For a woman trying to prevent a pregnancy, birth control can help. Birth control aids in preventing pregnancy before it begins. However, with so many options available out there, it is easy for one to be confused. To know which birth control option is best for you, it is crucial you are well versed with the different methods and speak to your doctor before opting for one. You should know that birth control works to prevent pregnancy in different ways; women today have access to barrier methods, methods that prevent ovulation and methods that prevent implantation of the fertilized egg. Below, we provide you with a detailed snapshot of the different birth control options for females to help you decide which one may be the right choice for you:
This method requires the couple to abstain from sexual intercourse during the period in which they don’t want to have a baby. This is the most reliable and foolproof method to prevent pregnancy.
- Birth control pill
The most popular form of birth control, the birth control pill is taken orally and is 99% effective in preventing pregnancy. There are two types of birth control pills; namely the combination and mini pill. The combination pill prevents ovulation by combining progestin with human estrogen. The mini pill is taken by women that are sensitive to the combination pill, which also contains the progestin hormone. It works by thickening the cervical mucus and thinning the lining of the uterus.
- Other hormone-based methods
This method comprises of a patch, implant (under the skin in the arm), shot and vaginal ring that release hormones. The method has a high success rate that varies from 91% to 99.95%.
- Intrauterine devices (IUDs)
In this method, a doctor inserts a T-shaped device into a woman’s uterus. There are two kinds of IUDs, namely, copper and hormonal IUDs. They work by changing the mucus inside a woman’s cervix, thereby preventing the sperm from meeting the egg. Note that you may experience pain and cramping on insertion and removal of IUDs. Moreover, copper IUDs might also increase menstrual cramping. Although, this is a drawback, keep in mind that the method has a 99% success rate.
- Vaginal barriers
Other birth control products create a barrier between the sperm and the uterus. These products include female condoms, diaphragms, contraceptive sponges as well as cervical caps. These products can be inserted directly into the vagina on their own. Alternatively, men can wear male condoms for the same purpose. These methods are approximately 80% effective.
Spermicides are foam or gel-like substances that kill sperm. The substance is directly applied to the vagina and is approximately 72% effective.
- Natural family planning
The method relies on the partners avoiding sexual intercourse in the days leading to when the woman is most likely to be ovulating. Ovulation is the period when a woman is most likely to become pregnant. As sperm can live for a short period of time in the vaginal area, partners should avoid sexual intercourse before and during the ovulation period. The presence of a clear or cloudy discharge can mean you are ovulating. Furthermore, ovulation kits or fertility monitors can be used to determine if you are ovulating. As natural family planning isn’t based on science, this method is only 76% effective.
Whichever birth control method you decide to go with, make sure it is in line with what works well for your needs. Do speak with your doctor before going ahead with any of the options listed above. At Fortis La Femme, the expert doctors will happily answer all your questions related to birth control options. From birth control advice to thyroid treatment in India, the hospital is renowned for its top-notch services.