While there are many contraceptive options for women, it is a personal choice on deciding which option to choose. However, it is important to remember that no matter which contraceptive method you choose, there is always a possibility to get pregnant. No contraceptive method is 100% effective except for abstinence.
In addition to preventing unintended pregnancy, few contraceptive methods also help in reducing the chances of contracting an STD (Sexually Transmitted Diseases).
Women have far more contraceptive options when compared to men. In this article, let us look at some of the most common and effective birth control methods, of which you may decide the right one according to your lifestyle.
While not as effective as a male condom, a female condom is similar to it and serves the same purpose of preventing semen from getting into the womb. It is made of a soft latex or synthetic latex material and is placed inside the vagina before intercourse.
A female condom may also help both partners from contracting STDs. There are no serious side effects associated with a female condom, however, they may tear or break if not used properly. Female condoms are also expensive and cannot be found easily.
Contraceptive sponge or birth control sponge is a round sponge that contains spermicide, a sperm killing chemical. The contraceptive sponge is placed inside the vagina and acts as both a barrier and to kill sperm. A person using a contraceptive sponge can indulge in multiple acts of intercourse within 24 hours. However, the sponge needs to remain in the vagina for at least 6 hours after intercourse.
While not the most effective contraceptive method, it has the possibility to induce Toxic Shock Syndrome or develop an allergic reaction due to the usage of spermicide.
Diaphragm and Cervical Cap
These contraceptive methods can be availed by getting a prescription from a doctor. Both the devices are soft and flexible and are used to block the cervix. Similar to the contraceptive sponge, these are also used as barriers and are filled with spermicide.
These devices are an alternative if you want to avoid the hormonal imbalances of a pill or get an implant. However, it may increase the risk of Toxic Shock Syndrome or an allergy.
Implants are plastic sticks, half the size of a matchstick, and are inserted under your skin, mostly under your upper arm by a doctor. The device releases the hormone progestin. It affects the ovulation and makes the cervical mucus thicker to block sperm. The implants, once inserted can last up to 3 years, and can be removed at any time.
Implants are highly effective in preventing unintended pregnancy. However, it disrupts menstrual cycles and causes other side effects like acne.
Intrauterine Devices (IUD)
There are two kinds of Intrauterine Devices, Copper and Hormonal. Both the Intrauterine Devices are small T-shaped devices and are placed inside the uterus by a doctor.
While the Copper Intrauterine Device prevents a fertilized egg from being implanted in the uterus, the Hormonal version of the Intrauterine device works similarly to an Implant by releasing the hormone Progestin to affect ovulation and make the cervical mucus thicker.
The Copper IUD can be left inside for up to 10 years and may induce more cramps during periods. The Hormonal IUD can be left in place for only 3-5 years and may stop periods altogether.
Vaginal Rings are flexible plastic rings that are of 2 inches in size. It is inserted into the vagina and left there for 3 weeks, and removed for 1 week to have a period. The vaginal ring releases estrogen and progestin into the vagina and this effectively prevents birth control.
It is known to be a highly effective birth control method with less than 1% of women experiencing an unintended pregnancy.
Shots and Patches
While both the methods involve inducing hormones like progestin and estrogen into the body to make the cervical mucus thicker and block sperm, one is injected into the body and the other is placed on the skin as a patch.
Both are highly effective contraceptive methods. However, shots disrupt periods or stop them altogether in a few cases.
Contraceptive pills induce estrogen and progestin to make the cervical mucus thicker and in turn, block the sperm. These are some of the most common contraceptive methods and are highly effective.
It is a better alternative to people who are not comfortable with having devices or implants placed inside them. The pills also provide the benefit of lighter periods and fewer menstrual cramps.
The downside of using contraceptive pills is that you need to remember to take them every day. If forgotten, another contraceptive method should be used. Pills are also known to have side effects like bleeding between periods, breast tenderness, and weight gain.
As mentioned earlier, no contraceptive method is 100% effective. Incase a contraceptive method is misused or not used, an emergency contraceptive pill can be used to prevent the egg from being implanted inside the uterus. These pills are also known as the morning-after-pills. You may take this pill within 3 days of unprotected intercourse. Few pills can be taken within 5 days. However, do note that these pills are not among the safest contraceptive methods. Do not use them as a regular birth control option.
Now that you are aware of the different contraceptive options for women, you may choose a method based on your personal choice and lifestyle.
You may also take the advice of a doctor to understand which method is safer for you. If you find it inconvenient to visit a doctor and discuss such matters, you now have the option of consulting virtually from the comfort of your home. Call 88-00-644-744 to book a virtual doctor consultation today.