Birth Control Pills, Methods, Effectiveness and Side Effects

Posted September 23, 2019 by Deepak993

Birth control is a crucial public health issue and millions of men and women worldwide depend on it.

What is Birth Control?
Birth control is the practice of preventing unplanned pregnancy with the use of contraception. It can be done through various medically proven methods, medicines or devices. Some methods work on women while some are specifically made for men’s usage.

All methods of birth control have their own degree of effectiveness, sustaining duration and side effects according to their nature. Women need to understand each method, compare them and only then they should decide which method will work best for her.

Most Popular Birth Control Methods in India

Methods you select can vary according to various factors like prevention from Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) or hormonal birth control. If you just want to avoid pregnancy then you can go for pills but if you want to protect yourself from STI- including AIDS- you need to use a condom.

Types Of Birth Control Methods
Here are 17 types of birth control methods prevalent all around the world:

Birth control pills-these are hormonal pills which women need to take daily at the same time. The packet may contain some placebo pills which are taken during hormonal pill-free days.

Condom-condoms are thin rubber sheets worn by men on their penises while having sex. It is the only method to be protected from STDs and is distributed for free by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. (3)
Femidom or Female condom- female condoms belong to the barrier method of contraception. They are made of a thin rubber sheet with dual protection.

Contraceptive patch-it is a patch which contains hormones progestin and estrogen. It is pasted on the skin for three weeks for effective results.

Spermicidal-spermicide is a temporary method of birth control which can be used without any prescription. They come in the form of gel, foam, suppositories, creams and films.

Cervical cap- The cervical cap is a silicone cup which is a reusable contraception method. It is inserted in the vagina over the cervix by suction and has a strap to aid removal.

Contraceptive sponge- the sponge is a disk-shaped device made by soft plastic foam which kills the sperm by stopping them fertilizing the egg.

Fertility Awareness Methods or FAM- it is a method of contraception where a woman records different fertility signals in her body to know about when is the most likely time to get pregnant.

Withdrawal- withdrawal means pulling out the penis before ejaculation.

Vasectomy- it is a surgical process in which the tube which contains sperm get cut or blocked for permanent solution of birth control.

Implant- it is a thin rod that is inserted in the skin of a woman’s upper arm. It releases progestin into the body over 3 years.

IUD-it is a T shaped device made by copper which gets inserted in the uterus and provides safety for 10 years.

Vaginal ring- the vaginal ring is a flexible copolymer ring that is inserted in the vagina for three weeks and removed in the last week for the menstrual cycle.

Birth Control Shots/ Depo Provera/ DMPA-these are the doses of hormones given by injection to women every three months for birth control. It suppresses ovulation and thickens cervical mucus which does not allow sperm to enter the vagina.

Emergency contraceptives-emergency contraceptives are used after sex for preventing unwanted pregnancy. It can be done through contraceptive pills or IUD. These are needed to be used within the 5 days of sexual intercourse.

Female Sterilization: Sterilization is a permanent form of birth control. For men, sterilization involves vasectomy and for women, it is via tubal ligation. This method involves cutting or tying the fallopian tubes, which prevent the sperm from reaching the eggs, hence preventing pregnancy.

Abstinence: Abstinence is avoiding having penetrative sex. It is the only 100% effective method of birth control and avoiding STDs.

Most Popular Methods for Birth control methods and their side effects

1 Birth Control Pills
Birth control pills are also known as combined oral contraceptive pills which are specifically made for women. It regulates the menstrual cycle, prevents ovulation and prevents unwanted pregnancy. It is the most popular way of birth control in the female aged to 19-29 in the United States. They are used by 100 million women worldwide and are the most effective way for birth control.

How To Use Birth Control Pill
There are 21 active hormonal pills and 7 placebo pills pack generally but it varies from brand to brand as some have 21 or 28 pills in one pack. You need to take one pill daily at the same time according to the given prescription available on the pills package. You should take pills regularly and also should consult with the doctor to decide which pill is the best for you. Doctors will tell you how many days’ package will be good for your body and whether you can take a combination of oral contraceptives or progestin-only pill. Every package will tell you which is the starting day pill and will lead you to end the day’s pill accordingly. You should follow the instructions properly as they have varying hormone content- the last day pill will have less hormonal concentration than the starting one.

Different Types Of Birth Control Pills
Birth control pills are a combination of the hormones estrogen and progestin. There are several types of combination pills available in the market-

Multiphasic pills: these pills contain different amounts of hormones every day.

Monophasic pills: it is the most common type of pills. These are for one month cycle with the same level of hormone concentration in every pill.

Extended-cycle pills: This contains 84 pills active pills and 7 inactive pills in a packet. While taking these pills bleeding only happens four times a year.

Conventional pills: these pills come in two types of packs. One contains 21 active pills and 7 inactive pills, second contains 24 active pills and 4 inactive pills. Bleeding occurs whenever the inactive pills are taken.

How Birth Control Pills Works
Birth control pills help you by preventing your body from ovulating so that your ovaries don’t release an egg. It also thickens your cervical mucus which doesn’t allow sperm to travel to your uterus due to which sperm cannot fertilize the egg. Using contraceptive pills properly is 99% effective for birth control and 91% effective when typically used.

Most Common Birth Control Pills Side Effects
Taking birth control pills for unwanted pregnancy is the most effective way of preventing pregnancy, with only a 9% chance of failure but it also has some serious side effects which are important to be known

Breakthrough bleeding- it refers to vaginal bleeding. Some women experience this when they go on birth control pills.

Abdominal cramping-it refers to the pain perceived in any area of the abdomen.

Breast tenderness-it refers to the increase in breast size or pain and discomfort in the breasts due to pills.

Increase in vaginal discharge-it refers to the fluid which shed through the vagina.

The decrease in libido-it refers to a decrease in the energy of sexual passion towards the partner.

Headaches and nausea-it refer to the feeling of headaches or sickness.

2 Condom: Birth Control Methods For Male

Condoms are the thin rubber sheaths or barrier devices worn by men on their penises during sexual intercourse as a protection against unwanted pregnancy. The male condoms are the only device which provides protection for both STIs and unwanted pregnancy.

Condoms are 98% effective against pregnancy and 80% from STIs including HIV and AIDs. It is also one of the most effective and cost-effective methods used for birth control worldwide.

How To Use Condom
To use a condom, you need to make sure that the condom is ready to roll down in the right way. The rim should be on the top so that it unrolls easily. Pinch the tip of the condom while putting it on the head of the penis. Enrol the condom till the end of your pennies.

Types Of Condoms
Types of condoms available in the market are-
Latex condom

Non-latex condom

Spermicide free condom

Spermicide condom

How Condoms Work
Condoms prevent semen from going inside the vagina, hence it prevents unwanted pregnancy. By avoiding direct skin to skin contact, it also prevents STIs.

Side Effects Of Condom
Sometimes latex may cause allergy to you, or can be unsuitable to your body.
No physical side effects have been reported until now.

3 Female Condom
The Female condom is a plastic pouch made of thin rubber. It is made of polyurethane and is fixed in the vagina before having sex. Condoms make a shield in the vagina to protect from unwanted pregnancy. It is also one of the most effective methods and saves the user from STIs and HIV. 21 out of 100 women have chances of getting pregnant after using this method.

How To Use Female Condom
To use a female condom, take it out from the packaging carefully without any tearing. The thick inner ring with the closed-endotypes Of Female Condom

There are only two types of female condoms as-
FC1 female condom-these condoms are made of polyurethane.
FC2 female condom-these condoms are made of synthetic latex. is placed in the vagina which holds the condom in place. Now squeeze the side of inner ring with your forefinger and thumb to insert into the vagina. Make sure that the condom is not twisted.

How Female Condoms Work
Female condom works as a protective barrier against unwanted pregnancy by stopping the sperm from meeting an egg in the vagina. It erects a wall in the vagina and collects semen. You can put on a female condom 8 hours before the intercourse; it also does not contain latex which could irritate some people’s skin.

Side Effects Of Female Condom
It can be a distraction at the time of sex
It has a failure rate of 21%
No health risk or side effects on the body

All of the above are the major methods of birth control which helps thousands of men and women to avoid unwanted pregnancy and give the power of choosing to write time for ovulation. Some of the above methods have side effects which can lead to some serious problems in the future. That’s why it is always better to get a proper prescription from the doctor for a good contraceptive. Condoms are the only method which protects from HIV and STDs with birth control. So always try to have safe sex with right contraception options according to your body, for being healthy and tension free.
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Last Updated September 23, 2019