Awareness about birth control methods is something that has become very necessary in recent times due to problems related to over population all over the world. We cannot afford to have 4-5 children per family in this world as that would severely affect the natural resources and create an increased demand upon them, leading to all sorts of environmental problems.
Moreover, subsequent pregnancies are also not good for the health of the mother. It deteriorates the health of the mother and in some cases may even lead to death due to weakness. Apart from that, the more the number of children in the family, the quality of life is reduced. The family income becomes insufficient to provide good food, medical services and education to each one of the members and this often leads to malnourishment of children. Women for their own safety need to know about contraceptive methods to lead a healthy life and plan a small and happy family.
It is not true that contraceptive methods have become known and popular only in the recent ages. They have been used by men and women for thousands of years in various primitive forms and have used natural birth control methods to avoid pregnancy. The idea of safe sex was present in ancient times too.
Recently there has been uproar about the necessity and methods of birth control to ensure small families to control the population. Various government initiatives have been taken to make women aware about their health and different contraceptive methods. Most women only know about the birth control pill but there are several other ways too. You can read on to find the different kinds of natural birth control methods and other alternative methods so that you can choose what is best for you. A doctor can also help you out to select the method that may be best in your case.
Prevent pregnancy naturally
There are several ways in which you can prevent pregnancy naturally but in some of these cases birth control effectiveness is questioned. These natural birth control methods mostly include avoiding intercourse during the fertile period of the month. The biggest advantage of these methods is that there is no chance of side effects and can be used by women who may not be able to use other methods due to beliefs or other reasons. However, birth control effectiveness may not be 100% due to improper calculations or slight mistakes.
* Sympto-thermal method of natural birth control includes observing the waking temperature of a woman and her cervical mucus to get an idea about the days when she is fertile and when not. This helps to know during which phase intercourse can impregnate her. However the risk in birth control effectiveness in this method is that if the woman’s body has an irregular cycle, determining the fertile phase may be difficult and improper assumptions may lead to unwanted pregnancy.
* Lactational Amennorhea Method is a contraceptive method effective for women for up to six months after childbirth when she is breastfeeding. This phase is infertile provided she is frequently breastfeeding all throughout the day and her menstrual cycle has not begun again. After six months this method is no longer valid.
* Withdrawal method is a natural birth control method that needs active participation from the male partner. A man has to estimate the moment of ejaculation and withdraw the penis from the vagina before ejaculation to prevent impregnating her. However, this method is very prone to failure and birth control effectiveness is low.
* Last, but not the least, you can always abstain from sexual activity to avoid unwanted pregnancies. This is one of the simplest ways of natural birth control and provides 100% birth control effectiveness. If a couple is able to manage a healthy conjugal relationship without the need for sexual activity, this is the best method. However, sudden and unplanned sexual activity in a fit of passion may break the effectiveness and you may have to take the help of other contraceptive methods.
A pill for every need
There is a pill for everything and for birth control too. Birth control pills are one of the most frequently used contraceptive methods for women. These are very popular too with several brands of medicines coming up with different kinds of birth control pills. Basically these are medicines that you can consume daily to avoid pregnancy. They contain certain hormones like estrogen and progestin in combination or only progestin. These birth control pills thicken the cervical mucus and prevent the releasing of eggs from the ovary. They are usually available in 21 days or 28 days packs.
Birth control pills are highly effective in preventing unwanted pregnancy and the percentage is as high as 98% in this case but you must consult a doctor before deciding on the right pill for your health. Birth control effectiveness may be affected when certain medicines negate the action of these pills.
Birth control rings and patches
It may sound strange but there are things called birth control rings and patches that are highly effective contraceptive methods. The birth control patch is a thin patch of plastic that is replaced every week for three weeks in a row. It helps to prevent pregnancy by releasing hormones like the pills. The birth control ring also acts similarly and is inserted into the vagina once in every month. These are very effective methods of contraception.
A cap can save every time
A silicone cup called a cervical cup or a diaphragm may be placed in the vagina over the cervix while intercourse. It blocks the uterine opening and prevents the sperms from reaching the egg. It is generally more effective in case of women who have not given birth. Even then about 12 or 14 out of 100 women may get pregnant after using this kind of contraception.
Use a condom every time
You can always ask your man to put on a condom while having intercourse to prevent unwanted pregnancies or put on a female condom yourself. A female condom is a pouch like thing with flexible rings at both ends which needs to be inserted deep into the vagina every time before intercourse. They cover the inside of the vagina and collect the semen and prevent it from reaching the egg. Birth control effectiveness is very high using a female condom and it is also a good prevention against HIV and other STDs too if you use it correctly.
Intrauterine devices to stop motherhood
One of the very safe and effective contraceptive methods is using the IUD or the Intrauterine Device to stop getting pregnant. It is a small T-shaped flexible plastic device that is inserted into the uterus to stop pregnancy for long term. Copper IUDs can be effective for as long as 12 years and hormonal IUDs are active for 3-5 years. They block the sperm from joining the egg like other forms of contraception.
Emergency contraceptive pill should be the last option
Abortion is one of the last methods that is advised to women to prevent motherhood as it is very detrimental for the mother’s health and should never be opted as an option unless in emergency situations. It is not a form of contraception too. Similarly, emergency contraceptive pills that are taken the morning after intercourse are only meant for emergency purposes. Keep in mind that these should not become your regular means of contraception as it must be taken only when there is no other option left. You can take a pill within 3 days of unprotected intercourse. These are safe and effective in general but when taken on a regular basis they may show some harmful side effects.
Permanent solution for birth control
Sterilization is a permanent solution for birth control and is one of the contraceptive methods adopted by women who have completed their family. It involves tubal ligation or tying and cutting of the fallopian tubes to prevent releasing of the egg each month. It is a permanent method and you cannot have a biological child again in the future. Think about it only when you are very sure. Birth control effectiveness is very high in this case.
Side effects of birth control
While birth control is very necessary to prevent repeated and unwanted pregnancies, there may be side effects of birth control too. Consult a doctor before taking any method of contraception and discuss the risks and possible side effects of birth control in detail. You may also get advice regarding any possible risks in case of any health problems. Here are some of the side effects of birth control that may help you to get an idea about what may happen:
* While natural birth control is an absolutely safe method the only risk rather than a side effect may be pregnancy due to mistakes and faulty assumptions or transmission of STDs.
Some side effects for birth control rings and patches may be tenderness of breasts, nausea, vomiting, bleeding between periods or blood clots. Clotting of blood may be serious and thus these methods should not be opted by those with heart problems or inherited blood clotting disorders.
* Side effects of birth control after using a cervical cap or diaphragm generally include vaginal irritation, unusual discharge, redness and swelling of the vagina or the vulva and irregular bleeding. The same can be said about the female condom too.
* IUDs are very safe methods of prevention of pregnancy but if they slip out of place, pregnancy is possible. It needs to be removed as early as possible in such a case as being pregnant with an IUD increases chances of pelvic infection, miscarriage and ectopic pregnancy.
* Using birth control pill is generally safe if used properly but it is believed that some women may experience difficulty in pregnancy after prolonged use of birth control pills. Some of the rare side effects of birth control using pills may be nausea, vomiting, mood changes, weight gain, spotting blood between periods and swollen breasts.