Contraception or birth control is a means to prevent pregnancy which works by interfering with the process of ovulation, also called as fertilization or implantation. There are different measures of birth control which can help in achieving contraception. Before taking any preventive measures it is important to understand how the ovulation cycle works.
The Ovulation Cycle
In every month the women’s body release an egg or the ovum which matures, and the mucus is secreted from the cervix which is an organ placed at the lower end of women’s uterus. Further the lining of uterus grows in preparation for receiving a fertilized egg when sperm comes in contact with it. Birth control (contraception) are designed to interfere in the normal process of birth and prevent pregnancy which may occur. There are multiple kinds of birth control measures that can be used at different points during the process, right from ovulation to fertilization till implantation is done. Each method comes with its own consequences and risks. Some of the methods proven to be more reliable are mentioned below.
Oral contraception’s :
They include tablets which is taken by mouth or orally. The birth control pills are the ideal example of Oral contraception’s and must be taken every day. These pills contain estrogen and progestin that are known to suppress ovulation.
- May cause vomiting, severe diarrhea.
- Not suitable for overweight women.
- May have side effects like headache and nausea.
These are the soft rubber cap which are placed around the cervix region, also known as Spermicides. The Cervical cap is obtained by doctor’s prescription. They are inserted just before the intercourse. It may be sometimes difficult to insert. The failure rate is between 17-23%, depending on type of cap.
- You can feel its constant presence and may be irritating at times.
- Can cause infection if the metal gets corroded from inside.
This is a condom with lubricated sheath material which is to be inserted in the vagina.It has a shape similar to male condom, and comes with a circular flexible ring.
The Female Condom is applied immediately before the intercourse, and is allowed for single use only. The failure rate is 21 %.
- May sometimes get pushed within the vagina.
- It may split or tear during intercourse.
The Male Condoms are made of Latex or materials like polyurethane sheath and is supposed to be placed over an erect penis before intercourse and is recommended for single use only. They are widely available in any medical drugstores. Condoms give best protection against all kinds of sexually transmitted diseases. But non-latex condoms don’t prevent the spreading of HIV and other STDs.
- It may slip off or break during intercourse if wrong size used.
- May prove to be allergic to some people.
It’s a hormonal medication injection that inhibits the ovulation process, this injection is obtained by prescription and it taken in every three months. The failure rate is less than 1 percent.
- May cause irregular periods, weight gain and effects fertility.
Diaphragm with spermicide:
Diaphragm are dome-shaped with rubber disk that can cover the cervix. Diaphragm are given only with prescription. Diaphragms are inserted before the intercourse and should be left in place at least for minimum six hours. The failure rate is about 17 percent.
- Use of spermicide is must.
- Size needs to be changed after baby.
The feminine douche is used immediately after the intercourse to wash out the accumulated sperm. But Douching has proved to be ineffective as the sperm travel very quickly to cervix. It has a failure rate of 40 percent.
IUD: The intra uterine devices is T-shaped which is inserted in the women’s uterus to avoid pregnancy. IUD’s can be kept in the uterus for the span one, five till 10 years, depending on your need. IUD’s are proved to be safer as they have a failure rate of less than 1 percent. You need to worry about fertility once it’s inserted.
- Heavy menstrual periods or menstrual cramping may occur with the use of IUD.
- It may cause spotting or irregular bleeding.
Surgical Tubal sterilization is a form of surgery done by tying tubes around the cervix. A doctor must perform the sterilization procedure in a hospital or a surgical clinic. The use of anesthesia is must during the surgery. This sterilization may cause infection and bleeding.
- May cause discomfort.
- Once opted for you cannot reverse it.
- Does not protect from STD’s.
Also known as emergency contraceptive pills are similar to the normal birth control pills, with an only difference that it must be consumed within 72 hours or 3 days of having unprotected intercourse. These pills are proven to reduce pregnancy risk up to 80 percent.
Spermicide is a foam kind of creamy film a bit jelly type, suppository or tablet which contains nonoxynol-9.Spermicide is inserted between five to ninety minutes before the intercourse and must be left in place for six to eight hours post that. Spermicide has a failure rate between 20-50 percent.
- This tablet causes irritation in vaginal tissues and may increase risk to STD as they don’t kill HIV causing viruses or any other STD causing viruses.
- Spermicides may be allergic to some people and may beirritating to the skin.
The contraceptive patch has a small patch that stick to the skin and controls the release of estrogen and progestrogen. It is proved to stop ovulation giving 99 percent effective. It helps get periods lighter and be more regular. No need to worry about adding or removing it. New patch is added may be once in a week or three times in week, following by no patch for one week.
- Make cause some problems to smokers and overweight women.
- Make increase the risk of breast and cervical cancer
May lead to temporary side effects like headaches, mood swings, breast tenderness, and nausea.