Types Of Contraception

Various types of contraception explained. Risks as well as effectiveness of the various methods discussed. From condoms, injections, pills, cervical caps, to IUD's and implants. How to prevent pregnancy.

Contraception is minefield of choice that can leave you feeling stunned when faced with all the options. The only effective way to choose what is right for you is to be informed. Contraception education is not only for teenagers and young adults, but also for many older people that chose their method a long time ago and have not looked at new options. Below various methods have been explained, their advantages as well as their disadvantages.

Hormonal methods

Injections and Implants: This contains progesterone and essentially it prevents an egg from being produced.

Advantages: People with diabetes and high blood pressure can use these safely, and it is long lasting. The injection is given every six months and the implant will last for five years.

Disadvantages: Weight gain, nausea, irregular bleeding can all be side effects. Fertility may take up to a year to return.

Effectiveness: Injection 99.7% Implant: 99.95%

The Combined Pill: This pill contains Estrogen and Progesterone and also prevents an egg from being produced by the female.

Advantages: Protects against cancers of the womb or ovaries and helps prevent osteoporosis. It regulates your period and helps reduce PMS, as well as not having any long-term effects, and unlike condoms not interrupting sex. Can be taken from 6 weeks after giving birth.

Disadvantages: Head aches; water retention, nausea, weight gain and depression can all be side effects. If you are a smoker over thirty five, have diabetes or high blood pressure then this is not recommended as an option for you. If you are breastfeeding then the hormones could pass on to your baby through your milk. (Your milk flow can also be reduced).

Effectiveness: 97%

The Mini Pill: This pill makes it harder for sperm to enter the uterus as it thickens the mucous in the cervix.

Advantages:If you are overweight, have high blood pressure, are a smoker, over forty or are breastfeeding then this is the pill for you.

Disadvantages: It has to be taken at the same time each day, and there is a small risk that if you are breastfeeding, the progesterone could harm your baby.

Effectiveness: 95%

Barrier Methods

Condom: A sheath that prevents the transmittal of sperm after ejaculation. Often using these can result in vaginal dryness, but do not use any oil-based lubricant, as this may split the condom.

Advantages: Easy to use with minimal health risk and widely available. Many of them contain spermicide.

Disadvantages: You have to interrupt the sexual flow to put it on. It could slip off or tear, you have to remove it straight after intercourse, and it may dull the sensation.

Effectiveness: 86%

Intrauterine Device: (IUD). A T-shape device that is inserted into the womb to prevent the implanting of a fertilized egg.

Advantages: It works as soon as it is fitted, and has no effect on breastfeeding or your hormones.

Disadvantages: Heavy periods, uterine cramping, a greater risk of Pelvic inflammatory disease if you have multiple partners. A yearly check is required.

Effectiveness: 98%

Diaphragm/ Cervical Cap: These methods must be used with a spermicide. Made from soft rubber they cover the cervix and need to be fitted. They can be inserted up to six hours before intercourse and may be removed no later than 30 hours afterwards.

Advantages: No hormones are introduced to your body, so you can breastfeed. They can prevent STD's, and can be inserted well before sex.

Disadvantages: They need to be inspected often for holes. Your bladder must be empty to insert them, and they may press down on your bladder causing Cystitis.

Effectiveness: 80% Diaphragm 60% Cervical Cap

Natural Methods

This consists of Fertility Awareness or the Rhythm Method. Ovulation occurs twelve to sixteen days before a period, so you have to have a regular cycle in order to accurately predict "ňúsafe' times for intercourse.

Advantages: There are no side effects at all.

Disadvantages: There are restrictions on sex, which could lead to tension in the home.

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