Contraception is the deliberate use of artificial devices, equipment, or procedures in order to prevent pregnancy as a result of sexual intercourse. There are many types of contraceptives that range from disposable and temporary to permanent methods.
Here are 3 popular methods of contraception:
Long-Acting Reversible Contraception
Commonly known as LARC, this method includes the use of devices to prevent pregnancies over a long period of time.
These devices are inserted into a woman’s uterus in order to prevent pregnancy. It can be removed when the woman wants to have a baby or if it has to be replaced.
Some of these devices are:
The hormonal intrauterine device is a device that releases progestin into the uterus of a woman. It thickens the cervical mucus and blocks the flow of sperm to the ovum. This device may sometimes stop the ovary from producing eggs temporarily.
The copper intrauterine device prevents the sperm from reaching the egg. If by chance the fertilization takes place, the physical presence of this device will stop the egg from reaching the lining of the uterus, thereby ending the pregnancy.
Implants are tiny rods that are flexible and plastic in the material. These rods are inserted in a woman’s arm where it releases progestin, which acts as a birth control hormone.
These methods of contraception to physically stop the sperm from entering the uterus. They are mostly disposable.
The types of barrier methods are:
Male condoms are mostly made of latex. They cover the penis and collect sperm during ejaculation. This does not allow the sperm from entering into the woman’s body. This method is one of the most common types of birth control. Condoms are disposed of after a single-use.
A female condom is a flexible pouch that is inserted into a woman’s vagina. These are also disposed of after a single-use.
Contraceptive sponges are spermicide filled sponges made of foam. It is inserted in the vagina before intercourse to absorb and block the flow of sperm. The spermicide kills the sperm cells as an extra precaution. It should be left inside the vagina for at least 6 hours following intercourse.
Spermicide can kill sperm cells and is generally used along with a diaphragm or cervical cap. Spermicide may cause allergies and irritations.
A diaphragm is a shallow flexible cup made of rubber or latex. It is inserted into a woman’s vagina prior to sexual intercourse. Spermicidal cream should be used along with it to kill the sperm cells.
Emergency contraceptive pills
These are pills that prevent the process of pregnancy immediately. They are hormonal pills that can be taken as a single or double dose. They are intended to prevent pregnancy following the event of unprotected sexual intercourse.
The pills delay ovulation for about five days. This is enough time for the sperm to become inactive. These pills shouldn’t be taken regularly. They should be administered immediately after exposure to semen.
Pregnancy may occur if the woman was already on her ovulation cycle before taking the pills.