Emily is passionate about all folks having access to sexual health information so that they can make their own informed decisions. She also enjoys teaching about racial and social justice, LGBTQ+ identities, and sexual pleasure
Resources and Links