Contraception is a part of family planning, or methods on how to prevent pregnancy for those who are sexually active. It involves a variety of ways, and it all depends on the person’s choice. There is a lot of options for contraception, and it could be chosen accorded to the health of the patient, his/her sexual activity, and the desire of having children (for those who are married). There are contraceptive options that are affordable, as well as those which could cost a considerable amount.
Contraception could be classified into two: birth control and protection. Birth control, as the word suggests, is the control of the fertilization of the egg cell and the sperm cell resulting in pregnancy. Protection is for those who are not in a monogamous relationship, and for those who would also like to prevent the infection of any sexually transmitted diseases, or STD. To name a few of these methods, there are male and female condoms, birth pills, IUD or intrauterine devices, barrier methods such as cervical caps, vaginal rings, diaphragms, surgical methods such as tubal ligation for women and vasectomy for men, and many others. In most cases, contraception is the woman’s responsibility, except in cases when male condoms are used, or if the man has undergone vasectomy.
If a person is sexually active, he/she is encouraged to use a contraceptive method that is comfortable and suited for him/her. While abstinence is a sure birth control method, getting acquainted with proper contraceptive methods is a better way to get sexually involved in a responsible manner.
The Uses Of Condoms
There are two uses of this contraceptive: for female and male use. Condoms are the only way to prevent sexually transmitted diseases and HIV (and pregnancy, if used in a proper way) by 98%. However, rather than birth control, condoms are considered to be a protection for those who are sexually active, particularly those who are into polygamous relationships.
It is one of the most popular choices when it comes to affordable and easily accessible type of contraceptive. Compared to its counterparts, condoms are so far the easiest and safest contraceptive methods, because it does not alter production of hormones, nor requiring surgery. Condoms work by accumulating all the semen at the tip, preventing its entry to the vagina. It also provides protection against STD and HIV, unlike other contraceptive methods which are only for the prevention of pregnancy.
Condom has four known varieties: polyurethane, latex, lambskin or other varieties derived from natural materials. However, polyurethane and latex are the only varieties that yield successful results. Those other varieties have almost invisible holes that allows fluids to pass through, resulting in infection of pregnancy when not used properly. It has varieties, and each of these are used according to the kind of sexual activity to be done. There are un-lubricated and lubricated condoms. Both of these could be further lubricated if desired, either with water-based or petroleum based product. However, it is petroleum based products is not recommended for use to latex condom, as it tears the latex down, defeating the purpose of sexual protection.
As for the female condom, there is only one reliable variety and is designed to prevent transmission of HIV and STDs, and also pregnancy.
The Uses Of Birth Control Pills And Hormone-Based Contraceptives
Most birth control pills available on the market are hormone-based. These pills aid in the prevention of pregnancy in a variety of ways: it thickens the cervical mucous to prevent the egg and sperm to unite, and alters the uterus so that the fertilized egg could not attach in it and develop. It is available in many forms such as: birth control pills, injectables, patches, and rings. These contraceptives are known to alter the hormones, thus called as hormone-based contraceptive.
However, these types of contraceptive methods cannot protect the user from STD and HIV, and these birth control methods are associated with side effects such as stroke, other heart problems, particularly to those women who smoke, and those who are 35 and beyond.
Withdrawal method- this is the type of birth control in which a man removes his penis before ejaculating- a very unpredictable and inaccurate way to get away from pregnancy.
Rhythm method- this method is about knowing one’s ovulation cycle. Just like withdrawal method, the rhythm method could be effective at a very little rate, as some women ovulate while having her period. This is rather helpful for those who are planning to get pregnant by getting track of one’s fertile period.
Surgical Methods- this include vasectomy (for the men), and tubal ligation (for the ladies). These methods involve cutting the supply of the sperm or the egg for the prevention of pregnancy. This is a permanent birth control method, and so it entails a thorough decision making to have this done. Having this reversed is possible but it is very costly and painful.
Contraception is of variety, and its success depends on the use of the person. When used as directed, it would yield successful results. Before using any method, consultation is recommended, as some methods could pose health risks. Bear in mind that not all contraceptive methods provide both protection against pregnancy and STDs. Carefully choose, and be responsible.
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