Birth control has been around for over four decades now, and yet people only have the slightest understanding of what it is and how it can help them. In this article, we are going to try to shed light on some of the most common birth control questions asked by people.
What does birth control do? How does it work?
Birth control is a group of actions, devices, and/or medications that is observed to intentionally prevent or lower the chances of becoming pregnant. It is intended to be used by people who are sexually active but are not yet ready to raise a child. It works by doing the following:
l Preventing sperm cells from reaching egg cells.
l Preventing the release of new egg cells during ovulation.
l Preventing implantation of a fertilized egg into the uterus.
How many kinds of contraceptives are there?
There are two major types of contraceptives, the reversible and the irreversible. Reversible contraceptives include: the natural method requires a person to take note of a woman's menstrual cycle, body temperature, and/or cervical mucus secretions to determine her safe and unsafe days to engage in sexual activity; the barrier method, which aims to prevent sperm from reaching egg cells, is made up of the male and female condom, cervical cap, diaphragm, and different forms of spermicides; the hormonal method, which works by altering a woman's hormone levels, includes the use of oral contraceptives, injectables, hormonal patches, and the likes; the intra-uterine device (IUD) that involves the insertion of a T-shaped device into the uterus to produce a localized swelling that produces white blood cells that end up killing sperm cells; and the traditional method, which includes sexual abstinence, coitus interruptus, and sexual outercourse.
The irreversible birth control method permanently stops a person's ability to bear and produce offspring. The only irreversible contraceptive method is sterilization, and it is done by means of vasectomy for men, and tubal ligation and hysterectomy for women.
What are the most commonly used birth control methods?
Sterilization takes top spot as the most commonly used contraceptive method around the world. Followed in order by the IUD, the oral contraceptive pill, the male condom, hormonal injections or implants, and withdrawal method.
Can contraceptives protect me from sexually transmitted diseases?
There are certain types of birth control methods that can protect you from sexually transmitted diseases (STD) and there are those that cannot. Barrier methods that require the use of latex sheaths to prevent contact of seminal fluid and the vagina are the most effective contraceptives to protect against STDs. Other methods that do nothing but change the level of the hormones or kill sperm are less efficient in safeguarding one's health from sexually acquired infections.
How can I choose which one is right for me?
The best birth control method differs for every person. What works for you may not be as effective to the someone else, and vice versa. However, you must always keep in mind that choosing is not as simple as drawing straws. Talk to a physician or a licensed sexual health professional regarding the different benefits and risks of using the different contraceptives. From there, you can try out the different forms of birth control and see which one works best for you and your needs.