Now that the country’s highest court has declared the Reproductive Health Law constitutional, we can look forward to a future with fewer unwanted pregnancies and lower death rates due to complications in childbirth. But even though tomorrow sees government health centers handing out free condoms and birth control pills, schools teaching sex education, and public health workers undergoing family planning training, we can’t just rely on these institutions to teach us what we need to know. Here, we answer five questions you might have about two of the most popular forms of birth control.

Q: Is it possible for a condom to break mid-sex?
A: Yes. If the condom is too old, stored improperly, or too tight, breakage is a risk. Oil-based lubricants may also cause the condom to leak or break. To avoid such a complication, take care not to rip or damage the condom when you open it. Avoid storing it in your wallet as heat, friction, and pressure make the latex weaker. Also, stick to water-based lubricant instead.

Q: Is there a proper way to put on a condom?
A: Rolling on a condom is not as difficult as movies make it out to be (unless you plan on doing so with appendages that are not your hands). It’s relatively straightforward, but in this case, a demonstration is in order. Check out this video by Planned Parenthood:

Q: Aside from acting as a contraceptive, what are birth control pills for?
A: Some women take birth control pills to get better skin or to enhance certain parts of themselves, but it might come as surprise to you that some women take the pills as medicine. According to licensed nurse Clarisse Magbanua, these women are those diagnosed with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome. “Hindi ka nabubuntis ngayon, so tutulungan ka ng pills na i-regulate yung menstruation mo para maging normal yung cycle mo, and then makakapag-produce ka ng mature ovaries, so kung magkakaroon ka ng mature ovaries, makakatulong siya para in the near future, maging pregnant ka or mag conceive,” she explains.

Q: My friend uses X birth control pills. Can I use the same brand, too?
A: Not necessarily. Women react differently to birth control pills. Your friend’s brand might work for her, but it might not be as effective for you. You need to see an OB-GYN to get a proper prescription. She’ll most likely ask you to try it out for one month after which you need to see her for another appointment. This way, you can report any side effects directly to a professional.

Q: Is there a 100 percent fool-proof contraceptive?
A: No. Only abstinence is 100 percent safe.

(Screencap from That Awkward Moment courtesy of Focus Features)

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