Birth control is the use of any practices, methods, or devices to prevent pregnancy from occurring in a sexually active woman. Also referred to as family planning, pregnancy prevention, fertility control, or contraception; birth control methods are designed either to prevent fertilization of an egg or implantation of a fertilized egg in the uterus.
Birth control is the use of various devices, drugs, agents, sexual practices, or surgical procedures to prevent conception or pregnancy.
A range of devices and treatments are available for both men and women that can help prevent pregnancy.
Some methods are more reliable than others. How well a method work often depends on how carefully it is used.
Traditional birth control does not involve any type of device or medication.
Abstinence: Celibacy or sexual abstinence means avoiding sexual intercourse.
Withdrawal: Also known as coitus interruptus, this is when the man removes the penis from the vagina so that ejaculation occurs outside of the vagina. In theory, this prevents the sperm from being deposited in the vagina.
Barrier devices prevent the sperm from meeting the egg. They may be combined with spermicide, which kills the sperm.
The male condom forms a barrier and prevents pregnancy by stopping sperm from entering the vagina. It is placed over the penis before sexual intercourse begins. A condom is made of polyurethane or latex.
It can also help to prevent the spread of sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
The female condom, or femidom, is made of polyurethane. It has a flexible ring at each end. One fixes behind the pubic bone to hold the condom in place, while the other ring stays outside the vagina.
Spermicides may be placed in the vagina before intercourse. A spermicide kills sperm chemically. The product may be used alone or in combination with a physical barrier.
A contraceptive sponge is inserted into the vagina. It has a depression to hold it in place over the cervix. Foam is placed into the vagina using an applicator. The foam is a spermicide that destroys the male sperm, and the sponge acts as a barrier to stop the sperm from reaching the egg.
A diaphragm is a rubber, dome-shaped device that is inserted into the vagina and placed over the cervix.
It fits into place behind the woman’s pubic bone and has a firm but flexible ring that helps it press against the vaginal walls.
A cervical cap is a thimble-shaped, latex rubber barrier device that fits over the cervix and blocks sperm from entering the uterus. The cap should be about one-third filled with spermicide before inserting. It stays in place by suction.
The contraceptive injection, or “the shot,” is a progestin-only, long-acting, reversible, birth-control drug. The name of the drug is Depo-Provera, also known as the Depo shot or DMPA.
The shot is injected every 3 months at a doctor’s office. It prevents pregnancy by stopping the woman from releasing an egg.
The intrauterine device (IUD), or coil, is a small, flexible T-shaped device that is placed in the uterus by a physician.
There are two types:
A copper IUD releases copper, and this acts as a spermicide. It can last up to 10 years.
A hormonal IUD contains progestin. It prevents the sperm from reaching and fertilizing the egg by thickening the cervical mucus and thinning the wall of the uterus.
It stays in place as long as pregnancy is not desired.
The combined contraceptive pill is taken daily. It contains two hormones, estrogen and progestin. The hormones stop the release of the egg, or ovulation. They also make the lining of the uterus thinner.
This is a transdermal patch that is applied to the skin. It releases synthetic estrogen and progestin hormones.
The patch is worn each week for 3 consecutive weeks, generally on the lower abdomen or buttocks. No patch is worn in the fourth week, to allow for the menstrual period. The patches are readily available.
The contraceptive vaginal ring is a flexible, plastic ring that releases a low dose of progestin and estrogen over 3 weeks. It prevents ovulation and thickens the cervical mucus, so that sperm cannot move easily.
The woman inserts the ring into the vagina for 3 weeks, and then she removes it for one week, during which she will experience a menstrual period.
It is also known as NuvaRing, the trade name for a combined hormonal contraceptive vaginal ring manufactured by Organon.
An implant is a rod with a core of progestin, which it releases slowly. It is inserted under the skin of a woman’s upper arm.
The implant is effective for up to 4 years, but it can be removed at any time, and then pregnancy is possible.
Emergency contraceptive pills, or the “morning-after pill,” may prevent pregnancy after intercourse. It prevents ovulation, fertilization, or implantation of an embryo.
It is different from medical methods of termination, because these act after the egg is already implanted in the womb.
Emergency contraception can be used up to 72 hours after unprotected sex. I
Emergency contraception should only be used when primary methods fail.
Some people see it as a kind of abortion, because the egg may have already been fertilized.
Sterilization is a permanent method of sterilization.
Tubal ligation: This is a form of female sterilization. The surgeon will cut, block, or burn the fallopian tubes, or a combination of these methods, to seal them and prevent future fertilization.
Tubal implant: A coil is placed in the female’s fallopian tubes. Tissue grows around it, blocking the tubes. It can take 3 months to work.
Vasectomy: This is surgery to make a man sterile. The tubes through which sperm pass into the ejaculate are cut or blocked.
It is sometimes reversible, but with a higher abundance of abnormal sperm, possibly resulting in lower fertility or birth defects.
Contraception is a powerful tool both for preventing unwanted pregnancy. Some methods, such as the male condom, can also reduce the risk of an STI. However, it must be used correctly to do so.
No method of birth control is 100 percent effective. Combining two methods, for example, the pill with a condom, offers extra protection as well as some protection against STIs.
It is important to be informed and to use birth control wisely.
NATRUM MUR 200: Three doses, 1-2 drop each day on the first, second and the third, after ceasation of menses, act as an oral contraceptive and make pregnancy unlikely for one month.
PULSATILA 200 : Three doses, 1-2 drop each day on the three days before starting of menstruation , also gives protectiopn against pregnancy for the next month.