Nobody can deny that sex is part of life and human nature. Although sexual intercourse is an essential component of relationships, it doesn’t mean that women engaging in the act should get pregnant each time. Clinics and health centers like Women’s Aid Center stress that methods of birth control can help couples avoid unplanned or unscheduled pregnancy without sacrificing the couple’s time for intimacy.
The most common birth control method is via physical and chemical contraceptives, which prevent the sperm from entering the uterus during intercourse. These are called barrier contraceptives and include condoms, spermicides, diaphragms, cervical caps, and intrauterine devices (IUD).
The male condom is a tube made of latex rubber which prevents skin contact with the vagina, while the female condom is a polyurethane pouch that covers the cervix and the vaginal canal. Spermicides, used to fill diaphragms or cervical caps, are chemicals which kill sperm cells. IUDs are inserted into the uterus by your doctor.
Hormonal Birth Control
Hormonal methods consist of birth control pills, injections, vaginal rings, and, also, IUDs. Such methods work in different ways. They either prevent the release of an egg cell, thicken the cervical mucus to prevent sperm penetration, or thin the uterus lining.
Admittedly, hormonal birth control is not for everyone. Women at risk of breast cancer, liver diseases, and heart attacks are discouraged from using the method, as are women with diabetes or unexplained vaginal bleeding.
Permanent Methods (Sterilization)
Female sterilization is a birth control method that closes the fallopian tubes to prevent the egg cells from traveling from the ovaries to the uterus. There are two ways of female sterilization: tubal ligation and Essure. Tubal ligation is a surgical sterilization method which blocks the fallopian tubes, while Essure is the non-surgical insertion of flexible coils into the tubes. Both are irreversible.
On the other hand, male sterilization is called vasectomy. The process closes off the tubes which carry sperm cells.
Finally, the natural way of birth control is via the withdrawal of the penis from the vagina before ejaculation. It helps prevent sperm cells from getting to the egg cells.
If you aren’t up to any of the recommended birth control methods, abstinence and natural family planning are always an option.