Go With What You’re Confident and Comfortable With
Many couples plan their children after 3 to 4 years of marriage due to many reasons. It’s their personal choice and nobody has the right to force them to have a baby. They may have some plans for their future and the baby’s future, so they take a while to have a baby. And that is why we all run towards effective contraceptive methods which are:-
- Easily affordable.
- 99% effective.
- Easily available in nearby pharmacies and stores.
- No irritation or infection-free contraceptives.
- Comfortable to both partners.
- Protects against STDs and HIV infections.
Nowadays doctors and scientists have come up with so many contraceptive methods that are easy to use causing fewer or no side effects. They all are easily available in the market and are affordable too. So choose anyone with which you are confident every time you have a conception. Let’s see some of the most commonly used birth control methods available in the market and suggested by doctors:-
1. Male Condoms:- This is one of the most commonly used contraceptive methods by men. It’s low in cost. Easily available in the market and is very easy to use. The function of this condom is to block or stop sperm from entering the women’s vagina during conception. The sperm comes out of the penis and stays in the condom which has to be thrown away after having a conception. They also prevent HIV and STDs from entering the vagina. They can be used only once. Do not apply any oil like hair oil, creams, or lotions to the condom. Instead, you can buy lubricating condoms which are now easily available in the market for your partner’s comfort. Applying lotions, oils, and petroleum jelly to latex condoms can weaken them and break or tear easily during conception. These condoms are 80% effective in preventing pregnancies. If they are used perfectly every time they can prevent 98% of pregnancies.
2. Female Condoms:- It is a thin flexible plastic tube packed with lubricant. These are worn by the women in their vaginas. To put it in the vagina, you can take a flexible plastic ring and put it at the end of the female condom, and slowly guide it into the vagina. Women can put it in their vagina before 8 hours of having sex. Should be discarded after every use. Cannot be reused. Can protect against STDs. Should not be used along with a male condom. This can cause breakage or tear of the condom. It prevents the sperm from entering the vagina. The sperm stays in the female condom and cannot go inside the vagina as it is blocked by the condom. Female condoms are also 80% effective in preventing pregnancies. They are widely available in the market and are easily affordable. These condoms don’t work well like male condoms and also feel uncomfortable putting them in the vagina.
3. Spermicides:- These are of many types like foam, gel, cream, or tablet. They kill the sperm when it comes in contact with them. These spermicides are placed in women’s vaginas one hour or 30 minutes before intercourse. You should then leave them for 5 to 8 hours after having intercourse. They don’t protect against other infections like STDs and HIV. They cause irritation and infections in the uterus if used frequently. They are just 70% effective. Thatswhy many people use it with other birth control methods like male condoms, cervical caps, or diaphragms. They are widely available in the market and are easily affordable.
4. IUDs (Intra Uterine Devices):- These are other types of birth control methods that are widely used among women to prevent pregnancy due to their low cost and long-lasting life. These are small plastic devices. They are placed inside the woman’s uterus by a doctor or a professional nurse. It can be easily placed in the uterus through the vagina with a hand or with the help of a plastic thin flexible tube. There are many types of IUDs. Some like copper T IUDs work for 10 years and some have to be changed or removed every 3 to 5 years by the doctor. These IUDs release a small amount of progestin every day which keeps you from getting pregnant. They are 99% effective in preventing pregnancies. They also have some side effects in some women like:-
- Can make periods shorter and lighter.
- Can make periods heavy and painful.
- Can cause other vaginal or uterus infections.
- They may slip out sometimes if not placed properly in the uterus.
- Can make sex a little bit painful for women.
5. Cervical Caps:- This is a deep silicone cup that is inserted in the vagina over the cervix by a doctor. They prevent the sperm from entering the uterus. They come in different sizes to fit correctly in every woman. A doctor will do a pelvic exam and will tell you which size fits you best. It has a strap for easy removal from the vagina. They need to be prescribed by the doctor and fitted by them only. You can also put it by yourself after some practice and with your doctor’s presence. It has to be used with spermicides for effective results. It can be inserted hours before conception and you can keep it for the next 48 hours after conception. They can be reused after washing it with warm water and storing it in their container which comes along with the cervical cap when you purchase it. They may cause some irritation in some women and some women may feel uncomfortable having it in their vagina. Some women are allergic to spermicides. The doctor will tell you if it’s best for you or not. These cervical caps don’t protect against sexually transmitted diseases. You can remove the cervical cap 6 to 48 hours after having intercourse. Don’t wear this cervical cap when you are on your regular menstrual cycle. They are 90% effective in preventing pregnancies if used properly. You need some practice to put it in the correct position in your vagina. So talk to your doctor about it.
6. Diaphragms:- A diaphragm is a type of contraceptive method that is like a circular dome. It is made up of thin and soft silicone material. It is placed in the vagina covering the cervix so that the sperm doesn’t enter the uterus during or after conception. It can be kept in the vagina hours before having intercourse and should be taken out after 6 to 8 hours of conception. When it is used with any type of spermicide it becomes 98% effective in preventing pregnancy. It doesn’t protect against sexually transmitted diseases. There are many sizes available in the market so check with your doctor which size is suitable for your vagina. In some women, it can cause irritation and other infections. Don’t wear this diaphragm when you are on your regular menstrual cycle. They are 90% effective in preventing pregnancies if used properly. You need some practice to put it in the correct position in your vagina. So talk to your doctor about it. After every use, you have to remove and wash the diaphragm with warm water and let it air dry.
7. Implants:- It is a small plastic flexible rod that is the size of a matchstick. It is placed under the skin of a women’s upper arm by doctors and professional nurses. Its function is to release a hormone called progestogen into the blood which prevents the release of an egg every month which helps in ovulation. Since no egg is released the sperm can only enter the uterus but cannot do fertilization as there is no egg in the uterus. Hence women cannot get pregnant without an egg or fertilization. The implant’s lifetime is till 3 years. You can happily enjoy without rushing to other contraceptive methods every time you have intercourse. You can remove it in between if you want. After 3 years it has to be removed by the doctor. It is 99% effective in preventing pregnancies. It has some side effects:-
- High in cost.
- Irregular periods.
- Lighter or heavier periods.
- It doesn’t protect against sexually transmitted diseases.
- Periods can also stop for a while when you have an implant.
- Some medicines can make implants less effective in preventing pregnancies.
- You may experience headaches, nausea, mood swings, and breast tenderness.
8. Shots:- This is another form of contraceptive method which can last long. Shots are nothing but an injection of the hormone progestin given to the women on their arms or the bump. This hormone progestin goes into the bloodstream and prevents ovulation thus preventing pregnancy. It has to be taken every 3 months. It is 98% effective in preventing pregnancies and is high in cost. It doesn’t protect against sexually transmitted diseases(STDs). There can be some side effects like:-
- Irregular periods.
- Weight gain.
- Mood swings.
- Breast tenderness.
9. Contraceptive Pills:- This method is used by most women around the world. These pills contain the hormones estrogen and progestin which prevent ovulation in women. It has to be taken at the same time every day. It can be 90% effective if taken properly. They come with a pack of 21 or 28 pills pack. If you stop taking pills after 21 days you will get your period. Pills have to be prescribed by the doctor for best results. There is another type of pill called the mini-pill which contains only one hormone progestin. It should also be taken at the same time every day. It is recommended for some women who cannot have pills containing estrogen. These pills also have some side effects –
- Weight gain.
- Irregular periods.
- Breast tenderness.
- Mood swings.
- Blood clots in women above the age of 35.
10. Emergency Pills:- These pills are used only in case of an emergency. If the contraceptive method like a male condom or female condom breaks or tears while having intercourse then there is a chance that the sperm can enter the vagina and fuse with the egg and cause pregnancy. Thatswhy women take emergency contraceptive pills like i-pill, unwanted 72, and others. You have to take only one tablet within 72 hours of conception. The earlier you take the more effective it will become in preventing pregnancy. Every women’s body is different so it’s better to take advice from your gynecologist before taking any pill. Your doctor will suggest pills that are suitable for your type of body. Some women might get some side effects with these pills like:-
- Early periods.
- Irregular periods.
- Abdominal cramps.
11. Birth Control Sponge:- It is made up of polyurethane foam and is coated with spermicides. The function of this contraceptive method is to absorb and kill the semen or sperm reaching the vagina. It is placed in the vagina covering the cervix. It already has spermicide present in it which helps in killing the sperm when they enter the vagina. It is 86% effective in preventing pregnancy. It doesn’t protect against STDs and HIV. You can have sex more than once in 24 hours period. You can insert this sponge in your vagina 24 hours before having sex and you can remove it after 6 to 8 hours of having intercourse. They come in different sizes. So ask your doctor and let her put it for you for the first time since you don’t know how to put it in the correct position. Your doctor will tell you which size fits you best.
12. Patches:- This contraceptive method is very easy to use. You just need to stick it on your body part which is not too hairy or oily or very dry or rough skin. Don’t place it on your breasts. It comes with a sticky gum that sticks to your body and doesn’t come out though you do bathing, swim, or sweat a lot. Its function is to prevent ovulation( release of an egg from the ovary) with the help of the hormones estrogen and progestogen. The one best advantage of using a patch is that your periods become regular, light, and less painful. Every patch lasts for one week so you have to put 3 patches for 3 weeks and leave one week off without a patch to get your normal menstrual cycle. These patches are 98% effective if used correctly. It doesn’t protect you from STDs and HIV. So you have to use a condom also with the patches if you want to protect yourself against sexually transmitted diseases. Patches are not suitable for women who smoke, drink, are overweight, above the age of 35. Patches also have some side effects in some women like:-
- Blood clothes.
- Skin irritation.
- Itching and soreness.
- Light spotting in between periods.
13. Vaginal Ring:- This is a flexible thin plastic ring. The function of the vaginal ring is the same as the contraceptive sponge and the contraceptive patches. It releases hormones estrogen and progestogen in the blood preventing ovulation. It is placed inside the vagina. Once you place the ring in the vagina you can use it for one month without removing it after every intercourse. It’s better to start using the ring or place it in your vagina during the menstrual cycle. You have to keep the ring for 21 days and leave one week for your menstrual cycle. It doesn’t protect you against STDs and HIV. This ring is 99% effective if used correctly. Always remember to ask your doctor if it’s suitable for you or not. For the first time, you may need a doctor’s or a bourse help to insert the ring properly in its correct position. Some side effects that some women experience are:-
- Breast tenderness.
- Vaginal discharge.
- Rare blood clothes.
- The ring may sometimes come out of the vagina.
14. Tubectomy:- Also known as tubal ligation or tubal sterilization. This is a permanent contraceptive method in women. It is a surgical procedure in which the fallopian tubes are cut open and tied up or clipped to prevent the egg from passing through it to the uterus for implantation.
15. Vasectomy:- It is a permanent contraceptive method in men. Its function is to block the sperm from reaching the semen which comes out from the penis during intercourse. It is a small surgery in which the two tubes called the vas deference tubes are connected to the testicles and are cut open and then tied up or stitched to prevent sperm from entering the semen or outside the body. They are absorbed inside the body.
16. Natural Withdrawal:- This is one of the traditional methods used by men since the olden days when there were no contraceptive methods known. In this method, the male partner removes the penis from the vagina when the semen is ready to come out of the penis so that it doesn’t enter the vagina and cause pregnancy. This can be 98% effective if the penis is removed at the correct time.
17. Fertile days in a woman’s monthly period:- In the 21 days menstrual cycle there are 14 days in which the egg is released by the ovary and it is traveling down to the uterus through the fallopian tubes. There are more chances of the sperm fertilizing the egg at this stage as the egg is already released by the ovary. Many couples plan their intercourse between days 11 to 14 as this is the period when ovulation occurs.
18. Breastfeeding period:- When a woman is exclusively breastfeeding her baby for the first 6 months without using any other formula milk or breast pump, then there are less or no chances of conceiving again. Mainly after the delivery of up to 6 months, chances will be very very less. But still, if u have any doubt, it is recommended to use other contraceptive methods like condoms or pills after 3 to 6 months of delivery for 100% efficiency.