Table of contents:
- 1. Birth control pill
- 2. Contraceptive implant
- 3. Intrauterine device (IUD)
- 4. Male and female condoms
- 5. Vaginal diaphragm
- 6. Vaginal ring
- 7. Injectable contraceptive
- 8. Tubal ligation or Vasectomy
- 9. Natural methods
There are several contraceptive methods that help to avoid an unwanted pregnancy, such as the contraceptive pill or the implant in the arm, but only the condom prevents pregnancy and protects against sexually transmitted diseases at the same time and, therefore, it should be used in all relationships, especially when you don't know your partner.
Before choosing and using a contraceptive method, it is important to consult the gynecologist to decide which is the most appropriate option, and the best method is always the most suitable for the conditions of women and men, such as age, cigarette use, diseases or allergies, for example.
1. Birth control pill
The oral contraceptive, also known as the contraceptive pill, is the method most used by women to prevent pregnancy, as it has hormones that are similar to those produced by the ovaries, causing ovulation not to occur and there is no egg ready to be fertilized.
The existing types of oral contraceptives are the combined pill, which contains estrogen and progestin, and the mini-pill, which has only progestogen, which is more common during breastfeeding, in women who smoke, or in those over 35 years old.
The contraceptive pill can be purchased free of charge at a he alth center, but it depends on the brand of contraceptive, as some have to be purchased at the pharmacy. The most common brands of birth control pills are Selene, Yasmin, Ciclo 21 and Diane 35. In addition, there are other brands like Yaz, Minima, Microvlar or Cerazette, for example.
- Advantages: in addition to helping to prevent pregnancy, it can also be used to decrease PMS symptoms, reduce menstrual flow and pain during menstruation, regulate the cycle menstrual cycle, improve acne and excess hair and help prevent pelvic inflammatory disease, cysts or ovarian cancer;
- Disadvantages: although it is a very effective and safe method, women need to be responsible and take a pill every day at the same time, without forgetting, to avoid pregnancy;
- Possible side effects: Common side effects include nausea, breast pain, minor bleeding outside of menstruation, decreased blood flow, and symptoms of depression.
How to take the contraceptive pill correctly
In most cases, you have to take 1 tablet a day, always at the same time, for 21 days until the end of the pack and when finished, take a 7-day break, which is when your period should start and 8th day, start a new pack. If this is your birth control method, read all about the birth control pill.
2. Contraceptive implant
The contraceptive implant, such as Implanon or Organon, is a method that helps prevent pregnancy through a small plastic tube that is introduced into the inner part of the arm, under the skin, by the gynecologist and which releases hormones into the blood slowly, preventing ovulation and making it difficult for sperm to enter the woman's uterus.
This device can remain on the woman's arm for up to 3 years, however it can only be put on and taken off by the gynecologist and, after removing the fertility, it returns to normal after 1 month.
- Advantages: in addition to preventing pregnancy, it can be used to reduce abdominal pain caused by menstruation. In addition, the implant does not interfere with intimate contact or breastfeeding, and is an excellent method for women who frequently forget to take their pills, have mental illness or have gastrointestinal problems.
- Disadvantages: It is a more expensive method and needs a he althcare professional to be placed under the skin.
- Possible side effects: May cause irregular bleeding, skin blemishes, nausea, headache, and mood swings.
When and how to place the implant
The implant must be placed in the hospital by the gynecologist within the first 7 days of the menstrual cycle, or at any time during the cycle if it is certain that the woman is not pregnant.To place and remove the implant it is necessary to have a small surgery with local anesthesia that is applied to the arm, being normal in the first 3 days after the intervention to have pain or to have a small purple spot.
Learn more about the implant to prevent an unwanted pregnancy.
3. Intrauterine device (IUD)
The intrauterine device, known as the IUD, is a T-shaped plastic contraceptive method that is introduced into the uterus by the gynecologist and can remain for about 5 years while maintaining its effectiveness.
This contraceptive technique is very effective and does not cause discomfort, preventing pregnancy due to the action of copper or the release of hormones that make fertilization difficult.
- Advantages: it is a method that does not interfere with the sexual act and is a good method for those who forget to take the pill every day and at the same time, as it can remain in the uterus for several years.
- Disadvantages: needs to be placed by a he althcare professional and in some cases can lead to anemia.
- Possible side effects: may cause pain for a few days after placement, lead to minor blood loss in the following months, and may even increase the risk of vaginal infections.
See how the IUD prevents pregnancy.
4. Male and female condoms
Condoms are an excellent contraceptive method to prevent pregnancy, as well as being the only method that protects against the transmission of sexually transmitted diseases, such as AIDS or syphilis.
However, to be effective, it is necessary to put the condom correctly before each intimate contact, preventing direct contact between the penis and vagina, preventing sperm from reaching the uterus.
- Advantages: they are generally cheap, easy to put on, do not cause any changes in the body and protect against sexually transmitted diseases.
- Disadvantages: Some people may be allergic to condom material, which is usually latex. In addition, condoms can cause discomfort in some couples or tear during intimate contact, increasing the chances of becoming pregnant.
- Possible side effects: in addition to the risk of allergy to the type of condom material, there are no side effects to condom use.
5. Vaginal diaphragm
The diaphragm is a rubber contraceptive method in the form of a ring that prevents sperm from entering the uterus, preventing fertilization of the egg. The diaphragm can be used several times for about 2 years, so after using it should be washed and stored in a clean place.
- Advantages: does not interfere with intimate contact and can be inserted up to 24 hours before intercourse. In addition, it also reduces the risk of pelvic inflammatory disease.
- Disadvantages: needs to be put on up to 30 minutes before intimate contact and removed 12 hours after intercourse, and must be repeated every time you have intimate contact, otherwise is not effective.
- Possible side effects: There are no side effects associated with using the vaginal diaphragm.
Better understand what the diaphragm is and how to place it.
6. Vaginal ring
The ring is a rubber device that is introduced into the vagina by the woman that progressively releases hormones and its placement is similar to the introduction of a tampon. The woman must keep the ring for 3 weeks and then remove it and take a 7-day break for menstruation to come, then put a new ring back on.
- Advantages: it is easy to use, does not interfere with intimate contact, is a reversible method and does not alter the vaginal flora.
- Disadvantages: does not protect against STDs, can lead to weight gain and cannot be used in many cases, such as liver problems or high blood pressure.
- Possible side effects: In some women it can cause abdominal pain, nausea, decreased libido, painful menstrual periods, and increase the risk of vaginal infections.
See more about the vaginal ring, how to put it on and possible side effects.
7. Injectable contraceptive
A contraceptive injection, such as Depo-Provera, should be given into the arm or leg muscle once a month or every 3 months by a nurse at the he alth post.
The injection slowly releases hormones that prevent ovulation, but its prolonged use can cause delayed fertility, increased appetite, which can lead to weight gain, as well as headaches, acne and loss of hair, for example.It's a great method for women with mental illness, tuberculosis or epilepsy who can't take birth control pills or have a lot of vaginal infections and can't use a ring or IUD.
8. Tubal ligation or Vasectomy
Surgery is a definitive contraceptive method, preventing a woman or man from having children for the rest of their lives, so in most cases this method is only used after deciding not to have more children, being more common in women or men over 40.
In the case of women, tubal ligation is performed under general anesthesia, where a cut or a tourniquet is made in the tubes, which are closed, preventing the sperm from meeting with the egg. Permanent sterilization of the woman requires hospitalization for about 2 days and recovery usually takes about 2 weeks. See more about tubal ligation.
A vasectomy is the surgery performed on men, with local anesthesia that takes about 20 minutes, and a cut is made in the channel through which the spermatozoa pass from the testicles to the vesicles seminal fluid, but the man, although he is no longer fertile, continues to ejaculate and does not develop impotence.See more details about vasectomy.
9. Natural methods
There are other methods that can also help prevent pregnancy, but they should not be used individually because they are not fully effective and pregnancy can occur. So, some methods can be:
- Calendar method: this method requires knowing how to calculate the fertile period, by subtracting 11 days from the longest cycle and 18 days from the shortest cycle.
- Temperature Method: body temperature is higher after ovulation and, to know the time of the month when a woman is most fertile, she should measure her temperature with a thermometer always in the same place;
- Mucus method or Billings: during the most fertile period the woman has thicker mucus, similar to egg white, which indicates that the chances of getting pregnant are higher.
- Coitus interruptus method: this method involves withdrawing the penis from inside the vagina at the moment the man is going to ejaculate. However, it is not safe and is not recommended.
According to these methods, it is necessary to avoid intimate contact during the fertile period, which is when the woman has a greater chance of becoming pregnant and, in order to understand the woman's profile, 3 to 6 cycles are usually necessary.