Disease: Birth Control Options

    Birth control facts

    • Birth control methods can be broadly classified into barrier methods (that prevent sperm cells from reaching the egg), methods that prevent ovulation such as the pill, and methods that allow fertilization of the egg but prevent implantation of the fertilized egg inside the uterus (womb).
    • Condoms and diaphragms are examples of barrier birth control methods.
    • Birth control pills are an example of a birth control methods that prevents ovulation.
    • The decision about what kind of birth control option to use is extremely personal, and there is no single choice that is safest or best for all women or couples.
    • A woman should carefully weigh the risks and benefits, along with the effectiveness of each method before choosing a birth control method. A thorough and open discussion with a health care-professional can help in this decision process.
    • Different forms of birth control have different side effects and risk profiles.
    • The choice of birth control method depends on many factors, such as the desire for reversible birth control (preserving future fertility) or permanent birth control methods (surgical sterilization). Some birth control methods, such as barrier methods, may offer some protection against sexually-transmitted diseases (STDs), while most methods do not.
    • No method of birth control is 100% effective in preventing STDs.
    • Some birth control methods have higher success rates than others, but no method of birth control is 100% effective in every case.

    Types of birth control

    Types of birth control methods include options that prevent sperm from reaching an egg, known as barrier methods; methods that prevent ovulation, and methods that prevent implantation of a fertilized egg into the uterus.

    Types of birth control include:

    • Hormonal birth control methods, including birth control pills and patches
    • Barrier birth control methods
      • Diaphragms
      • Condoms
      • Cervical caps
    • Natural birth control methods
    • Intrauterine devices
    • Emergency contraception
    • Surgical sterilization

    Hormonal birth control options (including oral contraceptives pills)

    Hormonal options of birth control involve the use of hormones to prevent ovulation in a woman. Although oral contraceptive pills are the most widely used hormonal method, other options are available including the vaginal ring, hormone patches applied to the skin, and injections of progestin.

    Common side effects of birth control pills can include

    • nausea,
    • vomiting,
    • weight gain,
    • skin discoloration,
    •  acne,
    • bleeding between periods or spotting,
    • mood swings,
    • change in menstrual flow, and
    • breasts swelling or tenderness.

    Heart attacks, blood clots, and strokes are more serious complications of oral contraceptives. Cigarette smoking increases the risk of these complications. This risk is greatest in women over 35 who are heavy smokers (>15 cigarettes/day).

    Barrier birth control options (including condoms)

    Barrier options prevent fertilization of the egg by a sperm cell. These either prevent contact between egg and sperm via a physical block or kill sperm cells before they are able to fertilize an egg. Examples of physical barrier contraceptives include the diaphragm, condoms, and the cervical cap or shield. Contraceptive sponges contain a spermicide cream to kill sperm cells, and other forms of spermicides are available as well. Spermicides may be used in combination with barrier methods for greater effectiveness.

    Side effects of barrier methods of birth control can include an increased risk for developing urinary tract infections (UTIs) if using a diaphragm and spermicide. Leaving a diaphragm or cervical cap in for longer than 24 hours increases your risk for toxic shock syndrome. Finally, some people may have allergies to the chemicals used in spermicide creams or other spermicide products. They may develop irritation of the vagina or penis.

    Natural birth control options

    Natural methods involve tracking a woman's menstrual cycle to try to determine when ovulation is most likely to occur, and avoiding sexual intercourse (or using barrier contraceptives) during that time. There are different ways to detect ovulation, including the basal body temperature method and the use of home ovulation test kits. Checking and recording the consistency of cervical mucus is another way to help determine when ovulation occurs.

    Surgical sterilization (tubal ligation or vasectomy) birth control

    Surgical sterilization is a form of permanent birth control that is available for both women (tubal ligation) and men (vasectomy). Sterilization implants are a more recent type of permanent birth control that is available for women that allows women to avoid the surgical procedure associated with tubal ligation.

    Although women who have had tubal ligation do not have side effects after recovering from the procedure, any surgery itself carries a small risk of infection or bleeding as well as complications from the anesthetic agents.

    Likewise, the vasectomy procedure is associated with small risks from the procedure as well as some swelling and pain in the days following the procedure.

    Barrier birth control options (including condoms)

    Barrier options prevent fertilization of the egg by a sperm cell. These either prevent contact between egg and sperm via a physical block or kill sperm cells before they are able to fertilize an egg. Examples of physical barrier contraceptives include the diaphragm, condoms, and the cervical cap or shield. Contraceptive sponges contain a spermicide cream to kill sperm cells, and other forms of spermicides are available as well. Spermicides may be used in combination with barrier methods for greater effectiveness.

    Side effects of barrier methods of birth control can include an increased risk for developing urinary tract infections (UTIs) if using a diaphragm and spermicide. Leaving a diaphragm or cervical cap in for longer than 24 hours increases your risk for toxic shock syndrome. Finally, some people may have allergies to the chemicals used in spermicide creams or other spermicide products. They may develop irritation of the vagina or penis.

    Natural birth control options

    Natural methods involve tracking a woman's menstrual cycle to try to determine when ovulation is most likely to occur, and avoiding sexual intercourse (or using barrier contraceptives) during that time. There are different ways to detect ovulation, including the basal body temperature method and the use of home ovulation test kits. Checking and recording the consistency of cervical mucus is another way to help determine when ovulation occurs.

    Surgical sterilization (tubal ligation or vasectomy) birth control

    Surgical sterilization is a form of permanent birth control that is available for both women (tubal ligation) and men (vasectomy). Sterilization implants are a more recent type of permanent birth control that is available for women that allows women to avoid the surgical procedure associated with tubal ligation.

    Although women who have had tubal ligation do not have side effects after recovering from the procedure, any surgery itself carries a small risk of infection or bleeding as well as complications from the anesthetic agents.

    Likewise, the vasectomy procedure is associated with small risks from the procedure as well as some swelling and pain in the days following the procedure.

    Source: http://www.rxlist.com

    Barrier options prevent fertilization of the egg by a sperm cell. These either prevent contact between egg and sperm via a physical block or kill sperm cells before they are able to fertilize an egg. Examples of physical barrier contraceptives include the diaphragm, condoms, and the cervical cap or shield. Contraceptive sponges contain a spermicide cream to kill sperm cells, and other forms of spermicides are available as well. Spermicides may be used in combination with barrier methods for greater effectiveness.

    Side effects of barrier methods of birth control can include an increased risk for developing urinary tract infections (UTIs) if using a diaphragm and spermicide. Leaving a diaphragm or cervical cap in for longer than 24 hours increases your risk for toxic shock syndrome. Finally, some people may have allergies to the chemicals used in spermicide creams or other spermicide products. They may develop irritation of the vagina or penis.

    Source: http://www.rxlist.com

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