Why Is It Still So Hard To Not Get Pregnant?

14/03/2016 5:42 AM AEDT | Updated 15/07/2016 12:51 PM AEST
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Condoms hanging on pegs from line

Many of us who try to get pregnant in our thirties can't help but face the cruel irony that while we spent most of our twenties avoiding the egg-meets-sperm scenario, when you want the guys to get together, it's not always as easy as it looks.

For the lucky ones, once it happens and we're cradling our little bundles of sleepless joy, we're then back on the how-to-not-get-pregnant bandwagon. And it's still way harder than it should be.

As far back as my teens I remember hearing about the male pill, the female condom and everything in between. And yet here we are in 2016 and staying baby-free is still -- let's be honest here -- a giant pain in the arse.

Sadly, this pain can be real, tangible, and might end up with you in the back of an ambulance hooked up to a morphine drip -- a real situation I saw played out recently when a friend of mine collapsed with crippling pain thanks to a little thing called an IUD.

The Mirena is the current contraception du jour -- at least among my fellow mums, who are all having it implanted into their wombs in an effort not to reproduce. While the hormone-releasing device looks harmless enough and the US website says fewer than 10 percent of women will experience any nasty side effects, I'm sitting firmly on the suspicious fence with my knees tightly closed.

After seeing my poor friend being whisked off in said ambulance, in what looked like a nine out of 10 on the pain scale, I asked around about the Mirena. Among other comments, I heard about severe pain, months of heavy bleeding, infection, violent mood swings, erratic skin conditions and more. One said her sister's infection was so bad she's now having a partial hysterectomy. Another got pregnant.

Of course, some women love it, and after a few weeks of letting it "settle in", haven't looked back. But for those who find it impossible to live with, what's the next-best option?

Let's think about it.

The Pill. While most GPs seem happy to hand the contraceptive pill out like lollies, many women experience side effects including weight gain, chest pains, spotting and more thanks to the hormones running around their bodies.

Condoms. Men hate them. Women tolerate them. They come off. They smell. Some people are allergic. Not great.

Implants. Again with the hormone rush. Not great for the ladies. Or the people they live with.

Male pill. Um... what?

Female condom. What the what now?

So, I'm asking nicely. Medical people, is it really too much to ask that you create a product that keeps us child free in a safe, pain-free way? A way that doesn't make us crazy or ruin our sex lives? And in a way that doesn't end up with any of us in the emergency room?

Get back to me, please. I'll be on the fence if you want to chat.

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