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What are the Different Contraception Methods that are available?

Updated on February 21, 2013

If you want to avoid pregnancy there are many contraception methods that are available and you must choose one that suits your requirement and specific needs. There are also a number of factors that you must keep in mind before you decide on the ideal method and these include your age, lifestyle, health, weight and goals. It would be better if you ask yourself a number of questions before taking the next step:

  • How comfortable and easy is the method you have decided to use?
  • How effective is it?
  • It is reversible?
  • Will your health condition affect its effectiveness?
  • What is the cost and can you afford it?
  • Will it protect you from STDs?
  • Will sex with your partner get affected?
  • Did you consult your partner about the method adopted?
  • What are the health benefits and risks of using a particular contraception method?

An answer to all these questions will help you decide on the ideal contraception methods to be adopted to suit your individual needs. The different methods that are available include

  • birth control pills,
  • cervical cap,
  • contraceptive sponge,
  • diaphragm,
  • emergency contraception,
  • family planning or calendar method, hormone injection,
  • hormone implant,
  • Intrauterine device (IUD),
  • male and female condom,
  • patch,
  • spermicidal,
  • sterilization,
  • vaginal ring and
  • withdrawal

Each one of these contraception methods has their own unique advantages and disadvantages and let us look at each one of them in order to understand and make the best choice.

Birth control pills are the favorite method among millions of women all over the world as many health benefits are associated with them. The health benefits include reducing the risks of menstrual cramps, acne, anemia and ovarian cancer to name just a few. The disadvantages of using them are that they do not prevent STDs, headache, weight gain and nausea are other side effects associated.

The cervical cap is very effective but if left inside for quite long then it could lead to infections just like the contraceptive sponge which must be changed within a period of 30 hours. Diaphragm which has found a lot of acceptance is also a viable alternative but there is risk of urinary tract infection and some women could also be allergic to latex.

Emergency contraception methods are used when unprotected sex could lead to pregnancy and the possible side effects include headache and nausea. Family planning or calendar method is quite risky if you calculate the cycle in a wrong manner.

Hormone injection and hormone implant are administered by the doctor and the injection can be taken once every 1-3 months. The implant is put in the upper arm under the skin and both these methods have been found to very effective.

Intrauterine Device (IUD) which is inserted by the doctor is quite popular but in some women it may cause heavier and longer periods. The male and female condom is also a widely accepted method. The contraceptive patch has been found not to be very effective when used in women who are overweight.

Spermicide, sterilization and vaginal ring are other effective forms of contraception while the withdrawal method is considered quite risky. You can look at the different contraception methods that are available and choose one that suits your lifestyle.

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