Birth Control

An Overview

Birth control (contraception) is any method, medicine, or device used to prevent pregnancy. Birth control is a crucial public health issue and millions of men and women worldwide depend on it. Women can choose from many different types of birth control. Some work better than others at preventing pregnancy. Birth control pills are an example of a hormonal birth control method that prevents ovulation.

Some methods work on women while some are specifically made for men’s usage. The type of birth control you use depends on your health, your desire to have children now or in the future and your need to prevent sexually transmitted infections. Birth control methods can be broadly classified into barrier methods (that prevent sperm cells from reaching the egg) methods that prevent ovulation such as the birth control pill.

The decision about what kind of birth control option to use is extremely personal, and there is no single choice that is safest or best for all women or couples. Almost every woman today has thought about going on birth control. It can be done through various medically proven methods, medicines or devices. Women need to understand each method. Compare them and only then they should decide which method will work best for her.

Types of Birth Control systems

  • Female and male sterilization: (female tubal ligation or occlusion, male vasectomy) — Birth control that prevents pregnancy for the rest of your life through surgery or a medical procedure.
  • Implant: It is a thin rod that is inserted in the skin of a woman’s upper arm. It releases progestin into body over 3 years.
  • Spermicidal: Spermicidal are said to be most effective while used with condoms. Spermicidal are chemicals that kill sperm and prevent them from fertilizing the egg. They are available in different forms such as foams, creams, jellies, or films. Spermicidal must be inserted deep into the vagina before sexual activity. Spermicidal blocks the cervix and keeps the sperm from moving, which prevents the sperm from reaching the eggs. They are most commonly used in combination with other birth control methods, rather than alone..It is 72% effective.
  • Birth control pills: These are hormonal pills which women need to take daily at the same time. Packet may contain some placebo pills which are taken during hormonal pill free days.
  • Long-acting reversible contraceptives or “LARC” methods (intrauterine devices, hormonal implants) — Birth control your doctor inserts one time and you do not have to remember to use birth control every day or month. LARCs last for 3 to 10 years, depending on the method.
  • Male Condoms: The male condom is a barrier method involved in preventing contact between sperm and egg. Latex male condoms are the classic methods of barrier contraception, but they can be made of natural animal membrane, polyurethane, silicone, or other synthetic material. During ejaculation, a condom is designed to catch semen, stopping it from entering the vagina. It is  90% effective.
  • Female Condoms: This birth control option is a plastic, pouch-like device inserted in the vagina before sex that offers clitoral stimulation. The female condom can also be inserted into the anus prior to anal sex. The female condom has flexible rings at each end that can stimulate the clitoris during vaginal sex.
  • Contraceptive patch: It is a patch which contains hormones progestin and estrogen. It is pasted on skin for three weeks for effective results.
  • Short-acting hormonal methods (pill, mini pills, patch, shot, vaginal ring) — Birth control your doctor prescribes that you remember to take every day or month. The shot requires you to get a shot from your doctor every 3 months.
  • Diaphragm: The diaphragm is another way to prevent conception. The diaphragm is a rubber dome that is inserted into the vagina and placed over the cervix before sexual activity. When the diaphragm is in place, the opening to the uterus is blocked and the sperm is unable to join with an egg.
  • Birth control patch: The birth control patch is another type of hormonal contraceptive. The patch is thin and beige, like a bandage, and contains the same hormones as birth control pills.
  • Withdrawal: withdrawal means pulling out the penis before ejaculation
  •  Natural Family planning — Not using a type of birth control but instead avoiding sex and/or using birth control only on the days when you are most fertile (most likely to get pregnant). An  An ovulation home test kit or a fertility monitor can help you find your most fertile days.. Natural family planning, or fertility awareness, involves timing your sexual activity to avoid a woman’s most fertile time. By understanding when a woman is most fertile, a couple can avoid pregnancy.
  • Cervical cap: cervical cap is a silicon cup which is a reusable contraception method. It is inserted in the vagina over the cervix by suction and has a strap to aid removal.
  • Abstinence: Abstinence is avoiding having penetrative sex. It is the only 100% effective method of birth control and avoiding STDs.
  • Vaginal ring: The vaginal ring is a small, flexible ring that contains the same hormones as the pill and patch, estrogen and progestin. The hormones in the vaginal ring keep the eggs from leaving the ovaries and thicken the cervical mucus, which prevents pregnancies.
  • Tubal ligation: Tubal ligation, having “your tubes tied,” is a permanent birth control option for women who are certain they do not want to have children in the future. It is 100% effective.
  • IUD: The IUD is a small device of T shape which a doctor places inside the uterus to prevent unwanted pregnancy. It prevents pregnancy for a number of years.

Side effective of Birth Control:

Some women have side effects with Depo-Provera, but their bodies are usually able to adjust over time. Common side effects of Depo-Provera include the following:

  • Irregular bleeding
  • Abdominal pain
  • may raise your risk for blood clots and high blood pressure
  • Breast tenderness
  • swelling or aching in the legs and thighs
  • Heart attack
  • Change in appetite or weight gain
  • Mood changes
  • Depression
  • Hair loss or increased hair on face or body
  • Missed periods
  • Headache
  • Decreases Libido
  • Nausea
  • Change in sexual desire
  • changes to eyesight for those using contact lenses
  • Irritation of the vagina
  • vaginal discharge
  • Breast cancer
  • Cervical cancer.

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