10 Types of Birth Control You Need To Know About

When it comes to birth control many women tend to stick to the Pill or condoms. But while condoms and the Pill may work well for a number of women, they don’t suit everybody. Hormonal contraception in particularly can affect all women in different ways. However, there are actually 15 options available right now. It’s why it’s so important that women know about all the options available to them, and just how they work.

15 types of contraceptions available

1.Male condom

* What is it?

  • Made out of thin latex, the male condom put over the penis and stops sperm from entering the vagina. It’s 98 per cent effective if used exactly according to the instructions – but in reality is 82 per cent effective for the average woman.

* Pros

  • Condoms are the best way to protect yourself and your partner against sexually transmitted infections (STIs)
  • When used correctly, they’re a reliable way of preventing pregnancy
  • You only need to use them when you have sex – they do not need advance preparation
  • In most cases, there are no medical side-effects.

* Cons

  • Condoms may slip off or break if the wrong size is used
  • Some people may be allergic to latex, plastic or spermicides
  • The man has to pull out immediately after ejaculating before the penis goes soft

1. Female condom

* What is it?

  • The female condom is made of thin polyurethane that loosely lines the vagina and stops sperm from entering. It’s 95 per cent effective if used according to instruction – but 79 per cent effective for the average woman.

* Pros

  • It can protect both partners from STIs
  • When used correctly, they’re a reliable way of preventing pregnancy
  • You only need to use them when you have sex – they do not need advance preparation
  • In most cases, there are no medical side-effects.

*Cons

  • It is not as widely available as male condoms and may get pushed into the vagina
  • They may split off or tear if not used properly.

3.Contraceptive injection

*What is it?

  • The contraceptive injection a long-acting reversible contraception that does not depend on you taking it daily and is more than 99 per cent effective.
  • It works by a doctor or nurse injecting progestogen injected into the body and lasts for eight to 13 weeks depending on the type used.

*Pros

  • It can be used it you are breastfeeding (though no contraception is required in the first 21 days after birth)
  • It does not interrupt sex
  • You don’t have to remember to take a pill every day
  • It could reduce painful periods
  • It offers some protection from pelvic inflammatory disease (the mucus from the cervix may stop bacteria entering the womb) and may also give some protection against cancer of the womb.

*Cons

  • It cannot be removed from the body once it has been injected so side effects, such as irregular periods or weight gain, may continue for as long as it works and some time afterwards
  • It can cause some women to gain weight
  • Periods and fertility may take time to return after stopping it.

4.Contraceptive implant

*What is it?

  • The contraceptive implant is a small flexible rod that is place under the skin of the upper arm by a health professional and releases progestogen to stop ovulation.
  • It is a long-acting reversible contraception that does not depend on you taking it daily and is over 99 per cent effective.

*Pros

  • The implant lasts for three years but can be taken out sooner
  • You don’t have to think about your contraception once it has been inserted
  • When the implant is removed your fertility will return to normal.

*Cons

  • You can feel it with your fingers in your arm, though it can’t be seen, and it is put in using a local anaesthetic
  • It may increase chances of getting acne.

5. Intrauterine device (IUD)

*What is it?

  • The intrauterine device is a small plastic and copper device known as a ‘coil’ that is put into the uterus by a doctor or nurse. It is a long-acting reversible contraception that does not depend on you taking it daily and is over 99 per cent effective.
  • It works immediately and can stay in from five to 10 years, though it can be removed at any time by a health professional.

*Pros

  • It does not contain any hormones
  • You don’t have to think about your contraception once it has been inserted
  • When it is removed, your fertility will return to normal.

*Cons

  • It could make periods heavier
  • Some women do not like having it inserted
  • There is a small chance of getting an infection in the first 20 days after insertion.

6.Intrauterine system (IUS)

*What is it?

  • The intrauterine system is a small plastic device that’s inserted into the uterus by a health professional and slowly releases the hormone progestogen into the womb. It is a long-acting reversible contraception that does not depend on you taking it daily and is over 99 per cent effective.

*Pros

  • It works for five years though it can be taken out sooner
  • It can make periods lighter and shorter
  • The hormones are localised, and only small amounts enter your body.

*Cons

  • It can cause irregular bleeding or spotting for the first six months
  • Some women do not like having it inserted
  • There is a small chance of getting an infection in the first 20 days after insertion.

7.Contraceptive patch

*What is it?

  • The contraceptive patch is a small patch you stick on to the skin that releases estrogen and progestogen. It stops ovulation and is over 99 per cent effective if used according to instructions – but 91 per cent effective for the average woman.

*Pros

  • You don’t have to think about it every day
  • It can make periods lighter and more regular
  • It can improve acne for some women.

*Cons

  • It is not suitable for very overweight women or smokers over 35-years-old
  • It has a low risk of serious side-effects such as blood clots, breast and cervical cancer.
  • It can cause temporary side-effects such as headaches, nausea, mood changes and breast tenderness.

8.Contraceptive vaginal ring

*What is it?

  • The contraceptive vaginal ring is a small plastic ring a woman inserts into her vagina every month and releases hormones to stop ovulation. It is over 99 per cent effective if used according to instructions – but 91 per cent effective for the average woman. It is used for three weeks out of four.

*Pros

  • You don’t have to think about it every day
  • It can make periods lighter and more regular.

*Cons

  • It is not suitable for very overweight women or smokers over 35-years-old
  • You must be comfortable inserting and removing it yourself
  • It has a low risk of serious side-effects such as blood clots, breast and cervical cancer.
  • It can cause temporary side-effects such as headaches, nausea, mood changes and breast tenderness.

9. Combined pill

*What is it?

  • The combined Pill is a daily oral contraceptive that contains estrogen and progestogen and is over 99 per cent effective if used according to instructions – but 91 per cent effective for the average woman. It must be taken daily.

*Pros

  • It’s easy to take and stop taking
  • It can make periods lighter and more regular.

*Cons

  • It is not suitable for very overweight women or smokers over 35-years-old
  • Forgetting to take pills, vomiting or severe diarrhoea can make it less effective
  • It has a low risk of serious side-effects such as blood clots, breast and cervical cancer
  • It can cause temporary side-effects such as headaches, nausea, mood changes and breast tenderness.

10. Progestogen-only pill

*What is it?

  • The progestogen-only Pill is a daily oral contraceptive that contains the hormone progestogen and is over 99 per cent effective if used according to instructions – but 91 per cent effective for the average woman.
  • It may stop periods or make them lighter but can cause temporary side-effects.

*Pros

  • It can make periods lighter and more regular, or stop them altogether
  • It can be used by women who smoke and are over 35-years-old.

*Cons

  • It must be taken daily at the same time and is not effective if taken over three to 12 hours late
  • Missing pills, vomiting or severe diarrhoea can make it less effective.
  • It can cause temporary side-effects such as headaches, nausea, mood changes and breast tenderness.
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