Hormones like progesterone and estrogen can prevent pregnancy by interfering with ovulation. They can also cause changes in cervical mucus and the lining of the uterus to keep the sperm from joining the egg. The birth control pill is a popular form of birth control that uses hormones to prevent pregnancy. Women who use the pill often take it daily. In order for the pill to be effective, it must be taken as directed. The pill only fails about 1% of the time when it is used correctly. But if it is used incorrectly the failure rate may be as high as 8%. For many women, the pill has benefits other than preventing pregnancy.
- Fewer menstrual cramps.
- More regular and lighter periods.
- Only having four periods a year or none at all.
Women who take the birth control pill have a lower risk of developing:
- Ovarian cancer.
- Endometrial cancers.
- Pelvic inflammatory disease.
- Noncancerous ovarian cysts.
- Iron deficiency anemia.
The birth control pill may cause side effects. Some women may not notice side effects. For many women, the side effects usually go away after taking the pill for a few months. Common side effects include:
- Changes in mood.
- Changes in menstrual periods.
- Upset stomach.
- Weight gain.
The birth control pill may not be right for you if you:
- Are older than 35.
- Have a history of blood clots, breast cancer or uterine cancer.
- Smoke tobacco products.
Talk with your health care provider to see if the pill is right for you. Antibiotics may reduce how well the pill works in some women. Talk to your health care provider about a backup method of birth control if you need to take antibiotics. Another type of hormonal method is the patch. The patch delivers hormones through the skin. It can be worn on your:
- Lower abdomen.
- Outer arm.
- Upper body.
The patch can be as effective as the pill. A new patch is put on your skin once a week for 3 weeks. During the 4th week, no patch is placed. You will get your regular period during this week. A shot, or injection, can also be used to deliver hormones that can prevent pregnancy. A hormone injection is given in the buttocks or arm every 3 months. The shot is as effective as the pill and the patch. But it is more likely to be used correctly. For instance, some women may forget to take the pill daily, making it less effective than the shot.
The birth control shot should not be used for more than 2 years in a row. It can cause a temporary decrease in bone density. Bone starts to regrow after this method is stopped. But the risk of fracture and osteoporosis increases if the shot is used for a long time. Osteoporosis is a disease that makes your bones weak and more likely to break. The vaginal ring is another way to deliver hormones that prevent pregnancy. It is a thin, flexible ring that is placed inside the vagina. The ring is as effective as the pill and the patch. The vaginal ring should be kept in place for 3 weeks. You will then take it out for a week and have your regular period.
After your period, a new vaginal ring should be inserted. Different hormonal methods have different side effects. Talk to your health care provider about the success rates and side effects associated with each type of hormonal birth control method.
During the 4th week, no patch is placed on the skin. Correct. Women who use the pill often take it daily. In order for the pill to be effective, it must be taken as directed. Incorrect. With the shot, you get a hormone injection in the buttocks or arm every 3 months. Barrier Methods Barrier methods involve putting up a block, or barrier, to keep sperm from reaching the egg. There are several forms of barrier methods. The male condom is a popular barrier method that is worn by men during sex. Male condoms are a thin, close-fitting cover that is placed over an erect penis. It keeps sperm from entering a woman’s body. Condoms can be made of latex, polyurethane or natural lambskin. The natural kind do not protect against STIs.
The failure rate of a male condom is 2% if it used correctly. But the overall failure rate of condoms is 15% due to incorrect use. Male condoms work best when used with spermicide. Condoms should only be used once. A new condom is needed for each sex act. Condoms are either:
- Lubricated, which can make sexual intercourse more comfortable.
These condoms can be used for oral sex as well as vaginal or anal sex. It is best to add lubrication to non-lubricated condoms if you use them for vaginal or anal sex. When adding lubricant to a condom, use a water-based lubricant, such as K-Y® jelly. You can buy lubricants at a drug store. Oil-based lubricants like massage oils, baby oil, lotions or petroleum jelly will weaken the condom. This could cause it to tear or break. Keep condoms in a cool, dry place. Condoms can break down if you keep them in a hot place like a wallet or glove compartment.
This could cause the condom to tear or break. The female condom is another type of barrier method. It can be placed in a woman’s vagina to prevent sperm from entering her body. Its failure rate is 21%, but can be as low as 5% if used correctly. The female condom is made of thin, flexible rubber and is packaged with a lubricant. It can be inserted up to 8 hours before having sex. It must be thrown away after it is used.
Do not use a female condom and a male condom at the same time. They may tear or break. The contraceptive sponge is another type of barrier method used by women. It is a soft, disk-shaped device made out of polyurethane foam. It contains the spermicide nonoxynol-9. It is effective for more than one act of sex for up to 24 hours. The sponge’s failure rate varies depending on whether a woman has given birth before. The failure rate for women who have had a previous birth ranges from 20% to 32%. A woman who has not had a previous birth has a lower failure rate of 9% to 16%. The contraceptive sponge needs to be left in place for at least 6 hours after you have sex to prevent pregnancy.
It must then be taken out within 30 hours after it is inserted into the vagina. Women who are sensitive to the spermicide nonoxynol-9 should not use the sponge. The diaphragm, cervical cap and cervical shield are other barrier methods. They block sperm from entering the cervix and reaching the egg. They are placed inside the vagina to cover the cervix. The diaphragm is a shallow latex cup. The cervical cap is a thimble-shaped latex cup. The cervical shield is a silicone cup that fits against the cervix. Diaphragms, cervical caps and cervical shields have a failure rate of 26% to 32% for women who have given birth before and 9% to 16% for women who have never given birth. The diaphragm and cervical cap come in different sizes.
You will need a health care provider to help you find the right fit. The cervical shield only comes in one size so a fitting is not needed. Adding spermicide to a barrier device to block or kill sperm can help prevent pregnancy. Spermicide gel or foam can be bought over the counter without a prescription. Different barrier methods have different side effects. Side effects may include:
- Allergic reactions.
- Toxic shock if left in for too long.
- Urinary tract infection.
Talk to your health care provider about the benefits as well as the side effects of each type of barrier method. Lotion is an oil-based lubricant that can weaken the condom, causing it to tear or break. Incorrect. Massage oil is an oil-based lubricant that can weaken the condom, causing it to tear or break. Incorrect. Petroleum jelly is an oil-based lubricant that can weaken the condom, causing it to tear or break.
Baby oil is an oil-based lubricant and should not be used with any form of birth control. Oil-based lubricants weaken condoms. Incorrect. K-Y jelly is an appropriate lubricant to use on a condom. But it does not make a condom more effective in preventing pregnancy. Incorrect. Polyurethane foam is the material that the contraceptive sponge is made out of. Correct. Spermicide kills sperm and is most effective when added to another form of contraceptive. Spermicide Spermicide is another form of contraception. Spermicide works by killing sperm. Spermicide has a failure rate of 18% when used correctly. But the failure rate may be as high as 29% when it is not used properly. Spermicide comes in many forms, including:
Spermicide is put in the vagina no more than 1 hour before having sex. If you use a film, suppository or tablet, wait at least 15 minutes before having sex so the spermicide can dissolve. Do not douche or rinse out your vagina for at least 6 to 8 hours after having sex when you use spermicide to prevent pregnancy. You will need to use more spermicide each time you have sex. Spermicide is much more effective if it is used along with a barrier method, such as a condom, diaphragm or cervical cap. Some spermicide is made just for use with the diaphragm and cervical cap. Spermicide contains sperm-killing chemicals. Some contain nonoxynol-9. This can irritate the tissue in the vagina and anus.
This irritation can make it easier for the virus that causes HIV to enter the body. It may increase the risk of getting HIV if your partner has the virus. Some women are sensitive to nonoxynol-9 and need to use spermicide without it. Medications for vaginal yeast infections may lower the effectiveness of spermicide. Spermicide does not protect against sexually transmitted infections. It may increase the risk of urinary tract infections. A urinary tract infection, or UTI, is an infection in the body’s drainage system for removing wastes and extra water.
It is true that allergic reactions are a potential side effect of spermicide. But there is a better answer. It is true that irritation is a potential side effect of spermicide. But there is a better answer. It is true that a urinary tract infection is a potential side effect of spermicide. But there is a better answer. Correct. Sterilization Permanent birth control methods are for people who are sure they do not want more children. These methods are barrier methods. They work by preventing the eggs and sperm from meeting. For women, the Fallopian tubes can be surgically cut or scarred to prevent eggs from traveling to the uterus. For men, sperm can be surgically prevented from reaching the seminal vesicles in the male’s reproductive system.
This makes his ejaculate or semen free of sperm. Sperm can still be found in the ejaculate for about 3 months after a vasectomy. During that time, use a backup form of birth control to prevent pregnancy. A simple analysis of the semen is usually done to check if all the sperm are gone. Like any form of surgery, surgery to prevent pregnancy in women and men has risks and possible side effects. If these permanent forms of birth control are recommended for you, ask your health care provider about their risks. Summary Birth control is designed to prevent pregnancy. It is also known as contraception.
There are many different birth control methods. Each method has its advantages and disadvantages. Talk to your health care provider about what method best suits your personal health and preferences. Many different types of temporary birth control are available if you may want to have a child in the future. The type of temporary birth control you choose depends on your needs and preferences. Some temporary methods of birth control also protect you from sexually transmitted infections, or STIs. Implantable devices are a form of birth control that are inserted into a woman’s body.
They can be left in place for a few years. The implantable rod is one kind of implantable device. Intrauterine devices, or IUDs, are another kind of implantable device. Certain hormones can be used to prevent pregnancy. The birth control pill is a popular form of birth control that uses hormones to prevent pregnancy. Women who use the pill often take it daily. In order for the pill to be effective, it must be taken as directed. Barrier methods involve putting up a block, or barrier, to keep sperm from reaching the egg. There are several forms of barrier methods. The male condom is a popular barrier method that is worn by men during sex.
Male condoms are a thin, close-fitting cover that is placed over an erect penis. It keeps sperm from entering a woman’s body. Spermicide is another form of contraception. Spermicide works by killing sperm. Spermicide has a failure rate of 18% when used correctly. But the failure rate may be as high as 29% when it is not used properly. Permanent birth control methods are for people who are sure they do not want more children. These methods are barrier methods. They work by preventing the eggs and sperm from meeting. For women, the Fallopian tubes can be surgically cut or scarred to prevent eggs from traveling to the uterus. For men, sperm can be surgically prevented from reaching the seminal vesicles in the male’s reproductive system. This makes his ejaculate or semen free of sperm.