Living in a world where having babies is the number one priority, it’s crucial to explore your options for planning an unplanned pregnancy. Many different types of birth control range from over-the-counter condoms up to getting pregnant and aborting them in an abortion clinic. In this article, we will look at the different types of birth control and how they work, so you can decide which type is right for you. Remember to visit a Forest Hills birth control specialist before deciding on any birth control method.
A barrier method of birth control creates a physical barrier that keeps the man’s sperm from coming in contact with the woman’s egg. You can do this through different methods, including condoms, diaphragms, and cervical caps. Condoms are thin sheaths of latex (rubber) worn over the penis to collect the sperm before entering the vagina. (A condom can also be made of polyurethane, an easily-stretched plastic; they are safe for people with latex allergies or sensitivities.) Diaphragms and cervical caps are cup-shaped objects which fit tightly against the cervix to block the sperm from entering the uterus. (A doctor must prescribe diaphragms and cervical caps.) Condoms can also prevent sexually transmitted diseases.
Hormonal methods of birth control use hormones to prevent pregnancy. There are three available hormonal contraceptives: the pill, the patch, and the ring. Also available are two intrauterine hormonal devices. The pill is a small, plastic device that releases progestin and estrogen hormones into a woman’s body. You must take pills every day at around the same time to maintain their effectiveness. The patch is a fragile piece of plastic that sticks onto the body and releases hormones into the woman’s system. Patches are applied once a week for three weeks, and then no patch is worn during the fourth week to allow a menstrual period. The vaginal ring releases estrogen and progestin into a woman’s body for one month. It is inserted into the vagina by a doctor or nurse.
Intrauterine devices are small, often “T-shaped,” plastic devices inserted into the uterus by a doctor or nurse. “Coils” are non-hormonal IUDs that can cause cramping during insertion. You may also feel pain when you first have sex after placing the device in your uterus. Hormonal IUDs release progestin into the uterus. These are very effective but may cause headaches or nausea during the first few months of use. The Mirena can also reduce menstrual bleeding and cramping over time.
Natural methods of contraception rely on the timing of a couple’s sexual activity. Couples attempt to avoid having sex when the woman is ovulating (releasing eggs). Ovulation can be detected by taking one’s temperature each morning, checking vaginal discharge, and using an ovulation prediction test. Natural family planning has a high effectiveness rate but is not recommended if both partners have irregular menstrual cycles.
In summary, the birth control landscape has evolved over the past few decades giving rise to new birth control methods. The most common include natural methods, barrier methods, intrauterine devices, and hormonal methods. A fertility specialist can help you decide on the best birth control method for your needs.