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Birth Control Options

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Birth control options have been tired by people since time immemorial. There have been some successful and many dangerous methods used in history to prevent unwanted pregnancies. Today, with the advanced medical science and knowledge about the reproductive system, there are many safe and effective birth control options available.

Now that there are so many birth control methods available, we need to find which one suits your needs. You need to know more about these birth control options and weigh which method is best to help you control pregnancy.

Discuss the method of contraption you choose with your doctor. This will help give you an idea, if the method is the correct option for you and the best way to enjoy all its benefits. Let us discuss some of these birth control options that help you prevent pregnancy.

Types of Birth Control Options

There are many safe, affordable as well as effective methods available today that can be chosen by an individual according to his or her need. Some of these effective methods have been discussed in the following paragraphs.


One of the most widely used and effective birth control options with the least side effects. There are two types of condoms available, the male condoms and the female condoms. The condoms are designed in such a way that they can fit over an erect penis in case of men. The condoms act as a protective barrier that holds the sperms inside and avoids spilling inside the vagina.     

The female condom on the other hand, is made for internal use. It is shaped like a pouch and has a soft ring at each end. The end that is closed is used to push the condom inside the vagina and the open end covers the outer lips or labia. It is 79% effective in case of typical use and has 95% efficiency when used perfectly to prevent pregnancy.

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Spermicides are foam, tablets or suppositories or gel barrier type of birth control that contains nonoxynol-9. It is a chemical that kills the sperms. These spermicides are supposed to be kept in the vagina and pushed right till the cervix. The spermicide, then blocks the cervix and prevents any sperm from entering the uterus by paralyzing it. The woman needs to place the spermicide at least an hour before having sex.

Contraceptive Foam

Contraceptive foam is also a type of spermicide. The contraceptive foam is supposed to be placed into the vagina with the help of an applicator. The spermicide within the foam kills the sperms and the foam blocks the sperms from entering the cervix. One has to apply the contraceptive foam at least 20 minutes before sexual intercourse.


The sponge is a device that is shaped like a donut and is coated with spermicide. The sponge has to be moistened with water, before inserting into the vagina. Once inserted, it releases a spermicide that kills the sperms, traps and absorbs semen before the sperms get a chance to enter the cervix and also acts as a barrier between the sperm and cervix. The sponge can release spermicide for 24 hours, thus, allowing one to have multiple acts of intercourse without the need for change. However, it is not effective against many STD diseases including HIV.


The diaphragm is a round piece of rubber that is flexible and has a rigid rim. The diaphragm has to be placed in the vagina against the cervix. Spermicide should be used along with the diaphragm. Thus, preventing semen from entering the womb and killing any stray sperm trying to enter the uterus.

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IUD or an intrauterine device is a small, plastic, flexible device shaped like a T. It is placed in the uterus to prevent pregnancy. The IUD contains copper, that is released slowly into the uterine cavity. The copper prevents the sperm from entering the uterus and reaching the egg. This type of IUD can be kept for 10 years to prevent pregnancy. Another type of IUD contains small amount of hormone progesterone that causes the cervical mucus to become thicker. Thus, preventing the sperm from reaching the egg. This IUD is effective for 5 years after insertion. Once a woman inserts IUD inside her, she does not have to take any other steps to prevent pregnancy.

Birth Control Pills

Birth control pills are medications that are taken at the same time every day. They are made up of hormones that help prevent pregnancy. There are many types of birth control pills. Some pills allow a woman to undergo menstruation every month. Some pills prevent menstruation from occurring for at least 3 months. One should not use these pills carelessly and seek advice from the doctor before starting one. The birth control pills can lead to many side effects, if used incorrectly.

Oral contraceptives


Sterilization is another effective way to control birth. There are two types of sterilization; male sterilization and female sterilization. Male sterilization is called as vasectomy. It is a simple and permanent solution for men of birth control. Except in rare cases, vasectomy is considered to be 100% safe and effective birth control option.

Female sterilization is called as tubal ligation. It is also a surgical method where the Fallopian tubes are tied. It causes permanent sterilization as it prevents the egg from reaching the uterus for fusion with sperm. A new method called Essure® is carried out without any incision on the belly is being used for sterilization. One should remember, sterilization, male or female, is an irreversible process. Thus, make sure you think twice before undergoing this procedure.

Tubal sterilization

Emergency Contraceptive Pills

In case of an emergency, women can take emergency contraceptive pills. Two doses of these pills are to be taken in a day 12 hours apart. These pills are 90% effective if taken within 72 hours of unprotected sex.

These are some safe and effective birth control options. Abstinence from sex is the best way to prevent unwanted pregnancy as well as keep away STDs. Speak to your healthcare provider related to contraception and the best method that will suit your individual needs.

You May Also Like To Read

Barrier methods of birth control

Hormonal methods of birth control

Written by: Batul nafisa

Date last updated: July 04, 2015

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