Birth Control Choice

Birth control or Contraception involves methods that couples can use to prevent pregnancy. Successful and healthy birth control can be achieved by a contraceptive method used by either of the partner.

Women and contraception

Choosing a birth control method is one of the most personal health care decisions you can make. Your choice of Contraception method will primarily depend on your needs. Some women only want to prevent pregnancy while others may also choose Contraception to safeguard themselves from Sexually Transmitted Diseases such as HIV infection which can cause acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS), chlamydia, herpes, genital warts, Gonorrhea and Syphilis. Your doctor can help you decide the best method for you.

How do birth control methods work?

Birth control methods can work in any of the following ways. They may:
  • Prevent the Sperm from reaching the egg.
  • Kill or damage Sperm.
  • Prevent the release of eggs each month.
  • Alter the lining of the Uterus and thereby prevent the fertilized egg from attaching to it.
  • Thicken the mucus in the Cervix so Sperm cannot easily pass through it.
  • Methods of contraception
Avoid sex
The best, easiest and safest method of birth control is avoiding sex.

Barrier methods
The barrier or blocking method of Contraception works by preventing Sperm from getting into the Fallopian Tube and fertilizing the egg. A barrier method needs to be used every time during sex.
  • Condoms Condoms are designed for use by both men and women. Condoms also safeguard against sexually transmitted diseases
  • Spermicides Spermicide is an unscented, unflavored, non-staining, clear and lubricative substance that kills or immobilizes sperms. Using spemicides is not a perfect method of birth control and can even increase the chances of contracting certain sexually transmitted infections and diseases.
  • Sponge A contraceptive sponge is a small disposable sponge. Sponge blocks sperms from entering the Uterus as well as absorb and kill the sperms. It does not offer any protection against sexually transmitted infections.
  • Diaphragm The diaphragm is a small, latex, dome-shaped device that fits inside the Vagina. It prevents the Sperm from entering into the Uterus by blocking the Cervix. The diaphragm protects against certain sexually transmitted infections. Doctor’s assistance is required to get the p roper size diaphragm fitted.
  • Cervical cap A cervical cap is a dome-shaped, soft rubber cap that is fitted by a doctor.The cervical cap acts by blocking the entrance to the Uterus and it also protects against certain sexually transmitted infections, but does not protect against HIV and genital Herpes.
Hormonal methods Hormonal methods of Contraception involve the use of hormones like Estrogen and Progestin. Hormonal methods of Contraception do not protect against sexually transmitted infections.
  • Oral contraceptives or birth control pills Oral contraceptives or birth control pills are medicines taken by mouth to help prevent pregnancy. They are mostly made of the hormones Estrogen and Progestin which prevent the release of an egg by the ovaries during Ovulation. However, consult with your doctor prior to using birth control pills.
  • Birth control patches These patches are made of Estrogen and Progestin and stuck on the buttocks, abdomen, upper body or outer arm. Patch is applied weekly for 3 weeks with 1 week patch free interval.
  • Vaginal ring This is a thin, flexible ring that can be inserted into the Vagina. The vaginal contraceptive ring is coated with hormones like Estrogen and progestin, which are slowly released to prevent pregnancy.
  • Hormone injections The mode of action of Hormone injections to prevent pregnancy is similar to that of the oral contraceptive pill. Advantage is that instead of daily swallowing a pill, the injection is to be repeated at one, two or three monthly interval depending on the formulation.
  • Implant An implant is a small flexible rod that is placed just under the skin in the upper arm. It releases progestogen Hormone and works by preventing Ovulation. An implant is effective for 3–5 years. An implant will not protect from Sexually Transmitted Diseases. You will require a doctor’s help to get the implant inserted or removed.
  • Intrauterine devices (IUD) Intrauterine device is a birth control device that is inserted into the Uterus. It is believed that IUDs either block sperms from reaching an egg, or prevent a fertilized egg from implanting itself on the uterine wall. Once inserted by a doctor they provide effective Contraception for 3–10 years depending on the type being used, but can be easily removed, any time desired.
  • Sterilization There are different techniques of sterilization for both men and women. Male sterilization is achieved through a surgical procedure called vasectomy. Female sterilization is achieved through a surgical procedure called tubal ligation in which a woman's fallopian tubes are surgically cut or blocked to prevent pregnancy. This permanent method of birth control is intended for individuals who do not wish to ever have more children.

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