How to Control Pregnancy?

Various factors come into play while deciding which method of pregnancy control is best. Your overall health, age, frequency of sexual intercourse, the number of partners you have and whether you desire to have children in the future must all be thought about  before deciding upon a birth control method. There are different techniques to control pregnancy. One can choose from many methods of pregnancy control.

  • Continuous Abstinence.

Not having sex at any time. This is the best way to prevent pregnancy and protect against sexually transmitted infections (STIs), including HIV.

  • Natural Family Planning/Rhythm Method.

Involves checking the cervical mucus and recording the body temperature each day. Cervical mucus is the discharge from the vagina. The female would be the most fertile when it is clear and slippery like raw egg whites. Check the temperature with a basal thermometer and record it in a chart. The temperature rises from 0.4 to 0.8° F on the first day of ovulation.

  • Barrier Methods.

Block to keep sperm away from the egg.

    • Contraceptive Sponge. This is a soft, disk-shaped device with a loop for taking it out. It is made out of polyurethane foam and contains the spermicide nonoxynol-9 that kills the sperm.
    • Diaphragm, Cervical Cap, and Cervical Shield. These block the sperm from entering the cervix and reach the egg. Diaphragm is a shallow latex cup. Cervical cap is a thimble-shaped latex cup. Cervical shield is a silicone cup having a one-way valve that creates suction and helps it fit against the cervix.
    • Female Condom.  This is worn by the female inside her vagina. It prevents the sperm from getting into the body. It is made of polyurethane and is packaged with a lubricant. This can be inserted up to 8 hours before having sex. One must use a new condom every time. Both male and female condom must not be used at the same time.
    • Male Condom.  It is a thin sheath placed over an erect penis to keep sperm from entering a woman’s body. Made of latex, polyurethane, or “natural/lambskin”. Works best when used with a vaginal spermicide killing the sperm. Must use a new condom with each sex act.

  • Hormonal Methods.

Interfere with ovulation, fertilization and/or implantation of the fertilized egg.

    • Oral Contraceptives—Combined pill (“The pill”). These contain hormones estrogen and progesterone. It has to be taken daily to keep the ovaries from releasing an egg. It changes the lining of the uterus and the cervical mucus to keep the sperm from joining the egg. Many types of oral contraceptives are available.
    • Oral Contraceptives—Progesterone pill (“Mini-pill”). This has one hormone progesterone. If taken daily, it thickens cervical mucus keeping the sperm from joining the egg. Frequently, stops the ovaries from releasing an egg.
    • The Patch. Skin patch is worn on the lower abdomen, buttocks, outer arm or upper body. Releases the hormones progesterone and estrogen into the bloodstream to stop the ovaries from releasing eggs in most women. Thickens the cervical mucus keeping sperm from joining with the egg.
    • Shot/Injection.  Injections, or shots of the hormone progesterone are pierced in the buttocks or arm every 3 months. A new type is injected under the skin. It stops the ovaries from releasing an egg in most women and  makes changes in the cervix to keeps sperm away from the egg.
    • Vaginal Ring. Thin, flexible ring releasing hormones progesterone and estrogen. Works by stopping the ovaries from releasing eggs, and also thickens the cervical mucous, which keeps the sperm away from joining the egg.

  • Implantable Devices.

Devices inserted into body and left in place for few years.

    • Implantable Rods. Matchstick-size, flexible rod put under the skin of the upper arm.  Releases a progesterone causing changes in the lining of the uterus and the cervical mucus to keep the sperm from joining an egg. Effective up to 5 years.
    • Intrauterine Devices. An IUD is a small device shaped like a “T” that goes in your uterus. There are two types:
    • Copper IUD— Releases a small amount of copper into the uterus, preventing sperm from reaching and fertilizing the egg. Can stay in uterus for 5 to 10 years.
    • Hormonal IUD— Called an intrauterine system. Releases a progesterone into the uterus keeping ovaries from releasing an egg and causes the cervical mucus to thicken so sperm can’t reach the egg. Can stay in your uterus for up to 5 years.

  • Permanent Birth Control Methods.

For those who never want to have child or do not want more children.

  • Sterilization Implant.

    • Non-surgical method of sterilizing women.  A thin tube is used to thread a  tiny spring-like device through the vagina and uterus into each fallopian tube. Works by causing scar tissue to form around the coil. Blocks fallopian tubes    and stops egg and sperm from joining.
    • Surgical Sterilization.  Closes the fallopian tubes by being cut, tied or sealed. Stops the eggs from going down to the uterus where they can be fertilized. Can  be done at the time of cesarean, or have additional surgery later.

  • Emergency Contraception. Used to keep a woman from getting pregnant when she has had unprotected vaginal intercourse. Consists of taking two doses of hormonal pills 12 hours apart. They stop the ovaries from releasing an egg or keeping the sperm from joining with the egg.