Each one of us is unique and has different needs when it comes to choosing a method of contraception. Some of us want long-term contraception care, while others want something to prevent pregnancy before marriage.
Whatever your need, there are several birth control methods to match your lifestyle and needs.
Absitinence / Outercourse
Abstinence generally means not having vaginal sex. Some people who practice abstinence also avoid other types of sexual intimacy. Outercourse is sex play that does not include vaginal sex. When used perfectly, both abstinence and outercourse keep sperm out of the vagina. They work best when you and your partner agree to use these methods.
Hormonal Birth Control
Hormonal birth control methods may include birth control pills, a hormonal vaginal ring (NuvaRing), a hormone patch, or a shot. These methods are very effective when used correctly. In other words, in order to prevent pregnancy, they must be taken or applied at the same time every day, month, or year as directed by your healthcare professional.
Barrier methods of birth control include male and female condoms, a cervical cap, a diaphram or the withdrawal (pulling out) method. When used alone, their effective rate is not as high as the hormonal birth control methods, but these methods can be used in conjunction with other methods.
One downside is that these types of contraceptives may interrupt “the mood” of lovemaking.
The implant is a type of hormonal birth control. It is a tiny plastic rod, about the size of a matchstick. The implant contains a progesterone-like hormone called etonogestrel (et-oh-no-JES-trel) that prevents pregnancy. The implant is easily inserted under the skin of your arm by a health care provider.
The implant is very effective. Less than 1 out of 100 women with the implant will get pregnant each year. The implant is as effective as sterilization, but your ability to become pregnant quickly returns once the implant is removed.
An IUD is a small, T-shaped device that is inserted into the uterus by a trained healthcare provider. It provides continuous, effective birth control for up to 5 or 10 years, depending on the type. As with all contraceptive devices or pills, no birth control is 100% effective (except for abstinence.)
An IUD is good for a number of years once it is in place, and is highly effective. Currently, there are two types of IUDs available in the United States: ParaGard and Mirena.
There are also surgical methods of contraception that are permanent for those who are sure that their future years of childbearing are 100% complete.
For women, this may include laparoscopic tubal ligation, (getting “tubes tied”) that can be done vaginally without abdominal incisions, and for men, a vasectomy.