Family planning permits a couple to plan when and how many children they want. The use of birth control methods help to achieve the same. Now days, people have access to the safest and most effective methods of birth control. Continue reading in order to learn more about the different methods of contraception.
What Are The Different Contraception Methods?
There are different types of contraception methods available. But bear in mind that one method of birth control may work effectively for one person but may be ineffective for another. It all depends on the age and overall health of the person using that particular method. In addition to this, the type of contraception method is also selected depending on how long the couple wants to avoid pregnancy. Here are some of the most widely used methods of contraception:
- Long-acting reversible contraception: Long-acting reversible contraception, LARC, is a contraceptive that lasts for quite a long time. You don’t need to remember it every day or even every month. LARCs are the most effective forms of reversible birth control. In addition, they are safe and effective for most women.
There are two types of LARC:
- An intrauterine device (IUD) which are small, T-shaped devices that are put into the uterus that effectively prevent pregnancy five or more years
- An implant, which is a thin, matchstick-sized plastic rod, is placed under the skin of the upper arm that lasts up to three to five years
- Hormonal contraception: Contraceptive pills which are discussed below belong to this group. Other hormonal contraception are:
- Depo Provera shot, an injection that lasts upto 3 months
- Contraceptive vaginal ring, which is a stretchy, see-through, plastic ring is placed in the vagina. The ring releases two hormones – estrogen and progesterone and this prevent ovulation and makes it difficult for the sperm to get an egg thus preventing chances of pregnancy. The vaginal ring should be changed every month
- Barrier contraceptives: Barrier contraception methods block the sperm from getting into the vagina. Barrier contraception methods are used only during sexual intercourse. Using spermicide along with the barrier method increases the results as spermicides destroys all the sperms that enter the vagina. There are three main barrier methods of contraception:
- Male condoms: A condom is a thin film casing made of latex or polyurethane that is placed over man’s penis before sex. It is used as a barrier to stop sperm and infection from passing between sexual partners
- Female condoms: A pouch inserted into the vagina (more or less like a tampon) to prevent pregnancy. This decreases the chances of sperm coming in contact with egg
- Diaphragms: A diaphragm is a shallow cup made of silicone that is placed into the vagina before intercourse. It covers the cervix and keeps sperm out of the uterus. For a diaphragm to work effectively, it should be used with spermicide
- Cervical cap: The cervical cap is a small device which is shaped like a bowl and it fits over the women’s cervix and blocks the sperm from entering through the vagina. It has a strap which makes it easy to remove
- Fertility awareness: Fertility awareness is a process to plan or avoid a pregnancy by perceiving the signs of the fertile period in a woman’s menstrual cycle and avoiding intercourse during that period. Examining the appearance of the cervical mucus and graphing down the basal body temperature will help to know the time of ovulation
- Emergency contraception: Emergency contraception can be used to prevent pregnancy if you think your contraceptive method failed, forget to take pills or shots on time, or you were made to have sex against your will. Emergency contraception involves:
- Emergency contraception pills (after morning pills) that can be used right away or within five days after sex
- Copper T, which is an intrauterine device used as regular contraceptive method, can also be used as an emergency contraception. This effectively prevent pregnancy (success rate is around 98%) up to five days after unprotected sex
- Permanent contraception: Permanent contraception is sterilization that prevents pregnancy forever. The procedure for men is a vasectomy and for women it is tubal ligation surgery or placement of a devise called essure. It is highly effective contraception methods and is irreversible so if you change your mind after undergoing a permanent contraceptive method, getting pregnant will be really hard
Which Is The Most Effective Form Of Birth Control?
IUD is the most effective form of birth control. It has 99% of success rate. The IUD is one form of long-acting reversible birth control. In this procedure, a very small, often T-shaped rod, is inserted into the uterus by a doctor to prevent pregnancy. IUD emits either the hormone progestin or copper (depending on the type of IUD), both of which are hostile to sperms. IUDs are one form of long-acting reversible birth control.
How To Use Contraceptive Pills To Avoid Pregnancy
Birth control pills are pills that are taken orally on a daily basis in order to avoid pregnancy. Actually, the anti-pregnancy pills consist of synthetic female hormones. The contraceptive pills are of two types
- Combination contraceptive pills: These pills contain both estrogen and progestin hormones. They are available in 28 days and 21 days packs, which a woman is supposed to take from the first day of a period, and the first Sunday followed by the first day of period respectively. 21 “active” pills (pills, which contain hormones), are present in both set of pills. The extra seven pills in the 28-day pack is just an “aide memoire” or “sugar” pills with has no hormones. As the name implies, these extra seven pills just act as a reminder, because discontinuing the pills for a week may result in forgetting to take pills on a daily basis
- Progestin birth control pills: Unlike the combination pills, progestin pills contain only one hormone that is progestin in them and do not have any estrogen. These pills come in 28-day packs only and all the pills contain the progestin hormones in them so all the 28 pills are “active” and to make them work effectively, it is imperative to take all the 28 pills in the pack every single day at the same time of the day
Contraceptive pills work by:
- Turning the cervical mucus thicker, thereby preventing sperm from reaching the eggs
- Stopping ovulation, so that there is no egg produced for the sperm to fertilize
Also read : Birth Control Pills – Everything You Wanted To Know
How Effective Are Birth Control Pills?
Birth control pills are 99% effective if they are used correctly. However, in reality, the pills are only around 91% effective. This is due to the fact that missing the pills and taking the pills on wrong time can occur keeping in view the busy schedules and hectic lifestyles. Therefore, it is found that out of 100 pill users, 9 of them get pregnant every year. Therefore, even though it is possible to start taking the birth control pills during any day of the month, you should always keep another birth control method like condoms as a backup at least during the first 7 days to ensure complete safety.