Birth control is the umbrella term used to describe a variety of contraceptive methods. Some methods are more effective at preventing pregnancy, however, the right method depends most on how sexually active a woman or man chooses to be. Other factors, such as allergies, medications or religious beliefs may also affect someone's contraceptive decisions.
Abstinence, or not engaging in sexual activity, is the only way to entirely prevent pregnancy. Surgical sterilization of one or both partners offers a more permanent solution for those who do not wish to have children or who have completed their biological families. The other most-effective methods, according to Planned Parenthood, are intrauterine devices or implants which use hormones that negate the implantation of the fetus, thus preventing pregnancy. Birth control pills also fall under this hormone based birth control and require a prescription from a healthcare practitioner.
The most common barrier methods available are condoms. Condoms have been around for ages and are available at any convenience, grocery, or department store as well as clinics and hospitals. In addition to preventing pregnancy, condoms are the most effective form of protection against sexually transmitted diseases. In most instances, men and women will use multiple forms of protection, both hormonally such as birth control or IUD and condoms to offset the chance of pregnancy and protect against sexually transmitted diseases. Women choosing to get fitted for a diaphragm will need to visit their OBGyn and get fitted. Diaphragms also require a spermicide to be used in addition to the barrier.
For women who want a more natural form of birth control, they can try breastfeeding for about six months on a very regular basis. A woman can also use a rhythm method, in which she monitors her menstrual cycle and estimates her most fertile days on which she may choose to abstain from sexual contact or use contraception. Men can also use natural methods such as withdrawing prior to ejaculation. While not as full proof as conventional barrier methods or prescription birth control pills, some have successfully used natural birth control.
Regardless of a chosen method, the effectiveness depends on whether it is used correctly. With the exception of abstinence, there is always a chance that sex can lead to pregnancy, which could lead to decisions even more difficult than choosing the right birth control method for your lifestyle.
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October 11, 2013, 7:10 pm
I can't hardly read the threads about the little girl taken away from her biological father. It literally hurts. I took birth control very seriously. Ridiculously so. I am a happy overachiever in some areas. In their preschool years, my children acted out stories where their stuffed animals...
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