Contraception is the method to prevent pregnancy.
There are 2 types, Natural birth control measures and artificial birth control measures.
Natural birth control measures
- Basal body temperature: Normal body temperature is measured every morning using a thermometer. The ovulation is indicated by rise of temperature. Avoiding sex during ovulation periods prevent from pregnancy.
- Cervical fluid: Changing pattern of cervical mucus throughout the cycle is an excellent indicator of fertility. The cervical fluid becomes wet and has an egg white-quality during fertility period. So it is not safe to have sexual intercourse when the fluid is egg white if you are practicing contraception.
- Cervical position: Check your cervix daily or when you are experiencing the ‘’egg white type’’ of fluid and fertility is assumed when the cervix changes from being low, thick and closed to being high (sometimes you can’t even reach it) and open.
- Periodic abstinence: To avoid intercourse or use barrier method during fertility period.
- Breast-feeding may work as a form of birth control in the first 6 months after giving birth.
Barrier method of contraception
- Male Condoms: It is the only available type of contraception which gives protection from sexually transmitted disease.
- Other type of barrier methods include use of diaphragm, cervical cap, Lea’s shield, female condom, and spermicidal foam, sponge, gel, suppository or film) prevent sperm from entering the uterus and reaching the egg.
These are very reliable means of birth control. It has 2 types:
- Combination hormonal methods: Contains both estrogen and progestin (synthetic progesterone). It includes pills, skin patches and rings.
- Progestin only hormonal methods (mini pills): Include pills, injections (Depo-Provera) and implants.
Intrauterine devices (IUD)
It is small device that is placed in the uterus to prevent pregnancy. IUD’s are wrapped with copper or contain hormone. Once the IUD is in place, it can provide birth control for 5 to 10 years, depending on type.
Permanent birth control (sterilization):
Sterilization is a surgical procedure done for men or women who decide that they do not want to have any more children. It is one of the most effective forms of birth control. It is a permanent method, reversal is not always successful.
- Tubal ligation or Tubectomy: It is a surgical procedure where the fallopian tubes, which carry the eggs from the ovaries to the uterus, are tied, cut or blocked. A new non surgical sterilization technique uses a small metal coil, or tubal implant inserted up into each fallopian tube. Over the time, scar tissue grows around each tubal implant, permanently blocking the tubes. Most women are able to return home within couple of hours after receiving tubal implants.
- Vasectomy: In this procedure, the vas deferens, the tubes that carry sperm from testicles to the seminal fluid (semen) are cut and blocked so that semen no longer contains sperm. This procedure will not have any effect on ability to have erection or enjoy sex. Men must have a sperm check after having a vasectomy before relying on this for birth control.
Choosing birth control measures:
First you should determine whether you want permanent or temporary birth control measures. Either you want to conceive later or not. If you do not want to become pregnant in the future than tubal ligation or tubal implants or vasectomy for your partner is advised.
If you like to become pregnant in the future you may opt for temporary methods.
In the woman who has never had a child, the hormonal or barrier methods are convenient.
For the women who has already have one child and want to postpone another pregnancy for few years than intrauterine devices are best option.