Birth Control is the act of preventing pregnancy. Birth control is an effective way for child planning. Usually, women practice this to avoid unwanted pregnancy. There are different methods and instruments in birth control. One example is the use of Birth Control Sponge. Birth control sponge is a soft, round plastic foam that women insert inside their vagina. Another example is the outercourse. Outercourse is a type of sexual activity that does not involve vaginal intercourse or any penetration. All of these methods could prevent pregnancy. Birth control methods raised a controversial issue between society and religious community.
Abstinence is the natural way of preventing pregnancy. It is the act of controlling oneself from any sexual activity. Abstinence is the only practice for birth control that is accepted by most religions particularly Christianity.
A combination pill is an oral birth control pill. It contains estrogen and progestin. These hormones prevent the female’s ovary from producing eggs. A Combination pill completes the 28-day cycle in women. A woman who uses combination pills takes 21 active pills regularly at the same time per day. Then she will have her 7-days regular bleeding period after taking the active pills. Combination pills have minor and major side effects to women. Combination pills are not suitable for all women. The method is reliable if a woman takes the pill correctly.
Progestin-only pill is also called a mini pill. This type of oral birth control method does not contain any estrogen hormone, unlike the combination pill. A woman using this oral contraceptive takes the pill continuously for 27 days at the same time per day. Women take mini pills at a stricter time compared to combination pills. Women also undergo regular bleeding rarely in taking mini pills. This type of oral birth control pill suits women who are breastfeeding.
Extended-cycle pill is the newest type of oral birth control pill. In this pill, a woman usually takes 84 active pills. A woman could choose between 7 days of no pill or 7 days of an estrogen-only pill after completing the active pills. This type of pill lessens the menstrual cycle in women. Continuous use of this pill eliminates menstrual bleeding. Some healthcare specialist recommends this method for women who suffer painful menstrual bleeding. Extended-cycle pill is more likely effective than combination pill.
Birth Control Shot
Birth control shot is also called Depo or Depo-Provera. Birth control shots contain progestin hormone that prevents ovaries from producing eggs. One shot lasts for three months and women should take this shot regularly to avoid pregnancy. This type of birth control method suits women who can’t remember to take oral pills at the same time per day.
The vaginal ring is sometimes called the NuvaRing from the name of the brand. It is a small and flexible ring and it releases estrogen and progestin hormones gradually to prevent sperm from fertilizing the egg. Midwives or OB doctors insert this ring inside a woman’s vagina. Women let this ring stay inside their vagina for three weeks then they let it remove on the fourth week. This ring is administered by midwives or OB doctors once a month. This method is safe and effective.
Diaphragm is a type of birth control method that uses a silicone cup shaped transparent device encircled with a spring. Women administer this device inside their vagina and through the cervix. The vaginal muscles secure the device in place. Women should insert diaphragm two hours before sexual intercourse and remove it 6 to 8 hours after. There are different types of diaphragm available for women.
Intrauterine device or IUD is a T-shaped metal instrument that women use for birth control. Women insert this device inside their uterus. IUD method is convenient for most women. IUD’s are not inserted or removed at a particular time. It can stay longer inside as long as it is in place. There are three known types of IUDs named as the copper, hormonal and inert IUD.
The female condom is a thin, transparent rubber and is mostly used by women to avoid pregnancy. A woman who uses this method inserts the condom inside her vagina before sexual intercourse then takes it off after. Some women find it difficult to use this method. The female condom could also help prevent Sexual Transmitted Disease or STI.
The male condom is one of the popular methods used by couples for birth control. Men wore male condom through their penis. This method prevents a man’s semen from entering a woman’s vagina. It also lessens the risk of STI. This method is not solely reliable. There are different styles, sizes, and types of male condom available.
The patch is a thin, square-shaped piece that women sticks on their skin like a Band-Aid. Women attach the patch on their arms, buttocks, stomach or back. The patch secretes hormones that can prevent pregnancy. Most women find this method very easy to use.
An implant is a thin and short stick that women use to prevent pregnancy. A woman inserts the implants through the skin of her upper arm. Implants contain progestin hormone that keeps the ovaries from fertilizing. Implants last for three years and it could be removed any time.
Sterilization is a birth control method that requires surgery. In this procedure, an OB doctor or healthcare specialist closes the fallopian tubes through the process of tubal ligation. After the whole procedure, a woman’s eggs are blocked from their passageway to the uterus, preventing the sperm from fertilizing the egg. This method is permanent.
Emergency contraception is often called the morning after pill. It is a type of contraceptive method that prevents pregnancy after sexual intercourse. Inserting copper IUDs or taking after pills are two options women could choose for emergency contraception. Women can use this method up to five days after unprotected sexual intercourse.
Withdrawal (pull out method)
Withdrawal or pull out method is the oldest method of birth control. Couples can use this method during vaginal intercourse. Withdrawal prevents pregnancy when a man withdraws his semen outside of a woman’s vagina. This method is safe and has no side effects. The efficacy of this method is not reliable.
Vasectomy is a birth control method that requires surgery to men. In this procedure, the specialist blocks the tube that carries sperm. The sperm now is then absorbed in the body. Men who undergo this method can no longer ejaculate sperm thus preventing pregnancy.
Breastfeeding as Birth Control
Breastfeeding is another natural way of preventing pregnancy. Women can use this technique after giving birth. When a woman is breastfeeding, her body could not produce hormones necessary for producing eggs. This method is advantageous for both the women and their babies.
Fertility Awareness-based Method (FAMS)
Fertility awareness-based method is a birth control method where a woman tracks her fertile days. A woman avoids pregnancy when she abstains from sexual intercourse or uses other contraceptive methods during her fertile days. The effectiveness of this method is not accurate.
Spermicide is a type of method where a substance blocks the cervix of a woman and prevents the sperm from moving. A woman who uses this method inserts the spermicide deep into the vagina before sexual intercourse. Spermicide comes in different forms like creams or foams. Women could accompany the diaphragm or cervical method with this technique to improve the effectiveness.