When a woman is fertile, sexually active and having good physical fitness the chances of getting pregnant are very high. This is the stage when she has to ascertain whether she wants to become pregnant or not. If she doesn’t want to get pregnant at that point of life then there are various birth control options available. Before choosing the right birth control method she has to address some crucial questions. If the pregnancy is not needed now, then when it is needed, whether it is in the near future or after many years or she never wants to become pregnant in her life. These questions can determine the type of birth control option best suited to her or her partner.
Birth control is known in different names such as contraception, fertility control, family planning and pregnancy prevention. In whatever names it is called there are number of methods available for sexually active people to prevent pregnancy. Around 3.7 million women undergo unprepared pregnancy every year in United States alone.. Basically, all birth control methods are based on either preventing a male’s sperm from entering and contacting female’s egg or obstructing the fertilized eggs from placing in the female’s uterus, there by preventing it to grow further.
Some birth control methods are reversible and some are permanent. Reversible birth control methods can be stopped whenever needed and the fertility can be restored. Permanent birth control methods can not be undone because usually these type birth control methods involve surgery. Vasectomy for male and Tubal ligation of female are examples of permanent birth control methods. Birth control methods also can be categorized into barrier method, mechanical method, hormonal method and natural method. Condom is the example for barrier method which essentially prevents the sperm entering into female organ. Insertion of intrauterine device is an example of mechanical method. Hormonal method involves using pills. Natural methods do not use any tools or hormones but deals with women’s body physiology to avert impregnation.
Sterlization is a permanent birth control method. Vasectomy is meant for men who do not want to have children. Once vasectomy is performed sperms will not exit from penis during sexual intercourse. Generally, vasectomy is a surgical process conducted by a specialist surgeon or by an urologist after administering local anesthesia. Under this method the spermatic duct which is instrumental in carrying the sperm from testicles are cut and ends are closed. A vasectomy surgery doesn’t affect the man’s ability to have an erection nor minimizes the flow of fluid. Reversing the vasectomy is possible but the success rate is very less. Vasectomy doesn’t guard a male or female from sexually transmitted diseases.
Tubal ligation is a form of birth control methods performed for women. This is a permanent sterilization method. Tubal ligation is performed after administering anesthesia, generally on outpatient process. Under this method the Fallopian tubes are identified and closed by clipping, cutting, tying or cauterizing. The whole exercise takes 30 to 45 minutes. There could be some side effects such as bleeding, infection or any other relating to general anesthesia. Tubal ligation has a success rate around 98%. A tubal ligation surgery can be reversed and can have more success rate than vasectomy.
Intrauterine Devices (IUD)
Intrauterine Devices (IUDs) are another form of birth control methods used for women. In this method a small “T” shaped IUD made of polyethylene plastic is inserted into uterus. There is a short string bounding the IUD that passes through cervix and ends at vagina. This string helps to know whether the IUD is sitting properly in the vagina. There are two types of IUDs one is Intrauterine Contraceptive Device (IUCD) and other is Intrauterine system (IUS). IUCD is made of copper and emits copper through a copper wire tied at the bottom. IUS emits hormone progesterone. It is not known fully how IUDs work. They are thought to prevent conception by causing a brief localized inflammation that begins about 24 hours after insertion. This causes an inflammatory reaction inside the uterus that attracts white blood cells. This type of IUD also alters the cervical mucus, which, in turn, inhibits sperm from passing through the cervix.
Hormonal methods of contraception
There are various types of hormonal birth controls based of the type, amount and the way hormones go into a woman’s body. The hormone delivery includes oral, inserted into the body tissue, injected into the body, absorbed by the skin or positioned in the vagina. The oral pills are one of the popular and oldest forms of contraceptives. Pills are made of synthetic hormones. There are combination pills and mini pills under different brand names. A pill is not a perfect method of contraceptive. There could be some side effects like vaginal bleeding, breast tenderness, nausea during the first month of taking pills. There are other types of hormonal methods such as Inject able, Contraceptive patch, vaginal ring, etc.
Natural birth control methods
Natural birth control methods are neither non-mechanical nor non-hormonal. These methods are based on timing of the sexual intercourse when the eggs are not to be fertilized. The Fertility Awareness method (FAM) is based on women’s symptoms for ovulation. The Calendar Rhythm method involves calculating woman’s fertile period. Basal Body Temperature (BBT) method depends on women’s body temperature as it tends to be fall before an egg is relapsed. Natural methods are safe in the sense there is no side effects associated and there is no surgery or drugs involved. At the same time a small mistake in the calculation will result in pregnancy.