Birth control is not just limited to abstinence and condoms. There are multiple ways to practice birth control, with some being more effective and easier to use than others. To elaborate further, here are some of the most common birth control methods available to you. These will help you plan your family so that everyone will be healthier, safer, and happier.
Birth Control Methods That Can Work for You
Just got married and still want to enjoy coupling? In a live-in relationship and a baby is not in the picture? You need to explore birth control methods in order to prevent unwanted pregnancies.
Below, let’s discuss the different birth control methods you can use.
Fertility Awareness Method
Unlike the rest of this list, the fertility awareness method is the only one that does not use contraceptive devices. It does not focus on stopping the sperm from reaching the egg.
Instead, its focus lies on identifying a woman’s fertile period. By doing so, you can avoid having intercourse on those days and lower the chances of conception.
While it is difficult to pinpoint the exact moment of ovulation, you can derive an estimate. For one, you can use an ovulation calculator, which is a common feature in various menstrual trackers and health websites.
Moreover, you can try other approaches for a more accurate reading. These include tracking your basal body temperature and cervical mucus.
Bear in mind that this method only applies to people who have regular menstrual cycles.
If you have an irregular cycle, it would be better to use the other contraceptive approaches below.
As its name implies, barrier methods refer to contraceptive devices that physically block the sperm from reaching the egg in the fallopian tube. They are commonly used with spermicide, which refers to foams, creams, and films with chemicals that kill sperm.
Some of the most common barrier methods include the following:
These are single-use, pouch-like devices designed to catch semen upon ejaculation. There are two main kinds: one for males and one for females. Aside from being affordable and widely available, they are also the only contraceptive devices that can protect you from sexually transmitted diseases.
This is a rubber dome-shaped device placed against the cervix to prevent the sperm from reaching the egg. It is inserted and removed each time you have intercourse. However, a doctor needs to ensure the proper fit.
This device works similarly to a diaphragm, but it is smaller and circular.
Important Note: Barrier devices have limited use. Do not use expired condoms or broken devices for your safety.
You may also use hormonal methods to prevent pregnancy. These refer to medicines and devices containing hormones that disrupt the menstrual
cycle. Some of them are short-lasting, which means you need to take them daily, weekly, or monthly.
Meanwhile, there are hormonal methods that can last up to 10 years.
Here are some of the more common kinds of hormonal birth control methods:
Birth Control Pills
These are contraceptive pills that use a combination of estrogen and progestin hormones. Together, they work on the ovaries to keep it from releasing an egg. For this method to be effective, you need to take the pills daily.
Birth Control Patch
It is a bandage-like patch that you stick to your body. Like the pill, it also contains hormones that prevent ovulation and thickens the cervical mucus. The patch can last a week on the body as long as you do not touch it.
This is a small, rubbery ring that works similarly to pills and patches, except that you place it inside the vagina. You can use it for up to three weeks and then remove it on the fourth, during your period.
Intrauterine Device (IUD)
This is a small, T-shaped device that a doctor places in the uterus to prevent the sperm from reaching the egg. It is effective for up to five years.
Important: Consult first with a doctor before using the methods above. They may have side effects (e.g., nausea or vomiting) while the body adjusts to the medicine or the device.
The last resort among birth control methods is sterilization. This is a highly effective birth control approach that adjusts parts of the reproductive system.
However, most sterilization methods can only be achieved through surgery. There are two well-known kinds, namely:
Tubal Ligation for Females
It is a surgical procedure where the fallopian tubes (the lines that connect the ovaries to the uterus) are blocked, tied, or cut. Doing so prevents the egg and the sperm from meeting.
Vasectomy for Males
The vas deferens (the tubes that carry the sperm from the testes) are tied or cut. Hence, the semen does not contain sperm upon ejaculation.
Important: Bear in mind that the effects of sterilization methods are permanent. While you can try to reverse it, the prior surgery will still affect the reproductive system’s cycles and functions. Thus, think it through before deciding to go through the procedure.
If you forgot to use birth control during intercourse, you could turn to emergency contraception.
Some of the most common forms are emergency contraceptive pills (“morning after pills”) and copper T IUD.
Overall, there are multiple birth control methods available for you. Inevitably, some will work better for you than others.
To find the most suitable method for you, consult first with a health professional and carefully weigh your options. In this manner, you will reach your birth control goals and ensure that your body remains healthy.