Popular birth control options you must know about

Contraception or birth control involves the use of a range of effective methods, devices, and medicines to prevent an unplanned pregnancy. Since a single birth control option may not essentially be the best, it is important to choose the birth control option that suits you the best. Since the type of birth control depends on your overall health, convenience, and the need to prevent sexually transmitted diseases, it is best to choose a method that is sustainable and doesn’t have adverse implications. While most birth control options are readily available in the market, you can consider choosing an option after some consultation with your doctor. Some of the popular birth control options have been listed below.

Hormonal methods
These types of birth control options are targeted towards preventing eggs from being released from the ovaries, thickening the cervical mucus, preventing sperms from getting to the uterus, and thinning the lining of the uterus to prevent implantation. The hormonal methods typically include pills, vaginal rings, and skin patches. These may contain both the hormones like estrogen and progestin. However, certain hormonal implants may contain progestin only.

Barrier methods
These birth control options prevent the sperms from entering the uterus. Common barrier methods of birth control include condoms, cervical caps, diaphragm, and the like. Using a spermicide along with a barrier is known to kill most of the sperms that enter the vagina and act as the best possible protection. This method not only helps one from an unplanned pregnancy but also acts as an effective barrier against sexually transmitted diseases and various infections. The barrier method works best in cases when you do not wish to take hormone pills or insert an intrauterine device. This is also the most recommended method for women who are breastfeeding or have heavy menstrual periods.

Intrauterine devices
IUD or intrauterine devices are tiny T-shaped devices that are made of flexible plastic and inserted into a woman’s uterus to prevent pregnancy. It is one of the few long-term birth control options that can be removed when one needs to get pregnant. IUD devices are available in two types. These include copper IUD that do not contain any hormones and last for about 10 years and hormonal IUDs that contain progestin and may protect pregnancy up to 36 years.

Other birth control options
One of the most common permanent birth control options includes sterilization. This method is best for protecting pregnancy but is irreversible and does not provide any protection against STDs. Other methods include behavioral forms of birth control methods that do not employ any devices, pills, or insertions but require practicing periodic or continuous abstinence or coitus interruptus. Dual protection or use of condoms and pills, emergency contraception, withdrawal, etc. are other birth control options that may be tried after careful consideration.

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Birth Control