There are many different types of contraceptive methods available, including hormonal methods, barrier methods, IUDs, sterilization, and natural methods.
Each method has its own set of pros and cons, which can make it difficult to decide which one is right for you. In this blog post, we will discuss the most popular methods of contraception and help you decide which one is best for your needs.
What is contraception?
Contraception is any method used to prevent pregnancy by interrupting the normal process of ovulation, fertilization, and implantation. If a man’s sperm enters one of a woman’s eggs (ova), she can get pregnant.
Birth control methods may work in several different ways to prevent pregnancy:
- Stopping a man’s sperm from reaching and fertilizing an egg
- Stopping ovulation (the release of an egg)
- Stopping the fertilized egg attaching to the lining of the uterus
If you have had unprotected sex and think there’s a chance you might get pregnant, you’re also at risk of catching an STI. Before you make an appointment, try to find out as much as possible about the contraceptive options available.
Different methods of contraception
1) Temporary contraceptive methods
There are many different types of temporary contraception available, including hormonal methods, barrier methods, intrauterine devices (IUDs), and natural family planning.
Barrier methods of contraception include condoms, diaphragms, sponges, and cervical caps. These methods work by physically blocking sperm from reaching the egg.
Condoms are the most common type of barrier contraception. This method of contraception can be used on-demand, is hormone-free, and can easily be carried with you. And it comes in male and female varieties.
The man wears the male condom; it keeps sperm from getting into a woman’s body. Male condoms are rolled onto an erect penis and act as a physical barrier, preventing sexual fluids from passing between people during sex.
The female condom is placed into the vagina right before sex. Based on typical use, the female condom is not quite as effective as the male latex condom, and it may take a little practice to get used to.
Condoms are made from latex or polyurethane and can be used during vaginal, anal, or oral sex.
Only one contraceptive method, condoms, can prevent both pregnancy and the transmission of sexually transmitted infections, including HIV.
Diaphragms are shallow, dome-shaped cups that fit over the cervix and block sperm from entering the uterus. They must be used with spermicide.
The cervical cap is a small, thimble-shaped cup that fits snugly over the cervix. It must be used with spermicide.
Contraceptives that are 92 to 96% effective if used correctly: diaphragm or cap with spermicide (every time you have sex). Before sexual intercourse, you insert them with spermicide to block or kill sperm. Visit your doctor for a proper fitting because diaphragms and cervical caps come in different sizes.
Sponges are soft, round pieces of foam that contain spermicide.
Natural birth control is a method of contraception to prevent pregnancy or to space birth without any use of physical devices or medications.
It is usually based on awareness and observations about your body and menstrual cycle. These methods are safe, low cost and effective when used in the right and proper way.
Hormonal methods of contraception include birth control pills, patches, vaginal rings, shots, emergency contraceptive pills, and implants. These methods work by releasing hormones that prevent ovulation and thicken the cervical mucus, making it difficult for sperm to reach the egg.
Oral contraceptive pills are also known as birth control pills or “the pill,” are taken by mouth and contain the hormones estrogen and progestin.
The hormones estrogen and progestin are found in combined oral contraceptives (also known as “the pill”), which a doctor gives. It is a daily pill that you take by mouth.
Emergency contraception does not protect against STIs but can be used after having sex to prevent pregnancy. Emergency contraception can be used after no birth control was used during sex or if the birth control method failed, such as if a condom broke.
Women can take emergency contraceptive pills up to 5 days after unprotected sex, but the sooner the pills are taken, the better they will work. Some emergency contraceptive pills are available over the counter.
The patch is a thin, beige patch that is applied to the skin. It releases the hormones estrogen and progestin into the bloodstream.
The implants are small, rod-shaped devices inserted under the upper arm’s skin. They release the hormone progestin into the bloodstream and prevent pregnancy for up to three years.
The vaginal ring is a small, flexible ring that is inserted into the vagina. It releases the hormones estrogen and progestin into the bloodstream. These are the same hormones used in the combined oral contraceptive pill but at a lower dose.
The contraceptive ring releases a lower dose of hormones to control a woman’s ability to conceive than other contraceptive methods like the pill.
The Contraceptive Injection: The shot is an injection of the hormone progestin. It is given every 12 to 13 weeks by a healthcare provider.
Intrauterine devices (IUDs)
An intrauterine device (IUD) is a T-shaped device that is inserted into the uterus to prevent pregnancy. The IUD works by preventing fertilization or by making the uterine lining inhospitable to a fertilized egg.
IUDs are long-acting, reversible contraception that can last for years. The most common types are the copper IUD and the hormonal IUD.
The copper IUD is a small, T-shaped device that is inserted into the uterus by a healthcare provider. It releases copper, which is toxic to sperm and eggs, into the uterus and prevents pregnancy.
A copper IUD is not recommended for women who may be pregnant, have pelvic infections, or had uterine perforations during previous IUD insertions. It also is not recommended for women who have cervical cancer or cancer of the uterus, unexplained vaginal bleeding, or pelvic tuberculosis.
The hormonal IUD can provide long-term birth control (contraception), such as Mirena. The device is a T-shaped plastic frame that is placed in the uterus and releases progestin.
2) Permanent contraceptive methods
Permanent methods provide contraception for a long period or permanently. They include:
Sterilization: Sterilization is a permanent method of contraception. It is a surgical procedure that prevents pregnancy by blocking the fallopian tubes or vas deferens so that sperm cannot reach the eggs and be fertilized.
Tubal ligation: Tubal ligation or tubectomy is a surgical procedure in which the fallopian tubes are blocked, preventing the sperm from reaching the egg.
Vasectomy: Vasectomy is a surgical procedure in which the vas deferens are cut, preventing sperm from being ejaculated and fertilizing an egg.
These methods are considered to be permanent because they are very difficult to reverse. If you are considering a permanent method of contraception, be sure to talk to your healthcare provider about all of your options and the potential risks and side effects.
Do you want to get pregnant in the future?
All methods of contraception can be stopped if you want to have a baby. You can get pregnant as soon as you stop using contraception. A woman’s fertility usually returns to normal within the first month after stopping the combined pill, vaginal ring, or contraceptive patch.
Your health care provider can discuss your risk factors and help you select the most appropriate contraceptive method for you.