Over the years, governments all over the world put up birth control methods as additional programs for women’s health care most especially since the female population are the primary concerns in terms of pregnancy and giving birth. Carrying a child in one’s womb and delivering them into world are not easy tasks. They should be taken seriously, and only a woman who is wholly ready for the risks must go through this extremely sensitive and complex process. Not only do birth control methods avoid the incidence of unwanted pregnancies but also cut the risk of acquisition of sexually transmitted diseases.
There are seven main categories of birth control methods. They are: continuous abstinence, natural family planning method or rhythm method, barrier methods, hormonal methods, implantable devices, permanent birth control methods, and emergency contraception.
Continuous abstinence simply pertains to restraining oneself from having any form of sexual intercourse or just not having sex. It surely avoids unwanted pregnancy and bears no risk of acquiring any form of sexually transmitted disease.
Natural family planning method or rhythm method means not having sex or using any other form of contraception when a woman is fertile. For a woman with regular monthly periods, there is an average of nine days or more for every month when is fertile. These days are five days before and three days after ovulation, and on the day of ovulation itself. To utilize this method effectively, a woman must keep track of her monthly period schedule. She must identify the when she gets her period, how heavy or light it is, and how she feels when she has it. It also includes checking the cervical mucus and body temperature. One can talk with a doctor to further understand how these gathered information works. However, this method is not suggested for women with irregular periods.
Barrier methods are using devices or contraceptives that block the sperm cells from having contact with the egg. One of these devices is the contraceptive sponge which is a soft, disk-shaped device with a loop to take it out. It contains spermicide, which from the term itself, kills the sperms. Another is the diaphragm which blocks the sperm from entering the cervix and reaching the egg. A cervical cap, like the diaphragm, comes in varying sizes and you need to consult a doctor to find which size fits. The cervical shield do not need fitting. The female condom is worn by a woman inside the vagina, and the male condom is worn over an erect penis.
Hormonal methods cut the risk of pregnancy by altering ovulation, fertilization, or the implantation of a fertilized egg. The pill is taken everyday to keep ovaries from releasing egg cells. It also causes changes in the uterus lining and cervical mucus to avoid the joining of the sperm and egg. The patch is worn on the lower abdomen, buttocks, outer arm, or upper body and it releases hormones to stop the ovaries from releasing eggs. The shot or injection is like a pill but injected, and it is done every three months. The vaginal ring is a thin and flexible ring that releases hormones that stop the ovaries from releasing eggs.
Implantable devices are inserted into the body and are left there for some years. There is this matchstick-size, flexible rod put under the skin of the upper arm that releases hormones to stop the production of eggs and it is called the implantable rod. There are also intrauterine devices which are inserted into the uterus.
Permanent birth control methods are for people who are sure that the never want to bear children at all or anymore. One type is sterilization implant which is a non-surgical method in sterilizing women. Surgical sterilization involves closing the fallopian tubes by tying, cutting or sealing them.
Emergency contraception is not a typical contraception method since it is only used when a woman’s main birth control method fails.
Before deciding, it is best to first consult the doctor.