Browse Author: RJ Lyn Tuan

contraception tips

Girl Talk: How Do I Choose The Right Contraception?

It’s time for THAT talk; contraception. Choosing the right form of contraception can be incredibly daunting, there are so many different options, and pros and cons for each form. Some might give you mood swings, make your breasts tender or even make you gain weight. It can be scary being face with the options and deciding what will work for you, but don’t worry. With a little positive thinking and the right facts, you’ll be able to choose the form which suits you best.

1)Male condom

Male condoms are 98% effective at preventing pregnancy. It is a small latex ‘glove’ which slides over the penis and stops sperm from entering your uterus.

Pros

  •         They are effective in protecting you against sexually transmitted infections (STIs)
  •         As long as they don’t break they are effective in stopping pregnancy
  •         They only need to be used at the time of sexual intercourse
  •         No medical side effects

Cons

  •         If the wrong size is used they can slip or break
  •         Some people are allergic to latex

2) Female condom

The female condom is a thin polyurethane which lines the vagina and acts as a barrier against sperm. It is 95% effective.

Pros

  •         It can protect both partners from STIs
  •         They do not need advance preparation
  •         No medical side-effects.

Cons

  •         It may get pushed into the vagina
  •         They may split off or tear if not used correctly

3) Contraceptive injection

This is the first long acting method we will talk about. It is reversible and you don’t have to take it daily, which suite many people. It is 99% effective. It involves a doctor injecting progestogen into your body, and the effect lasts up to 13 weeks.

Pros

  •         It can be used it you are breastfeeding
  •         It does not interrupt sex
  •         You don’t need to worry about remembering to take a pill each day
  •         It could reduce painful periods
  •         It can give some protection against womb cancer

Cons

  •         Once injected it cannot be removed, meaning that if you suffer side effect, you just have to ride it out.
  •         It can cause weight gain
  •         Periods and fertility will take time to return to normal after taking

4) Contraceptive implant

The contraceptive implant is a small rod filled with progestogen which is inserted into the arm and offers a slow release to prevent pregnancy for up to 3 years. It is 99% effective.

Pros

  •         The implant lasts for three years, but you can remove it at any time
  •         You can forget about your contraception once inserted
  •         Once the implant is removed, your fertility will return to normal

Cons

  •         You can feel it with your fingers in your arm, though it can’t be seen, and it is put in using a local anaesthetic
  •         It may increase chances of getting acne.

5) Intrauterine device (IUD)

The intrauterine device is a small plastic and copper device also known as a coil more commonly. It is inserted into the uterus by a doctor or nurse. It is over 99% effective and can last for 5-10 years.

Pros

  •         It does not contain any hormones
  •         You don’t have to think about your contraception once it has been inserted
  •         When it is removed, your fertility will return to normal.

Cons

  •         It could make periods heavier
  •         It can be uncomfortable to insert
  •         There is a small chance of getting an infection when fist inserted

6) Contraceptive vaginal ring

A small plastic ring is worn by women in the vagina each month. It stops ovulation to prevent pregnancy. It is over 99% effective and is used for 3 weeks out of 4 every month. Of course the week without will be where your natural period occurs.

Pros

  •         You don’t need to remember to take a pill every day
  •         It can make your periods come regularly and bleeding less heavy

Cons

  •         It is not suitable for smokers over 35
  •         It is not suitable for women who are heavily overweight
  •         You will need to insert and remove it yourself, you need to be comfortable with doing that
  •         There are some low risk side effects present: blood clots, breast and cervical cancer.
  •         It can cause less severe and temporary side effects such as headaches, nausea, mood changes and breast tenderness.

7) Combined pill

The combined pill is an oral contraceptive with contains a mixture of progestogen and estrogen. It is over 99% effective if used correctly.

Pros

  •         Once you stop taking the pill, your fertility will go back to normal immediately
  •         It can help make your periods more regular and lighter
  •         Some women don’t have periods at all

Cons

  •         It is not suitable for very overweight women
  •         Smokers over 35-years-old cannot use this form of contraception
  •         There is a risk of forgetting to take pills- which will reduce its effectiveness
  •         Vomiting or severe diarrhoea can make it less effective
  •         Low risk of serious side-effects such as blood clots, breast and cervical cancer
  •         It can cause temporary side-effects such as headaches, nausea, mood changes and breast tenderness.

8) Progestogen-only pill

Progestogen is one of the main three hormones the support pregnancy. It thickens the mucus in the cervix which stops the sperm from reaching the eggs. The pill is over 99% effective if used correctly.

Pros

  •         It can make periods lighter and more regular
  •         It can stop periods altogether
  •         It can be used by women who smoke and are over 35-years-old.

Cons:

  •         It must be taken at the same time each day, because if taken 3-12 hours later than normal, the effects can be reduced and cause pregnancy
  •         Missing pills, vomiting or severe diarrhoea can make it less effective.
  •         It can cause temporary side-effects such as headaches, nausea, mood changes and breast tenderness.

No matter which contraceptive option you are thinking of choosing, make sure you speak to your family and friends for advice. Also visit your doctor and get their help in deciding your options. If you have an existing chronic illness or condition, this could affect the contraceptive technique which you are able to take. Don’t rush into the decision, and remember these are all reversible.

*This post is contributed to Spicy Scribbler Blog

travel health tips

Traveling With A Health Condition: What You Should Consider

We all like to travel. Doing so helps us expand our horizons, both literally and figuratively. It’s important to travel outside of your home country at least once in your life. The reasons for doing so are more than numerous, and if we listed them all here, you would be reading this article for the next 8 hours, provided we could hold your attention that long. However, some people are unfortunately less equipped to enjoy a year hiking abroad. Some people who would absolutely love to travel are unfortunately limited from that potential by a medical or health issue, maybe even an injury.

If you do have some of the means to travel, but must mitigate a condition while you’re over there, you should absolutely do it… provided you follow this upcoming advice. Achieving your dreams must sometimes be tempered with wisdom when you’re suffering some form of affliction. Follow this advice and take it to heart:

Consult Your Healthcare Professional

This is the first and only step you should take before confirming to yourself that this is something you’d like to experience. You must detail to your healthcare professional the length of your stay, the activities you plan to get on board with there, and how to plan to mitigate your condition. You will either be pointed in the right directions for implements or habits to keep while you’re abroad. You may be dissuaded actively against going forth. Whatever your healthcare professional states, you should accept it. If you want a second opinion, don’t be afraid to ask for it. Temper your travelling advice with the most wisdom you can possibly manage. This is your life to enjoy, but it’s your life to maintain. Make sure you’re wise from day one.

Get Solid Insurance/Coverage

If something does happen abroad, and your efforts are unfortunately brought down by something ill-expected and difficult, you want to have the best coverage and protection. Make sure you know and apply for overseas medical aid if it needs it, as well as purchasing that international insurance as part of your health plan. Also, getting in touch and hiring air ambulance services preemptively can help you with your peace of mind, especially if you’re travelling somewhere hard for vehicles to travel. With this in your mind, you’ll know that no matter what happens, help is on hand.

Go With Someone Wise

While going with a friend and managing your condition yourself can work, it’s better to go with someone who understands the intricacies of your condition than someone who wants you to keep up with them. This isn’t to say you need a ‘carer’ (unless you’ve been advised this way,) but certainly bringing someone along you know is capable if things go wrong can help you feel secure and safe during your adventurous travels.

Part of travelling is experiencing the world in front of you, and how cultures behave. If you’re constantly having to mind and worry about your health the entire way, you may miss out on the experience. So be sure to cover yourself well, stay safe and wise, and keep an eye on your requirements, and you’ll be sure that the medical maintenance will take a backseat, instead of being at the forefront the whole time.

tips

The World Is Yours: Preparing For An International Business Career

The world is becoming an increasingly small space, and there isn’t much of it closed off to you if you want to pursue a career in international business. Ultimately, we’re all involved in the global business community these days, so why not take advantage and provide yourself with the skills needed to find success? Here are a few tips on how to do just that – let’s get started right away!

Education

You don’t have to have a university education to start an international business career, but make no mistake about it – it helps. An MBA in international business will signal to employers that you know what you are doing right off the bat. It’s also important to focus on a particular niche. Don’t forget that companies won’t hire you just because know how the global market works – they want to see skills in either marketing, finance, accounting or IT, too. It’s also important to develop your knowledge of global affairs and economics. If you know how the world works in business, it can be invaluable from a strategic point of view.

Language

Another area of importance is the ability to speak a foreign language. English is still very much the language of international business, but if you learn how to speak Spanish, Mandarin, Russian and/or Portuguese, you’ll be able to travel pretty much anywhere on the planet. Many native English speakers are severely hamstrung by their inability to speak another language so it will give you a definite advantage.

Experience

Wherever possible, you should be looking for study-abroad opportunities to pick up some experience of foreign countries, not just for your career’s sake, but also for your personal life. Working in a completely different culture to the one you are used to can be difficult, but if you can make it somewhere speaking a different language, you can make it anywhere. Employers will take you more seriously, too, and you will almost always get the nod over a similarly qualified candidate who doesn’t have the same travel experience.

Thinking

Another essential thing to bear in mind is that every country has different cultures and attitudes, and it’s essential you understand how to recognize these critical differences. For example, the business world of the West is usually fairly straightforward, and conflict is avoided as much as possible. In the East though – in Japan, for instance – they tend to be a lot more involved in even the most straightforward decision-making processes. And even if this sounds like it would be incredibly frustrating, it’s these little cultural differences and ways of thinking that you must get used to.

Evaluate

There are plenty of reasons for embracing a career on the international business stage. You will be worth more to your company, so, will enjoy a higher salary than others in your field who stay at home, for example. But all that travel could have a big impact on your life, particularly if you intend to be mobile and travel from place to place. It’s a huge commitment, so always make sure your international knowledge is backed up with continued learning in your specific niche. Good luck!