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How to Young Adult 101 | Don't want crying babies. Don't want crying meemies.

Before we start, I just want to say that: this post is long. Like, really long. But don't be discouraged because you won't find information like this in many places. I would suggest you sit down and spend a few minutes to read through everything. Also, I would highly discourage screen-through reading or fast-reading.

Sex!  Ew!

Oh, what a vulgar, vulgar word to see for conservative people. This is a taboo for most older people but it shouldn't be. Truth be told I'm not a staunchly religious person nor am I someone who finds the act of consensual intimacy disgraceful (except adultery). I was brought up in a semi-old fashioned family but I allow myself to learn and be open-minded. To me, this isn't about who's more sexually active or not. I don't see the relation between "using birth control" = "very sexually active" because even those who don't use any birth control can be very active too but that's really not the point in this blog post.

In other words, it's not about who's a whore or a player. I really don't care how sexually active you are because that is your business. Other people shouldn't be concerned about it and they should mind their own f-king business if they do. The point of this blog post is about protecting yourself from unexpected (or unwanted) stress, burden and fatigue from every single aspect: financially, mentally and physically.

In this world, everyone has their very own opinion about this, combined with their own culture and religion. See, I do respect all religious teachings and I understand that people may have old-fashioned thinking. However, this blog post is dedicated to those who are (mentally) mature and open-minded, regardless of their race, culture and religion. (It means you should leave if you're only here to judge or laugh. Pregnancy prevention isn't a laughing matter. If you want something to laugh at, then you can consider laughing at your own life because you are immature.) In this place, we respect everyone's opinions and decisions but we will not stand for hate, discrimination and judgmental comments. However, if you're a medical student/doctor with more knowledge about this, please do let me know what you think about the information. I am up for corrections.

Also, be a dear and share this with your friends, okay? ๐Ÿ’–
An unexpected pregnancy is sometimes a blessing but not all the time, especially when a couple can't handle the stress and burden. So do feel free to share this and save a life.

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Why I'm writing this


Now it's hard to get complete information because *sigh* it really isn't easy to look for information in Malaysia as it would be in America. Many gynaecologists don't have the proper platform for people to inquire and usually, people need to visit them by appointment just to consult them on a few things instead of actually getting treatment. Sure, I could also ask the nurses but they usually give me short answers with an annoyed tone. I guess I'm not worth their 'precious' time *sigh*. Most of the local professionals in this industry don't actually contribute information on the internet so that also made things harder to find on Google.

When I had discussed this topic with my peers, many of them were baffled at how much information they've missed. My friends are all mature people. Some had already ventured into the journey of intimacy, some are having thoughts about it and the rest are innocent virgins that hadn't made attempts to obtain any knowledge. Majority of them questioned why it's so hard to find information online and that our government's sex education programs don't cover enough information.

I still remember the two sessions, one during my Standard 6 and another during high school. They had only briefly covered about condoms, IUD and spermicide. Telling us sex is bad and that we're too young for it but never actually explained why. I still remember one of the disciplinary teachers had told us not to kiss because "once you've started it, you can't stop and then you'll get pregnant." I'm laughing now as I typed that because I still remember how serious he was trying to sound. It's true that many youngsters have no self-control but not all, ya know. Other than that, they've hardly helped in reducing teen pregnancy, at least for the people of my age.

I've heard about so many people marrying at a young age since I was 16 years old because they've got (someone) knocked up. A few were divorced within a year or so, simply because they figured that they were too young when they got married. So now, they "want someone new / freedom." Dick move, I know, which is why I'm writing this blog post: to try to avoid bad endings like those scenarios, not just for myself but for other people as well.

"But what for if I'm/someone's not having sex so soon?"
It's called a 'prevention' for a reason, hunney. It means that you do something to 'prevent' tragedy from happening before it's too late. Literally, by definition, it means the "action of stopping something from happening or arising". Once you've got (someone) knocked up, your whole world will change unless you take any prevention to avoid it from happening. Look, there's no way you're too early for prevention, given if you have a perfectly healthy body. (This topic includes lots of thinking and consideration. Each and everybody has a different condition and reaction.)

You've already seen people who got pregnant at the age of 18 because they weren't careful enough. They might be forced to marry someone they don't love and had gotten abused/divorced shortly after. They might also be forced to raise a child on their own as a single parent. You've seen people who got drunk/drugged and taken advantage of (raped) in many places. Let's be real, those men don't care if you got knocked up. They only care about their own pleasure. So if you've happened to be part of those tragedies, what are you gonna do then? If you were raped, it's not your fault at all (and remember to speak up because he/she deserves to be punished). However, are you going to keep your rapist's baby? I know I would hate to do that.

"Heck, birth controls are expensive tho.."
Okay. You're not wrong but I can still refute you. Let's say that you're now only 20 years old and you're planning to get a child 10 years later, which is at the age of 30 and above. In a virtually perfect world, where the price is constant and you remember to eat your prescriptions on time, getting the pills at an average of RM30 per month will cost you RM3600 in 10 years. Wew. That is the cheapest upfront cost option, by the way. On the other hand, if you want the most expensive upfront cost yet has longer effectiveness (and with the cheapest break-down cost), getting an expensive choice of IUD that lasts 5 years each  (Mirena) would only cost you RM2300 in total (RM1150 every 5 years), which is RM1300 cheaper.

The price range above were obtained from private clinics and pharmacies. LPPKN (Ministry of Women, Family, and Community Development), a government sector, has been contributing to family planning for women and men by providing their services in a very, very affordable price tag. They've set up a website for national residents and foreigners to read through. Although not very informative, they still provide more information than most private sectors of this industry. You can find their price range, services provided and other information from their website. They don't explain which does what though. So it may be confusing when you're reading the lists.

But oops, if you've got knocked up by accident in between those ten years and you've decided to keep it, then you're tied to a lot of expenses. Starting from clinic/hospital visits (hundreds per session; check-ups, scans, etc), giving birth (depending on the type of delivery, I heard it's around RM 2000-5000+ in public hospitals and RM 5000-15000+ if at a private; daily ward charges, food, deposits, registration fee, etc) and doctor fees for delivering your baby (operating theater, labor room, delivery fee, epidural, anesthesia, etc). Just those bills already cost more than what you'd pay for pregnancy prevention. Not to mention that you've gotta pay for the baby's daily necessities (lots of vaccines and injections; diapers, milk powder, stroller, crib, blankets, clothes, toiletries; overall about roughly RM700-2000 per month), daycare ( about RM700-1000 per month), kindergarten, school supplies for primary school & secondary school, deadly expensive tertiary education and so much more! Gooh-gooh gaga! View more about pricing here.

In short, my aim here is to help as many people as possible to realize what sort of options they have in order to protect themselves and what they can do in order to keep themselves safe from unwanted pregnancy. (Okay, kinda made it sound scary but hey, if it really happens then it is scary...) The fact that I have opted for contraceptives was because I did a lot of thinking long ago (I'm 22 and I started thinking about having one around 4 years ago), even before I started dating (I've only started dating after 21 years old). See, I'm doing this as prevention. I want to make sure my future will not be affected by unplanned events. Before we dive into the options, here are some FAQ's to learn about.

Disclaimer: I try to gather as much information as possible and the pricing are from private clinics in Malaysia. You can expect public clinics to charge cheaper but I personally feel a bit sceptical about it. It's just me, okay. You can totes opt for getting treatment from public clinics. Also, the reason why the pricing is in private clinic rates is to tell you that even the most expensive method won't cost as much as an unwanted pregnancy.

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Interesting FAQ's

1. Why can't I just use condoms only? (This is a typical male's question)
Interestingly enough, condoms have failure rates as high as 15%-20%. In other words, about 15 out of 100 people who use condoms as their only birth control method will get pregnant each year. This means, out of a billion people who only use a condom during sex, 150000000 people will get pregnant. You still wanna take the risk?

2. If she's protected, this means I don't need to wear a condom anymore, right?
Wrong. The thing is, even though your partner is protected from pregnancy, she's not guaranteed to be protected from your STD's (or you're not protected from hers). Not to mention, using condoms when she's also protected would increase the chances of pregnancy and STD prevention. However, you shouldn't use a male condom when she's using a female condom. Apparently, it'll be detrimental to use both at the same time.

3. Are hormonal contraceptives dangerous?
They're not but they do pose some side-effects depending on your body condition. It could be weight gain, headaches, mood swings, sore breasts, irregular periods (either none or superbly overwhelming), acne, nausea and decreased sexual desire. Some contraceptives cause pain during application and removing too. In the meantime, IUD can cause bacterial infection if you're not careful.

4. Sh*t! He came inside and I wasn't protected!
Emergency contraceptives are here to save your day! (However, I don't recommend doing this all the time as it will highly damage your womb. It's like hitting an emergency brake in you but more aggressively.) You have two options, either a Paragard IUD within 5 days or morning-after pills (aka plan B) within 72-120 hours. Sperm can live inside your body for up to 6 days after being ejaculated inside so taking an emergency contraceptive helps to pull back your ovary from releasing an egg which will be met by Prince Sperm (ew). However, it won't work if your body has already started ovulating. (Read more from Plan B section below.)

5. Can any of these contraceptives prevent STD?
None. Na-dah. The only contraceptive that can prevent STD is a condom. That's why I keep asking y'all to wear ittttttttttt.

6. Am I a dick if I don't pay partially/half/fully for my girlfriend/wife's birth control?
Yes. Yes, you are. Listen, both of you are in this together. Both of you are responsible for preventing pregnancy. Don't be a selfish dick. In return, she can pay half or take turns to buy condoms.

7. Yooooo pulling it out (withdrawal) when I cum is the ultimate way
I can't imagine how dumb you are if you think it really is. First of all, it's not easy to pull out as it requires a large amount of self-control. Not to mention, when your dick is inside her raw, there would still be chances of living sperm cell to swim into her womb. Even if you cum outside of her vagina, the sperm still can swim into the vagina and boom(!) someone's pregnant. Sure it doesn't require payment and it's easy to do so but hey, 27 out of 100 women will become pregnant if using only this method of prevention. (If perfectly employed, it should be 4% failure rate but let's face it: nobody is perfect.) Not to mention, both of you ain't protected from STDs. So, no. It is not the ultimate way.

P.s.: Even if you're having unprotected sex when she's having a period, she could still get pregnant.

8.  Cheh! Why so much hassle? Don't have sex only lah!
Tell yourself that loh. Don't have sex until you're married. See if you can or not. If you can then bravo, you get a clap. If not then keep quiet, please.

On a serious note: Tell that to the rapists, sex offenders, abusers, perverts and pedos. We can abstain when we want to because we have self-control but can they? There are men who literally killed their wives for saying 'no', by the way. Like, women are literally murdered just because they refused sex. There are also pedos who rape babies, kids, and stepdaughters. The most shocker thing is always men sexually assaulting animals.

Quite frankly, if us girls can put freaking sharp teeth in our vagina, we'd be glad to do so. Stop victim blaming. Many reports already made it clear that it's not how they dress or behave, it's the men's intention to take advantage without consent. (Giving consent when she's drunk or drugged is not a valid consent, by the way. A proper consent should be made when she is conscious, not underage, and clear enough to make a decision.) It's never the victim's fault. This world has too many men with ill intentions. There's really no way you can tell them to "don't have sex lah."



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Before you start

Okay, so now you're thinking about doing this for yourself/partner. There are quite a few things you need to think about. You have to remember that you shouldn't take this too lightly. Taking hormonal birth control is a huge decision, even non-hormonal ones have risks. So make sure you will take the time to think these through.

First and foremost, is your/her health condition suitable? You can try with health screening from a specialist clinic or a hospital first. After you get your test results, consult with the gynae and see if you're suitable to use hormonal birth control. Some women's body is sensitive to certain hormones (in a sense where they can develop female-only cancer, such as breast cancer or ovarian cancer) and by increasing/decreasing hormone level with external hormones may result in health issues. Some women's bodies can't take hormonal treatment due to their body nature. These are the things you have to figure out before your second step.

Second, ask yourself this question: "Am I mentally and physically capable to handle the side effects?" If you're thinking for your partner, then evaluate about it on your own and ask her to evaluate too. It's important to have mental preparation before actually employing any (female) birth control method. Side effects, as mentioned before, can range from weight gain, headaches, mood swings, sore breasts, irregular periods (either none or superbly overwhelming), acne, nausea and decreased sexual desire. Personally, I was prepared for flooding period and mood swings. So far, I only have spotting and mood swing with the first injection that lasted three months. After transitioning to the implant, I was more depressed and anxious. However, because I was prepared (and I prepared my partner too), it wasn't too difficult capable to handle the situation without worsening it. For e.g.: when I cried for no reason, I let myself cry it out while resisting depressing thoughts. At some point, I'll stop crying and none of the depressing thoughts remained. In between my episodes, my partner would give me lots and lots of reassurance to keep me positive. (I freaking love this man.)

Third, ask yourself if you're/your partner is ready for the pain. I'm talking about the pain when they put the birth control in you. Pills will be swallowing it (some people can't swallow as it can be hurtful). The injection would be the needle poking into your skin. The implant would be both the needle and the matchstick-sized implant right to your upper arm. IUD would be the applicator going all the way up from the 'opening' to your ovary. When I had my first injection, I looked away and it wasn't painful since they would be aiming at your butt cheeks. Then, when I switch to an implant, it was significantly more painful. I distracted myself with happy thoughts. Cliche but it worked a bit. The irritation remained for a couple of days. 

Fourth, you might also wanna consider the possibility of infertility after removal. In some/rare cases, the birth control method opted may lead to the user's infertility. This can be caused by damaging of the ovary/uterus (e.g.: IUD) or the chances of getting ovarian cancer (lots of debates on this but let's not go so far). In other cases, it may be due to her inability to create an egg due to older age and body condition. For this case, I'm saying that you may be relying on hormonal birth control for too long and when you remove your birth control, you may be at the age/body condition that your ovary will no longer produce an ova/oocytes. On the other hand, there are some researches mentioning about the risk of IVF cycle cancellation due to thinner endometrial lining. Some may also experience delayed fertility after stopping your birth control, which could last from 3-6 months to 18-24 months. What I'm saying is, you may experience difficulty in getting pregnant after stopping your birth control. You may also be unable to conceive. For me, I'm not so bitter about it because I can still think about adoption. For other people... well, they're not me so I cannot comment. You should read here to learn more.

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Plan A (Steady methods)

In a still-conservative country, birth control options in Malaysia aren't as wide as what Parenthood Planning in the US would provide. The main ones are the pills (1 month), injection (3 months) and IUD (3-5 years). I've included two more uncommon options, patches (1 month) and implant (3 years), so your options are widened. I'll begin with the cheapest upfront cost then slowly to the most expensive one:

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Birth Control Pills
The most common option with 91% effectiveness

"These pills contain a combination of synthetic hormones to stop your body from releasing an egg during ovulation. No egg means no baby. The hormones also cause your cervical mucus to thicken, forming a physical barrier that stops sperm from getting any further. Hormonal birth control has a success rating of 99% and all you need to do is take one pill every day at the same time. Single-hormone pills, also known as progestin-only pills or mini-pills, are recommended for women who cannot take estrogen. Consult your doctor to find what’s best for you!" - Yi-Di Ng from Female Mag, 2017

Note: You've gotta be on time with these pills because if you forget to eat it, things can be messy. It is said to make the uterine lining hostile to implantation. Hence, there will be a "you shall not pass" sign for the sperms.
After giving birth / Breastfeeding: Depending on your doctor's prescriptions, for combined pills: If you've developed certain medical conditions during pregnancy/delivery or that you are breastfeeding, you are advised to wait until 6 weeks after birth. For mini-pills (progestin-only pill), you can use it while breastfeeding. Either way, your milk supply will still be affected somehow. Remember to consult your doctor if it drops drastically.
Fertility after removal: You should be able to have regulated ovulation within 1-3 months time.
Pricing (Pharmacies): It's a pretty cheap upfront cost, considering that it ranges between 30-50 bucks per month but as time passes it can become pretty expensive. For three years, it could cost you RM 1080 - RM 1800. For five years, it could cost you RM 1800-RM 3000. For ten years, it could cost you RM 3600 - RM 6000. (For reference only. Assuming if the price doesn't change for the next ten years.)
Pricing (Private Specialist):  A box of Yaz for RM 88 is actually very expensive... so go get one from a pharmacy instead.
Convenience: It's everywhere. You can get it from the pharmacies, the women specialist clinics and even certain hospitals. You don't need a doctor's prescription to get it but it's better to consult a professional to know which type you should get.
Types: There are actually a lot of choices to choose from. Each type has different pros and cons. I heard about Yasmin and Yaz. They are the most common type in Malaysia.
Reviews/Testimonies: Either get a regular period or none. Half said that their experienced worsened [acne/depression/anxiety/mood swings/period/breast tenderness] and the other half said that theirs were improved. The side effect really depends on the type of pills and your body condition.

Information from my friends:
Pricing (Pharmacies) RM30-50
Types: Some of my friends mentioned Marvelon (Desogestrel & Ethinyl Estradiol), Diane 35 (Cyproterone acetate; Ethinyloestradiol), Zoely (Nomegestrol Acetate and Estradiol) and Yaz (Drospirenone and Ethinyl Estradiol).
Review and testimonies: According to my friends, they find it pretty okay. The remembering part is very troublesome but overall, they were okay with the pills.

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Hormonal Patches
Like your muscle patch with 91% effectiveness

"The patch contains progestin and estrogen, which work together to help prevent pregnancy by suppressing ovulation, thickening cervical mucus so it’s harder for sperm to swim through, and thinning the uterine lining." - MedlinePlus, n.d.

It's one of the best for low upfront costs even though it's more expensive than BC pills. Wearing it is easy. It's just like a muscle patch but if a corner of the patch comes off for more than a day, you may not be protected from pregnancy.  A box contains 3 patches. You use 1 patch per week for the first three weeks. Then the fourth week is a resting week for your period. The patches can be used on your upper arm, lower abdomen, back or buttocks. It is advised to change the location of your patch every week.

Note: You cannot reapply if it's no longer sticky, stuck to itself or has touched other surfaces so you have to replace it with a new one. You must stop using it if it causes any irritation.
After giving birth / Breastfeeding: Normally, 21 days after the birth but if you have any issues with your health (e.g.: risk of blood clots) or that you are breastfeeding, you are advised to wait until 6 weeks after birth.
Fertility after removal: You should be able to have regulated ovulation within 1-3 months time.
Pricing (Pharmacies): A box of Evra is around RM 70 per box which is for an entire month. For three years, it could cost you about RM 2520. For five years, it could cost you about RM 4200. For ten years, it could cost you about RM 8400. (For reference only. Assuming if the price doesn't change for the next ten years). 
Convenience: You can get this from any pharmacies in shopping malls or from specialist clinics without doctor's prescription. 
Types: The only/common type is called Evra.
Reviews/Testimonies: Many said that you'd either get a regular period or none. Breast tenderness, cramping, dizziness and irritation were said to be experienced by many. But many had also no issue with the patches. Some users suggested that the patch leaves a sticky residue on the skin.

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Hormonal Injection 
A shot with 94% effectiveness

"Like the birth control pill and implant, this injection contains a dose of progestin hormones that stop ovulation and thicken cervical mucus. Each injection covers you for 3 months." - Yi-Di Ng from Female Mag, 2017

Similar to the implant, it is a progestin-only method but it lasts 3 months instead of 3 years. It was advised to use this as a trial before using the implant. You need to renew it every 3-4 months if you intend to keep using this method. You can switch to other methods once the effective period of this method ends.

Note: This one has higher levels of progestin which could possibly cause irritation to your lower urinary tract and may result in irritable bladder or urinary incontinence. It really does depends on how your body is taking it.
After giving birth / Breastfeeding: You can use it any time after birth as long as you have no medical risk. It shouldn't affect your milk supply but it does have more progestin than implants do and it is suggested to be used after 4-6 weeks since giving birth. This method is often not chosen when an implant is a substitute.
Fertility: You should get your period cycle back after 6-12 months of your last injection. Possibly up to 18 months-24 months too. 50% of the women will be able to conceive within 10 months of the last injection. Talk to your doctor if you don't get your period within 22 months. 
Pricing (Private Specialist): It's on the lower upfront cost side (RM 79) but it may give you a messy period (explained in implant section). For three years, it could cost you about RM 948. For five years, it could cost you about RM 1580. For ten years, it could cost you about RM 3160. (For reference only. Assuming if the price doesn't change for the next ten years.)
Pricing (General Clinic): A friend had suggested to me that a family clinic offered this service for the price of RM30. LPPKN provides a shot for RM36.
Convenience: It can only be prescribed by a healthcare professional or nurse, so clinic visits are a must. They basically inject it in your butt cheeks and that's it. 
Types: Depo-Provera (Depomedroxyprogesterone acetate)
Reviews/Testimonies: Messy period may occur. Many reviews recommended potential users to avoid this method because it caused them to have a drastically low sex drive and worsening skin condition. However, it should be evaluated based on everyone's condition. Personally, I had no issue with this method. I don't have any "heavy bleeding" like most reviewers would experience. However, I do experience constant spotting (either from the high spike of hormone or UTI) but it's clearing up after I switched to an implant.

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Hormonal Implant
A rod up in your arm with 99% effectiveness

"An implant is a tiny rod inserted under the skin of your arm. Like the birth control pill, the implant releases a synthetic hormone called progestin to prevent pregnancy. Unlike the pill, however, once it’s inserted, you don’t have to do anything. The implant covers you for 3 years, after which it must be replaced with a new implant." - Yi-Di Ng from Female Mag, 2017

This is probably the best and safest for young adults, as said by my gynae. That's because you don't require maintenance and if nothing goes wrong, your next visit should be 3 years later when you take it out of your arm. You need to sit down, relax and prepare yourself. The first needle (numbing) will come first. It hurts a little more than the vaccine. Then, immediately, a giant needle will puncture a hole through your skin to make way for the matchstick-sized rod all up into your arm.

Note: You gotta take care of the rod and make sure that it doesn't break or goes missing. Make sure not to break the rod inside your arm otherwise you need to remove it immediately to avoid any complications. Always check it's the location to avoid it going missing as on a very rare occasion, it can end up near or in your heart.
After giving birth: You can use it any time after birth as long as you have no medical risk. It shouldn't affect your milk supply but it is suggested to be used it after 4-6 weeks of giving birth.
Fertility after removal: You should be able to have regulated ovulation within a month.
Pricing (Private Specialist): Quite an expensive upfront cost (RM 850) but if you break it down into a total of 36 months (3 years), each month is not even RM 25. For three years, it could cost you RM 850. For five years, it could cost you about RM 1417. For ten years, it could cost you about RM 2834. (For reference only. Assuming if the price doesn't change for the next ten years)
Convenience: You definitely need a professional to do this so clinic visits are mandatory. 
Types: Implanon is probably the only available type in Malaysia. In the US, they use Nexplanon instead.
Reviews/Testimonies: The doctor did warn me about the messy, flooding period that lasts every day for months. Non-stop. She said if I really wanted this then I should try with the injection first. They're basically the same thing (progestin-only bc). Some users had experienced occasional bleeding, sometimes heavy and sometimes painful. A handful had experienced ruptured ovarian cyst. Some suggested that their sex drive was all time low and even lube can't help so sex was painful. However, other people had no issue with the implant. 

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IUD (Intrauterine Device)
A "T" in your T (womb) with 99% effectiveness

"The Intrauterine Device (IUD) is a small plastic device that is inserted into your womb. Like the implant and injection, the hormonal IUD releases progestin to prevent pregnancy. After insertion, the hormonal IUD will protect you for 3 – 6 years, depending on the brand. You’ll be able to check if the IUD is still in place by yourself.

The IUD also comes in non-hormonal form. Instead of hormones, the copper IUD releases copper ions into your womb to prevent fertilization and implantation. One copper IUD will protect you for up to 10 years, though a checkup every few years is recommended to ensure it is still in place." - Yi-Di Ng from Female Mag, 2017

Note: Last the longest (3-5 years) but with the most expensive upfront cost (depending on your choice). The risk of taking this includes bacterial infection, dislocation, attaching/go through the wall of the uterus. You may even experience pain, bleeding and/or dizziness during and after placement. The symptoms should pass after 30 minutes of placement but if it still goes on, quickly return to your gynae. It's also important to understand that this device isn't suitable for those who are prone to infection because the string attached to an IUD can be a "highway" for bacteria, which increases the importance of wearing a condom while employing this device.
After giving birth:  Can be inserted within 48 hours. Otherwise, it is advised to wait until the fourth week after giving birth. It's still a good idea to inquire your doctor if she/he believe that you can use it right away. In most cases, doctors would prefer to wait until you heal and stop any immediate postpartum bleeding within 2-6 weeks. Otherwise, the IUD may be dislodged and increase the risk of infection.
Fertility after removal: You should be able to have regulated ovulation within a few months time after removing a Hormonal IUD. For copper IUD, it should take about a day to 1 month time.
Convenience: You need a professional to do this so clinic visits are mandatory.
Types: Mirena was suggested by my gynae. Another type available in her clinic is Skyla. According to Parenthood Planning: These IUDs are divided into 2 types: copper IUDs (ParaGard) and hormonal IUDs (Mirena, Kyleena, Liletta, and Skyla). My gynae doesn't provide ParaGard but Mona Lisa. Both may have different properties but are copper IUDs.
Reviews/Testimonies: You can get pregnant as soon as you remove it. (For Mirena:) You may also experience a lot of pain, especially within the first few days. You might feel awfully nauseous, dizzy and painful from cramping. Some people had also experienced constant bleeding/spotting, weight gain. Some women had also experienced a complication in removing the device and even miscarriage.

Mirena (Hormonal)
Pricing (Private Specialist): A Mirena lasts up to 5 years and costs RM 1150 per unit. If you count by month, it should cost around RM 20 per month. For five years, it could cost you about RM 1150. For ten years, it could cost you about RM 2300. (For reference only. Assuming if the price doesn't change for the next ten years)

Mona Lisa (Copper)
Pricing (Private Specialist): A Mona Lisa lasts up to 5 years and costs RM 350 per unit. If you count by month, it should cost around RM 6 per month, making it the cheapest. For five years, it could cost you about RM 350. For ten years, it could cost you about RM 700. (For reference only. Assuming if the price doesn't change for the next ten years)

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Price Comparison



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Make a decision

Once you have an option in mind, read up more from proper/more informative resources. The information that I have provided you is to give you an idea of what they are and what they do. If I go into details, this blog post would be as long as the distance of the Heavens from Hell. Here is a list of information that you should read through before making an appointment for your birth control. When doing a comparison, please look at the pro's & con's for both medical (hormone/mental/physical health effects) and non-medical (pregnancy / physical changes). 

(If you're lazy to read, then that's really just your own issue.)

There are more options available and you can take a look over here. This site shows all the available methods in the US including information about their effectiveness, usage method and costs (in the US): Planned Parenthood

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More FAQ

"Am I immediately protected once I employ any of these methods?"
Other than IUD, you should be protected only after 7 days of employment. If you renew/switch to another birth control method within the effective period, you should be protected immediately. If you renew/switch to another birth control after your effective period, then I would suggest you to wait for 7 days before having another intercourse session.

"Why can't I use (certain) birth control immediately after giving birth?"
Birth control with estrogen can affect your milk supply so sometimes your baby would feel fussy because he/she isn't getting as much milk as they want. This may cause stress towards both the mother and the baby. Birth control that only has progestin (IUD, Implant and mini-pill) is suggested for breastfeeding moms and they may be able to employ immediately after giving birth but some moms prefer to wait after 6 weeks or during their 6th-week postpartum visit. The hormonal shot is trickier because some said it could affect milk supply while others said it doesn't. You can definitely use a condom but then it depends on whether you still feel pain down there or not.

"How do I know if I'm encountering irregular/unusual experiences?"
You shouldn't be experiencing immense pain or other side effects. By right, they shouldn't cause so much pain, not even during/after placement or removal. There may be some headache and cramps somewhere but it should be within your tolerance of handling the pain. You also shouldn't bleed irregularly (besides period) for a long period of time. If you do, give it a month or two. Immediately alert your doctor if it still doesn't stop after 1-2 months. You should also immediately alert your doctor if you have signs of infection (i.e.: fever and/or chills).

"Where do you see those reviews?"
Here and there. There are forums and there are actual websites for people to leave their opinions and reviews. Most of the reviews I saw are from Drugs.com. Of course, don't let the reviews scare you off so easily. Many times, a person is only willing or more inclined to speak up when they have had bad experiences with certain products or services. I was worried at first but I decided to let my own body decide whether it's good or bad for me.

๐Ÿšจ

Plan B (Emergency method)

No matter what you are doing, you should always have a contingency plan. We're lucky because we have emergency pills that we could take but there are risks and catches. I normally don't suggest people solve things with last-minute solutions. It's always better to plan ahead but if you didn't then these are the things that you can use.

๐Ÿšท 
Morning-after pills
Wake up in the morning and run to the pharmacy.

"Each dose of emergency contraception comes in the form of one or two pills. The pills contain up to 20 times the amount of hormones found in a single birth control pill, which stops and prevents ovulation immediately. These are effective up until 5 days after unprotected sex, although they work best when used within 3 days." - Yi-Di Ng from Female Mag, 2017

This pill isn't recommended for routine use and it may fail even if used correctly. If you are overweight/obese, you may find it ineffective for you. Side effects include nausea, fatigue, breast tenderness, spotting or heavier menstrual bleeding, cramps and/or dizziness. You should only use this as an emergency backup plan for situations such as breakage of the condom, forced unprotected sex (rape), failed withdrawal (pull out method), and/or have messed up your regular birth control. It is best to take the pill immediately after unprotected sex. You shouldn't wait longer than 72 hours. Morning-after pills are useless if your body has already started ovulating. The troublesome part is, very few people keep track of their menstruation cycle. Hence, timing and keeping records are very important when this pill has opted. If you vomit within 2 hours after consumption, call a professional to find out if you need to retake otherwise you may get pregnant since the pill might have been flushed out of your system.

Note: Quite honestly, I really do hope that you don't need this. It's much more damaging than you'd think. Think of it this way: Getting a Plan A is like the insurance you pay every month so you're virtually protected from any accidents, whereas getting a Plan B is like hitting an aggressive emergency brake real hard till your tyres scratch the ground and your whole car has skidded before a complete stop. The parts in your car will definitely be affected somehow.
Do not use: When you are pregnant or suspect to be (it will not end the pregnancy because this is not an abortion pill); allergy to certain ingredients; history of recent abnormal vaginal bleeding that hasn't been professionally evaluated.
Convenience: You can get it from pharmacies and it is unsure if it's available in specialist clinics because the one I visit doesn't have them.
Price (Pharmacies): RM15 - RM45
Types: Ulipristal (Brand: Ella; taken within 72 hours after sex) and Levonorgestrel (Brand: Plan B One-Step, Take Action, My Way, AfterPill, etc; taken within 120 hours after sex).
Review and testimonies: Some experienced with bloating, swollen breasts and even cravings. Many experienced spotting and experienced more painful period symptoms. Quite a lot of people would say that they felt like they were pregnant. Constipation was also one of the side effects, apparently. In short, the majority agreed that the side effects are horrible but they felt relief because they know that they weren't pregnant so it was worth it for them.

Information from my friends:
Price: RM15 - RM45
Types: Some of my friends mentioned Escapelle and Postinor (both are Levonorgestrel).
Review and testimonies: According to my friends, they agree that the side effects are terrible with the painful cramps, weight gain and mood swings. One had her period screwed up for 4 months straight.

Read more: Parenthood Planning | WebMD | Mayo Clinic | BirthControl.com


๐Ÿšง 
ParaGard IUD
99% effective for both emergency and regular use

The ParaGard IUD is the only hormone-free IUD that is placed in your uterus. It’s wrapped in a tiny bit of copper, which is supposed to interfere with the sperm movement, egg fertilization and possibly prevents any implantation. It protects you from pregnancy for up to 10-12 years. You can get pregnant the same day it is removed by your healthcare professional because this is a hormone-free method.

Note: If it comes out (expulsion) or you experience a persistent pelvic/stomach pain then you need to tell your healthcare professional. Use back-up birth control if it comes out. In some/rare occasions, the IUD may attach to (difficult removal) or go through the uterine wall (perforation), which could cause complicated problems. You may experience bleeding or spotting in the first three months but it should decrease afterwards. You should also do a monthly string check to see if there are any issues with the string that is attached to the IUD (used for removal). It is recommended to return to your provider one month after placement to make sure that it is in place.
Do not use: If you have a pelvic infection, prone to infection (e.g.: UTI) or have certain cancers. Reason for prone to infection is because of the string attached the IUD can increase the risk by leading the bacteria directly to your womb.
Convenience: Unsure because my gynae doesn't have this.
Reviews and testimonies: There is a lot of mixed reaction too which you can read from here.

Read more: Prescribing Information | Patient Information | Mayo Clinic | BirthControl.com



๐Ÿ†
How about male contraceptives?

The options available for men, globally, is limited. In Malaysia, it's even more limited. As much as what most men would want, which is more birth control methods, it's still difficult to actually get them on the market. The most commonly used is Condom. Vasectomy is widely rejected. Hormonal pills and shots are still not in the market yet despite research results are already out (I've read that men were blamed for being weak when the truth is that the pills just couldn't get into the marketplace. Men who were in the research actually wanted to continue taking the hormonal shots. Forgot the source of the article but yea). 


Condom
A little jacket for the little brother

Credit: @Jabbathekid

So many people like to skip using a condom but little did they know/care that it's actually the only way to prevent STD during intercourse. If used correctly (perfectly), it should be 98% effective but come on, nobody is perfect. So in reality, it's only 80%-85% effective. You shouldn't use this with a female condom though. Although condoms last a long time, you should always check the expiry date. Don't put condoms into your wallet if you have a habit to put your wallet in your trouser pocket because your body heat will damage the material. Basically, avoid your pocket, car, bathroom or anywhere that has excessive heat and moisture.

Don't be stingy with condoms. Use a new one whenever you switch from oral to penetration, switch holes, or even going for round two, etc. Most condoms are already pre-lubricated but you can always add water-based or silicone lube. However, do read the labels on the packaging to make sure you didn't use the wrong lube. Anything that has oil in it shouldn't have contact with latex condoms as it will damage and break the condom. 

If your female partner uses birth control (except female condom) while you use a condom too, you can bump your pregnancy prevention rate up whilst being protected from STD.

Note: Condoms are stretchable and if you have a bigger penis, then buy a bigger size. There is no way any human's penis can't fit into a condom. Don't be silly.
Failure rate: 15-20%
Convenience: Pharmacies (online & physical stores), convenient stores, supermarkets
Types: Latex, plastic
Subtypes: Normal, studded, extra thin, extra safe, flavoured, glow in the dark
Brands: Okamoto, One, Durex, Playboy, Watson, Sagami
Price (Pharmacy): RM5-15 per 3 pieces, RM13-25 per 12 pieces, RM44 per 18 pieces
Limitations: Slippage, breakage, incorrect use, latex allergies, a decrease in pleasure. Some people may have latex allergies or sensitivities but it's very, very rare. You can always switch to non-latex condoms where you can buy in most places that sell standard condoms.


Vasectomy
Snip snip the sperm away while you keep your cum, orgasm and sex drive.

Credit: Andrew Lakata

It's a permanent method. Doctors will severe the tubes in your scrotum (vas deferens) that connect the testicles with the penis, which means there will no longer be sperm in the ejaculation. The doctor will then tie it, block it with surgical clips or close it with an electrical current (cauterizing). It doesn't change the amount of semen or orgasm/ejaculating feels. It will still be the same but just without sperm in it.

It basically makes you infertile for life and many men find this humiliating or threatening their masculinity. However, it is actually an act of love if you already have a family and don't want your wife to suffer the pain of having another child growing inside her. Many Taiwanese actors were praised for proceeding with vasectomy.

Note: It can take up to 8 weeks to be fully effective. You need to return to your doctor for a check-up to see if the operation was successful. You may experience pain and swelling of your scrotum though but you should definitely alert your doctor if the pain goes on for too long. Immediately alert your doctor if you have signs of infection, blood or pus and bruising. 
Type: Incision method, no-scalpel (no-cut) method (reduces the risk of infection, other complication, and time to heal)
Fertility: Irreversible.
Price: Starts from RM500
Convenience: You can only visit a professional doctor to do it.
Limitation: There is a slight chance that the cut ends of the vas deferens tube can grow back but it's very rare. You still won't be able to eliminate STD in you because your semen can still carry STD. Some STD only requires skin-to-skin contact. Getting a reversal surgery is complicated and expensive, not to mention that it usually doesn't work. However, a friend had suggested that reversible vasectomy is currently getting on the trend in the UK now. Hopefully, the technology can reach other nations faster. 



๐Ÿ’†
How are you feeling now?

That's pretty much it for the BC methods available in Malaysia. Long read ye, I did warn you though HAHAHA Are you feeling overwhelmed? No worries. Take a breather and clear up your mind a little. It was the same for me in the beginning, when I had to search and learn everything. So much to learn, so much to think about. Gotta think about the money, the pain, the aftermath, ya know? But then I figured, since everyone's body take BC differently, I might as well just go ahead and try it. If I can't have kids in the future, so be it. I might cry about it when I'm older but hey, I still have other methods to go for, that is if I really, really want a baby. 

Moving on, if you've already gotten an idea of what you want or what you think your partner should use, then here's the next step: be there for them.

๐Ÿ‘ญ๐Ÿ‘ซ

How to be a better partner?

At this point, you'd probably be thinking what is best to do for your partner, whether you're the one with the BC or her. Well, there are a lot of things that you can do for him/her.

For her: First, you can offer to pay partially, half, 70% or full amount of her contraceptives. That helps her out with the financials. (Of course, in return, you can suggest her to pay half for yours too. We believe in equality, boissss.)

Observe the change and cater to her new needs. At this point, she's like a pregnant lady except with lesser cravings and a big bump growing another human in it. Her mood will change, her depression might get worse. She may ask for more attention and she probably wants to eat a lot of things too (but it's for herself, not for the non-existent baby bump). She will need even more reassurance, such as telling her that she's not annoying, fat or ugly. In other words, she would be acting like she's having a period for a longer period (pun intended). 

Stop stressing her more (especially with your concerns about her pain and such, she knows you care but stop asserting more worry into her mind) because she's already overwhelmed and she's trying to contain her demons.

For him: Work your best to avoid causing extra unnecessary stress for your caring partner as he's trying his best not to trigger you. Open up and tell him what you need or feel so that he can do his part better. Offer to pay partially, half, 70% or full amount of his contraceptives too. You might be able to notice that your appetite has grown so try not to eat so much, especially junk food. When you are aware that he's trying, acknowledge it and thank him for his effort so that he feels better.

Remember, he's trying to make you feel better. You should help him to feel better too.

P.s.: If he's opting for a vasectomy, do reassure him that just because the tubes were severed, it doesn't make him any less of a man. Just remind him that he's still the same person you love. 

๐Ÿ“œ
 Bottom line:

For ladies: Just remember that your body is yours. If you are healthy enough to use birth control, highly consider it. Think about the options you have. If your partner thinks it's a waste of time, then perhaps you might want to evaluate the person that you are with. I know it's hard to decide but we are in the modern era now and we have all these options available for us to protect our future. Sit down, take your time and evaluate every single option and the outcome you may have.

Listen, a man who loves you will want the best for you, a boy who doesn't will only think for himself and himself only. 

For guys: I know a lot of you will brush this off, thinking that you're not responsible for it simply because that's "not your body". It's a very bad mentality because it shows how little you care for your partner's future. It also shows how little you care about her and also how you don't think that you're a major part of her life. There shouldn't be too much hesitation when she decides to want one (besides worrying that she can't take the side effects). Just be a sport and help her when she needs your reassurance.

P.s.: Though, if you know that you're just a fuck boy, that you don't love her (enough) or want to spend decades with her, then please leave her life. You don't deserve her and don't screw her life up because karma will find you next.

P.s.2: If you're actually thinking of vasectomy because you don't want your wife to go through more pain from BC and giving birth, I freakishly salute you. You're braver than most men out there. Seriously. Most men think that vasectomy makes them less of a man but it actually makes us respect you more because you offer to give up sperms in return for your wife's peacefulness (from dismissing the burden of birth control & side effects, and future/potential pain from carrying & delivering babies).

For scientists: Please create easier and painless birth control to ease us from all of this trouble and pain. Also, release the male BC pills already so that they can share the same response too. Women shouldn't be the only one to experience all these side effects. Where's the equality? :/

EndNote: To all my fellow readers who have to spend your time reading through all the details, I appreciate your time and effort. Whether you are going to do it now or later (or never), that will be up to you. My job is to provide information to make your life a little easier from doing all the researches. If you need help, do let me know. I will try my best. If you need any recommendation of which specialist clinic to go, please don't ask me HAHAHA because you will hate the 4-5 hours wait in the clinic that I always visit. They also have a very short and inconvenient working schedule. 

I really hope that you find this helpful. Part of me believes that some people would still come up with reasons of why you shouldn't use birth control or have sex before marriage, yadah yadah yadah (y'all's discrimination are irrelevant) but ya know, your body is essentially yours. You do whatever you want, so long as you don't hurt other people or spread diseases. Just remember to always use a condom, guys. It doesn't matter if your partner / you are taking birth control already or not. A condom is the only thing that can help prevent STD, another unwanted thing.


That's all for this post!
Remember to have a safe journey!
Just make sure you're all packed and ready ;)
Check out my other blog posts too!
You might find them helpful :)



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