Rumors of the next baby boom circulate because of an idea that pregnancy is somehow related to… boredom. And when people are quarantined inside for long periods of time, it’s highly likely that plenty of boredom will occur. But does that mean we should expect a rise in the rate of pregnancy for most Americans?
It’s unlikely, but let's explore some of the history of the last real baby boom and find out why things are so different now. We'll also share a few good methods to consider if you aren’t planning on having children any time soon.
Could we be on the verge of another baby boom?
The original Baby Boomers were born between 1946 and 1964 in the years following WWII after all the troops came home. How does keeping the “troops” home compare?
In the post-war era of the original baby boom, America was in an economic boom. The war was won, the country was economically stable, most families were able to afford homes, and people were marrying far earlier than they are today. And, birth control pills weren’t invented yet. The first approved pills weren’t available until 1960!
Contrast that with today, we’re experiencing one of the worst economic recessions in the country’s history. Most people at child-bearing age are worried about their jobs and their futures. And anxiety and stress have replaced the euphoria that marked the post-WWII era. Most people are not considering having more children in this current climate.
How birth control options have evolved
Birth control options have come a long way. Oral contraceptives have been available since the 1960s, but many options have existed since before then and newer methods have also been developed to assist with family planning.
Natural methods: Abstinence, withdrawal, and fertility awareness planning (planning for days around ovulation) are all-natural planning methods. Apart from complete abstinence, natural birth control methods are also generally the least reliable form of birth control.
Pharmaceutical methods: These require a doctor’s assistance or a prescription, and typically include birth control pills, patches, implants, vaginal rings, or devices inserted by a doctor such as an intrauterine device (IUD). All pharmaceutical birth control options contain hormones that may help regulate menstrual cycles and improve symptoms of PMS. However, they can also cause side effects such as headache, nausea, sore breasts, and changes in weight.
Barrier methods: Options include male and female condoms, diaphragms, sponges, and cervical caps. Spermicides can be used with barrier methods in order to make them more effective. Side effects are low, and effectiveness varies depending on how they are used.
Injections: Injections, such as Depo-Provera, inject a hormone, progestin, which causes a woman's body to not release an egg. Without an egg to fertilize, pregnancy cannot occur. Side effects are similar to other hormonal methods.
Permanent methods: There are permanent birth control options available. In women, permanent birth control involves tubal ligation or tubal implant. Males typically undergo a surgery called a vasectomy. A vasectomy blocks the sperm from reaching the semen so sperm is not released during ejaculation. These methods are generally considered non-reversible and need to be considered carefully.
Considering your options
Whatever your stage of life, the doctors and staff at The Woman’s Clinic are here to help. We are committed to providing the women of Mississippi with state-of-the-art, high-quality care in a comfortable, private, and secure setting. Contact us today to make an appointment to talk about birth control, or to address any other obstetrics and gynecology healthcare needs.