Top 10 Methods of Birth Control

Whether you’re a teenager experimenting with your sexuality or an experienced person, you certainly need to be aware of birth control methods that are available to you. Take a look at this list to see which method suits you best, there is no one absolutely correct method, it all depends on you!

  1. Condoms

This is the most commonly used method of birth control. While this is used by everyone from college students to married people who do not want to get pregnant, it is not one hundred percent effective. Although condoms are only 97% effective in preventing the birth control, they are extremely effective in preventing transmission of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). There are female condoms as well which are placed inside the woman. Condoms have no side-effects and can be considered a 100 per cent effective if they are used alongside other birth control methods such as the pill or the shot. However, it must be noted that male and female condoms should not be used t=simultaneously as this can lead to rubbing and could lead to a tear.

  1. Birth Control Pills

This is a method that while not so popular, is highly effective. The pill contains two hormones- progestin and estrogen that prevent ovulation and make the cervix lining thicker. The pill is considered even more effective than using condoms. Going on the pill involves taking one tablet a day, every day for a period of 21 days. The pill is taken at approximately the same time every day for the duration. There are several side-effects of birth control, some of which are negative. These side effects are caused mainly because the birth control pills contain hormones in them which interact with the hormones present in the body. This interaction sometimes causes side effects like headaches, nausea, cramps, and backache. Birth control pills are also used to regulate menstruation, and is reported to ease period cramps and blood flow. These pills are 99% effective in protecting from unplanned pregnancies but do not protect either partner from contracting sexually transmitted infections.

  1. Emergency Contraceptive Pill

This is a one-time emergency pill only! It is usually taken 24-72 hours after intercourse to prevent the egg in the woman’s body from getting fertilised. This pill is generally taken after the couple has engaged in unprotected sex or fears that the condom broke during the sexual act. Gynaecologists advise taking the pill no more than three times in the duration of a woman’s lifetime. Prolonged and continuous use of emergency contraceptive pills can lead to the woman becoming infertile.

  1. Intra-Uterine Device

An intra-uterine device is a reversible method of birth control that involves putting a t-shaped device into the woman’s uterus to prevent pregnancy. The IUD can either be covered in copper or can contain hormones. Hormonal IUDs can prevent pregnancies for three to five years depending on the IUD that is used. The most common IUD is the copper IUD. The t-shaped device is covered in copper wire and inserted into the uterus. This IUD can stay in place for up to ten years and is a highly effective method of contraception. Statistics show that hormonal IUDs are better at preventing pregnancies than copper ones.

  1. Sterilisation

This may seem like an extreme step but it is a permanent way of ensuring that pregnancy is avoided. When the woman undergoes surgery, a healthcare professional closes/blocks off the fallopian tubes. This may be done through either tying or cutting the tubes or by inserting tiny inserts into the tubes that block them. This is a highly effective method of birth control but is usually used by older generations.

  1. The Shot

The birth control shot, Depo-Provera is an injection containing the hormone progestin. This shot helps to prevent unplanned conception for a time period of three months. The hormone prevents ovulation and thickens the lining of the cervix. This prevents the egg from leaving the ovaries and at eh same time prevents the sperm from penetrating the cervix. The shot is 99 per cent effective when taken properly. Similar to birth control pills, the shot does not protect against sexually transmitted infections. To be protected against these, the best solution is to use a barrier, like latex condoms. However, a drawback of this contraceptive method is that the woman may be unable to get pregnant for up to 10 months after stopping the shot.

  1. The Patch

The birth control patch is a small patch that sticks to the skin and prevents pregnancy. The birth control patch works similarly to the birth control pill. It contains the same two hormones- progestin and estrogen. These hormones prevent the eggs from leaving the ovaries and make the cervical lining thicker. Once again, it cannot protect sexual partners from STDs but is effective in preventing unplanned pregnancies.

  1. The Ring

The ring is a birth control method that is bendable and is inserted into the vagina. The ring is kept inside for three weeks and is removed for the duration of the fourth week. Similar to birth control pills, the patch, and the shot, the ring releases hormones that prevent ovulation and thicken the cervical lining. When ovulation does not occur, there is no way for eggs to get fertilised. This is as effective a method of contraception as pills, or a patch and similarly, cannot protect sexual partners from STIs.

  1. Diaphragm

A diaphragm is a silicone, shallow, dome-shaped cup that is inserted into the vagina. It works by covering the cervix and so prevents the sperm from entering the uterus. It should be noted that the diaphragm works effectively only when used along with spermicide. The diaphragm is inserted each time before sexual intercourse. It is convenient and does not have any side effects provided the user is not allergic to silicone or spermicide.

  1. Abstinence

While this may not be your favourite option or the easiest, refraining from sexual intercourse is the best way to avoid becoming pregnant. Abstinence does not necessarily mean you cannot indulge in any sexual activity at all. There is the option of something that is referred to as sexual ‘outercourse’. While this is not easy to explain, it basically means that so long as there is no sexual intercourse, both partners can enjoy other things without the risk of getting pregnant.

This list hopefully gave you enough information and proved to be useful!

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Ashvita Anand

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