Contraception is a method of birth control, which consists of several different types. Contraception is a term used for any method of birth control that keeps someone from getting pregnant after having sexual intercourse. Since approximately 50% of the pregnancies in the United States are unplanned, there are many types of contraception methods available. The birth control pill has been the most popular form of contraception for several decades, but new technology is constantly being introduced, including the contraceptive patch, ring, and implant.

Types of Contraception

There are many different forms of contraception from pills to shots. These include fertility awareness methods, hormonal contraception, and barrier contraception methods. Each of these has their advantages and disadvantages, as well as a different range of effectiveness. Most women will choose whichever one is most desirable based on personal preference.

Reversible Methods of Contraception

Most of the contraception methods are considered reversible, which means at any time you can stop using these methods and be able to get pregnant. Irreversible methods of birth control such as a vasectomy for a man or tubal ligation for a woman are permanent and will prevent a pregnancy from ever occurring. Intrauterine Contraception – The first type of contraception is intrauterine. This includes two main types; cooper T intrauterine device (IUD) and the levonorgestrel intrauterine system (IUS). IUD and IUS will be placed inside the uterus to prevent conception from occurring. Hormonal Methods – Hormonal methods of contraception are possibly the most common. This includes the implant, which is a thin rod inserted in a woman’s arm to release progestin. There is also a hormone progestin shot that is about 94% effective at preventing pregnancy. Many different types of oral contraceptives are available, known as birth control pills. They can be between 91% and 99% effective at preventing pregnancy. There is a progestin-only pill that only includes the hormone progestin, but is about the same effectiveness as traditional birth control pills. The hormonal vaginal contraceptive ring is a ring placed inside the vagina that also releases progestin. Finally, there is a patch worn on the abdomen or upper body that releases the hormones estrogen and progestin. Emergency Contraception – Emergency contraception is not a traditional form of birth control and should not be used on a regular basis. It is only used when another form of birth control has failed, such as a condom breaking and the woman fearing she might get pregnant rom unprotected intercourse. Emergency contraception is a pill that can be taken up to 5 days after having unprotected sex. They have a higher chance of success the earlier the pills are taken. Barrier Methods – There are also barrier methods of contraception which include a male condom, female condom, cervical cap, diaphragm, and spermicides which are foam, gels, or creams that kill sperm and prevent them from reaching the cervix.

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