5 Varieties of contraceptives that it’s important to be aware of

Having comprehensive knowledge about different types of contraceptives is crucial for making informed decisions when the need arises.

5 Varieties of contraceptives that it's important to be aware of

Contraceptives serve as an effective means of preventing unplanned pregnancy, affording couples the ability to plan parenthood according to their desires. In today’s world, it’s imperative for adults to have a thorough understanding of contraceptives. A diverse array of contraception methods exists to cater to the specific needs of each couple. By acquiring knowledge about these methods, many uncertainties can be addressed, leading to more informed decisions.

Increased awareness about contraception is facilitated through family planning programs, online resources, magazines, and consultations with healthcare professionals. The fundamental principle behind contraception is to either prevent the union of egg and sperm or inhibit egg production. Some methods also function by preventing the implantation of a fertilized egg into the womb. The primary types of contraceptives available include:

  • Barrier Methods
  • Emergency Contraception Pill
  • Permanent Contraception
  • Long-Acting Reversible Contraception
  • Hormonal Contraception
5 Varieties of contraceptives that it's important to be aware of

Various Types of Birth Control Methods

Dr. Anuradha Lokare, Consultant in Obstetrics and Gynecology at Columbia Asia Hospital, Hebbal, provides an overview of all contraceptive methods.

Barrier Methods

The barrier method, as its name implies, works by creating a barrier to prevent sperm from entering the vagina. Condoms, designed for both males and females, exemplify this concept. Male condoms, typically made of latex or polyurethane, are the more common type. They are worn over the erect penis before intercourse. Female condoms, on the other hand, are inserted into the vagina prior to intercourse.

Notably, this method is unique in its ability to prevent both sexually transmitted diseases and pregnancy.

Emergency Contraception Pill

The emergency contraception pill is a post-coital method of contraception and is widely utilized for preventing pregnancy. It contains doses of female hormones that, when taken correctly, are highly effective. Additionally, its effectiveness increases the earlier it is taken after unprotected intercourse, making it particularly useful in cases of condom failure or when no contraception was used.

Emergency Contraception Pill

Permanent Contraception

Sterilization, also referred to as the sterilization process, involves surgical procedures aimed at preventing all future pregnancies. This method is irreversible and includes procedures such as vasectomy, which involves blocking or cutting the tubes carrying sperm in males, and tubal ligation, which entails blocking the fallopian tubes in females. These surgeries are typically performed under local anesthesia.

Hormonal Contraception

This method involves the use of hormone-containing pills to prevent pregnancy. Two common options under this method are the combined oral contraceptive pill and the Depo Provera injection. The combined oral contraceptive pill works by inhibiting ovulation, preventing the release of eggs from the ovaries, while the Depo Provera injection, administered every three months, also prevents ovulation.

Another form of hormonal contraception is the NUVA RING, a more recent development. This ring is inserted into the vagina by the user once every 21 days and works by releasing hormones that prevent ovulation and thicken cervical mucus, hindering sperm mobility towards the egg.

Long-acting reversible contraception (LARC)

Long-acting reversible contraception, often referred to as “fit and forget” contraception, involves the placement of a device inside a woman’s body. A commonly used device is the T-shaped intrauterine device (IUD), which can remain effective for 3 to 10 years, depending on the specific type. Another method of long-acting reversible contraception involves the insertion of an “implant,” also known as flexible rods, beneath the skin of the woman’s upper arm. This implant releases progestin hormone to prevent pregnancy.

Long-acting reversible contraception (LARC)

While not always listed, many couples opt for natural methods to prevent pregnancy. However, it’s important to note that these methods do not come with a guarantee of effectiveness. Additionally, it’s crucial to consider one’s health when choosing any contraceptive method, particularly when planning for a family.