Sexually active people who want to avoid pregnancy should be aware of their options for birth control. To avoid pregnancy there are many types of contraception available.
11 ways of contraception
It prevents the sperm from reaching the egg. These include –
Male and female condoms are the only contraception that protects against sexually transmitted infections (STIs). If used correctly, male condoms are more than 80% effective against pregnancy. Most of the male condoms are made of latex but other types are available for those with a latex allergy. If a lubricant is used, check that it is compatible with the kind of condom being used. Condoms are available over-the-counter (otc) without a prescription from markets, online, or drugstores.
These are also available without a prescription. These can be used instead of a male condom but should never be used with one. It is about 79% effective for contraception. Available at drugstores and online.
It is a barrier method of contraception that a person places inside the vagina. Make sure to apply spermicide to the diaphragm before each use. When used with spermicide, it is close to 90% effective. A person must insert the diaphragm a few hours before intercourse then leave it in place for 6 hours after sex and remove it after 24 hours. These do not protect against STIs.
It is a soft silicone cup that is placed deep inside the vagina. It covers the cervix to stop sperm from reaching an egg. It is 70 to 85% effective. It does not protect against STIs.
It is a method of birth control that a person can buy without a prescription. It is made up of polyurethane foam and containing spermicide, it is placed deep inside the vagina to block entry to the uterus. If it is used alone, it is 76 to 88% effective but using it with a condom further reduces the risk of pregnancy and STIs.
It is a chemical that inactivates sperm. If it is used alone, it should be inserted close to the cervix at least 10 minutes before sex. It remains effective for 60 minutes and is approximately 71% effective.
It prevents conception by stopping ovulation which is the release of an egg from the ovaries. It doesn’t protect against STIs. These include –
These are 95% effective. There are two forms of the pill – a combined pill that contains estrogen and progestin and another mini pill that contains only progestin.
It is 90% effective. It can be placed on the back, buttocks, stomach, and upper arm.
It is 90% effective. The contraceptive shot is of depo-provera which is usually given by a doctor every 12 weeks.
It is 95% effective. It is small and placed in the vagina for 3 weeks. It releases hormones into the body which help in preventing pregnancy.
IUDs and implants
These are long-term contraceptive devices. These are 99% effective at preventing pregnancy and do not protect against STIs.
It is a small device inserted into the uterus. There are two types hormonal and copper-based.
It works by releasing the hormone progestin into the body which prevents ovulation. It is 99% effective. It is a matchstick-sized rod that is inserted into a person’s arm to protect against pregnancy.
Natural family planning
When to take a test
Signs of pregnancy include –
Missed or late period
Enlarged or tender breasts
Consult the doctor for confirmation.
Word of caution
Different methods work better for different people. There can be side effects of certain contraceptives. It is better to consult the doctor for use of contraception and its effectiveness.
There are many contraceptive options to help avoid pregnancy. Always consult the doctor for any problems regarding pregnancy.