There are many types of pregnancy prevention methods for men and women. Let’s have a look at several of the choices available to women for contraception either via medication, barrier methods or through natural family planning methods.
• Calendar Method
• Withdrawal / Rhythm Method
• Charting Method
• The Pill
• The Shot (Depo Pravera)
• Morning After Pill
The calendar method can be fairly effective for women with a straight forward menstrual cycle. The woman avoids intercourse during the days she is most likely to conceive. For many women this is from day 14 to 16 on her cycle. Day 1 is the day you start your period. This is not a fool proof method but many women who are avoiding pregnancy but are not entirely adverse to it if it does happen utilize the calendar method successfully.
Rhythm / Withdrawal
Withdrawal or the rhythm method of pregnancy prevention involves the male not ejaculating inside the female. When the couple is having intercourse, the male withdraws before ejaculation. This method isn’t always effective as some lubrication before ejaculation contains sperm and in the heat of the “moment�? occasionally attempts to withdraw don’t happen fast enough.
Charting Temperatures and Cervical Mucus
The charting method involves taking termpreatures and charting cervical mucus. The idea with this natural contraception method follows some of the above ideas as well for naturally predicting when pregnancy is most likely to occur and then using a barrier method or avoiding intercourse on days when pregnancy is likely to occur.
Women who are ovulating have a specific consistency to their cervical mucus and their body temperature is slightly higher when they ovulate. In order to accurately measure this, a woman needs to track and chart everything for some time in order to determine her most fertile times accurately. Of all the natural family planning methods, this method tends to be the most accurate because it takes into consideration more than one type of tracking for fertility. There is a popular book called, “Taking Charge Of Your Fertility�? that goes in depth about how to utilize this contraception method.
The pill has been around since the 1960’s and is the most accurate form of birth control types when directions are followed. The pill contains hormones that trick your body into believing that you are pregnant so that you do not ovulate.
The pill should be taken at the same time each day. Pills are taken for 21 days and then the woman takes 7 days off and either takes a sugar pill which is a placebo just for the sake of keeping a schedule or simply waits 7 days to start a new pack. A woman’s period will arrive during that period.
New birth control pills are available that prevent a period altogether and are simply taken consecutively. The pill is relatively safe for women under the age of 35 who do not smoke. Age and smoking status impacts the risk factors. The pill does have risks associated with it for all women who take it so it’s important to discuss the risk factors and other helath issues with your doctor before deciding to take the pill. While some women find that they gain weight for the first few months after starting the pill, other benefits can include clearer complexion and regulation of monthly menstruation cycles.
The IUD is a copper coil inserted into the woman’s uterus. It creates a hostile environment for sperm so that fertilization cannot take place. The IUD is put in and removed by a doctor and when a woman decides she wants to get pregnant, it’s not complicated to remove the device. Modern IUD devices can last for ten years without having to be replaced.
A diaphragm is something that your doctor can fit you for and have a custom diaphragm made that is inserted into the vagina before sex. This device provides a barrier over the cervix so that sperm cannot enter and reach any eggs that happen to be in waiting. This method is not fool-proof and there is a chance that sperm could pass the barrier. This is, however, a common and fairly effective form of contraception.
The Depo Pravera Shot
The shot of depo pravera works a lot like the birth control pill except that for convenience’s sake you need a shot every three months instead of having to remember to take a pill each day.
The disadvantage associated with Depo Pravera is that if the woman experiences uncomfortable side effects, she needs to simply wait it out for the 12 weeks unlike the pill which she can simply stop taking.
Morning After Pill
The Morning After Pill is a method of emergency contraception that provides help minimizing chances of getting pregnant after the act of intercourse by creating a hostile environment for implantation of a fertilized egg. This pill is generally taken in a split dose within 72 hours of intercourse and then another dose is often taken after 12 hours.
The above list is a non-exhaustive list of contraceptive methods but can be a good starting point for you in order to help you choose the method of contraception that most closely fits your beliefs, your health status and your lifestyle.