6 common birth control options you should know about



An unplanned pregnancy can have many negative outcomes if you and your partner are not on the same page about it.

It can lead to financial instability, strain your relationship and may even affect the mothers mental and physical well-being.

The risk of unplanned pregnancy is always rife when you engage in protected sex. Besides, there is also a risk of sexually transmitted diseases (STD) in the case of multiple sexual partners.

So, it to recommend to take precautionary measures beforehand if you are not planning to have a baby in the near future.

What are birth control measures?

Birth control measures are ways men and women can prevent unwanted pregnancies. They may include some method, medicine, or device used to prevent pregnancy. There are many ways of birth control, some for men others for women. All are effective, but which one to choose entirely depends on your need and comfort. Knowing about these birth control measures can help to make conscious decisions to avoid an unintended pregnancy. Here are some of the most important ones that you must know about.

1. Internal Condoms or female condoms

Internal condoms, also known as female condoms are soft, thin latex-free, and hormone-free polyurethane pouches that are worn inside the vagina to prevent the entry of semen into the womb. Female condoms are 95 per cent effective and protect against both pregnancy and STD. Remember that a small of semen can still come out of the penis even before a man fully ejaculate. So, the condom should be put inside the vagina before sex. Do check for expiry date and tear or defect on the condom before inserting it.

2. External Condoms or male condoms

External condoms are contraceptives for men. They are typically made from latex and should be avoided by men who have a latex allergy. This kind of condom is like a bag that goes over an erect penis to prevent any fluid from entering into a women’s vagina that could lead to unprotected pregnancy or STD. External condom is about 98 per cent effective and should be thrown after one use.

3. Diaphragm

Diaphragms are small, soft, silicone and reusable birth control measure. They are saturated with spermicide beforehand and insert into the vagina to prevent sperm from entering the womb. It is about 96 per cent effective and must be fitted by a doctor. It is not effective in preventing STD protection and cannot be used when you are menstruating as it involves the risk of toxic shock syndrome.

4. Intrauterine device (IUD)

An Intrauterine device (IUD) is a small T-shaped device made of plastic and copper that’s inserted into a women’s womb (uterus) by a doctor or nurse. It is threaded with a nylon thread that goes through the cervix and into the top end of the vagina. The device releases copper that prevents you from getting pregnant for about 5 to 10 years (depending on the type). After this period the device needs to be replaced with a new one. This method of contraception is about 99 per cent effective in preventing pregnancy. However, it does not protect you from STD.

5. Surgery

Surgery is for those looking for permanent sterility. If you and your partner do not intent to have more children in future, this option can be considered. Both men and women can go through this surgical procedure. In men tubes that carry sperm are cut or removed, while in women the fallopian tubes, from where the eggs pass into the ovum are tied up. This method is also 99 per cent effective, but cannot prevent STD.

6. Oral Contraceptive Pill

Oral Contraceptive pills are the most popular method to control pregnancy across the globe. These are small tablets that are taken once a day. They are a combination of pills containing estrogen and progestin and are available in different types. They actually work in two ways, first, they prevent ovaries from releasing eggs, and second prevent pregnancy from taking place. They must be taken every single day at the same time to work. Contraceptive pills are about 99 per cent effective but do not protect you from STD.