Contraception means birth control process, which prevents pregnancy. There are many methods of contraception. Over the time there has been numerous changes taking place regarding the contraceptive methods. Some methods of contraception are:
- Long acting reversible contraception for example, Implant.
- Hormonal contraception like the birth control pills
- Barrier method , which includes condoms and Diaphragm
- Fertility awareness
- Emergency contraception and
- Permanent contraception or Sterilization , for example Vasectomy and tubal ligation
A person can use any of these methods of contraception depending on the situation, i.e. health, age etc. of the person. Though these methods cannot give 100% result yet many of these are effective if used faithfully.
Some of the barrier methods of contraception:
Barrier method prevents the sperm into entering the uterus. Barrier methods include Condom, Diaphragm, cervical cap, Spermicidal sponge, foam etc.
Condoms are one of the most popular contraceptives used by people now a day in order to prevent pregnancy. There are both Male and Female condoms. A male condom is a thin cover made of latex rubber. It is worn to cover the penis while doing intercourse.
It prevents the sperm in entering the uterus and thus prevents pregnancy. On the other hand, female condom is a sheath which is inserted in the female sex organ. The sheath acts as barrier to the sperm to come into the contact of cervix. Condoms should be removed immediately once the intercourse is over. It should not be reused and both the partners should never use condoms at a same time.
Condoms are very effective measures of contraception used to prevent pregnancy. If used perfectly then condoms can be effective up to 98% in preventing pregnancy. The condoms which are made of latex are effective in preventing the sexually transmitted diseases like HIV AIDS also.
Both male and female condoms do not have any side effects. But some time it may cause irritation or allergy to the user. Now a day condoms are available in almost all the stores. These are less expensive and easy to use. Since condoms prevent the STDs so these are recommended by physicians also.
Diaphragm is another measures of contraceptive used to prevent pregnancy. It is a shallow cup shaped soft and thin thing made of silicon or latex. It is inserted into the female sex organ to cover the cervix. It is used as a barrier so that the sperm cannot come into contact with the cervix. In order to get best result, one should use it with spermicide. It should be left for at least 6 hours after the intercourse. Then it can be taken out and washed. Diaphragms are reusable. Diaphragms are available in different sizes and can be used the right size with the help of a doctor. Diaphragm does not give protection against the STDs.
There are four types of diaphragms available. These are:
- The arching spring diaphragm
- The coil spring diaphragm
- The flat spring diaphragm and
- The wide seal rim diaphragm
So with the help of a doctor one can find out the type of diaphragm suitable for her.
Diaphragm is effective when it is used with spermicide. It can give 92-96% accuracy in preventing pregnancy. After using, diaphragm can be removed easily and can be re used. It should be washed with warm water. However no detergent or oil based product should be used to clean the diaphragm.
Using of Diaphragm is very easy and convenient. One can easily use this before going to do intercourse. And one most important thing is that it does not have any serious health issue. However sometime it may cause urinary tract infection and vaginal irritation. Once it is seen, one should immediately contact the physician.
The Intra Uterine Device which also stands for, is another method of birth control used by women to prevent pregnancy. It is the small device which is shaped as T-shaped which is wrapped in copper. It contains hormone in it. The IUD in the uterus is inserted with the help of a doctor. It is one of the most effective, safe and reversible contraception processes of all. There two different types of IUD. These are:
- Hormonal IUD: These releases levonorgestrel. It is form of progestin hormone. It prevents pregnancy for 3-5 years. It prevents pregnancy by killing the sperm. Skyla and Mirena are two brands of IUD under this category.
- Copper IUD: it is one of the most commonly used IUDs. A copper IUD is used for up to 10 years. It releases copper from the copper wire as copper is very toxic to sperm. It helps the uterus in producing fluid, which kills the sperms. It very effective kind of contraceptive.
The IUD is inserted by a doctor. It can be inserted at any time. The insertion procedure is very simple sometime needs a small surgery.
The IUD is a highly effective birth control method. It can give almost 100% accuracy regarding prevention of pregnancy. Apart from this it is less expensive contraception and it does not cause any weight gain. It is a reversible process i.e. it can be removed if one wants to be pregnant. And once it is removed, fertility returns quickly to the woman without causing any problem. It does not interfere in the process of intercourse. The women who need birth control in a long term basis, IUD are the best option.
However there are some side effects of hormonal IUD. These side effects depend on the type of IUD one is used. It may cause breast tenderness, headache, acne etc. Apart from these, it may cause infection when it is put in. A copper IUD may cause heavy bleeding during periods. However, if any symptoms are seen, though rare, then one should immediately contact the physician.
So to conclude, it can be said that these are some contraceptive methods used by women. Among different processes of contraception, these fall into the category of barrier method. These all are very popular and effective birth control measures.