Miscellaneous

Everything a bride-to-be MUST know about Contraception & Birth Control

Shreya Gupta, 27 Jun 2019

As much as it is important to pay enough attention to your wedding lehenga and wedding planning, you must also be prepped for what comes ahead after you actually tie the knot! As you know that with marriage comes sex and with sex comes the fear of unplanned conceiving. Not everyone wants to get pregnant on their honeymoon or in their initial years of marriage and that's when you need to be enlightened about contraception the most. Contraception is something which you and your partner must be aware of before indulging in sexual intercourse and the two of you should definitely work out your best type of contraceptive to have some fearless fun. 

Contraception Methods: An ultimate guide

What are contraceptives?

Contraception, also known as birth control are methods or devices that help to protect against pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases.  There are certain ways or barriers for both men and women that help to avoid pregnancy.

Types of Contraceptives

There are several types of contraception but not all types of contraception are appropriate for all situations. The most appropriate method of birth control depends on the individual’s overall health, age, frequency of intercourse, and family history of certain diseases. The majority of birth control methods can be divided into Barrier or Hormonal methods. Keep reading to know more about it all.

Barrier Methods

Barrier or device methods of contraception are physical or chemical barriers designed to stop sperm from entering a woman's uterus and hence preventing pregnancy.

  • Male Condoms: Condoms are the only kind of contraception that can prevent pregnancy and can also protect against sexually transmitted diseases. Male condoms are made from very thin latex and create a barrier in the transmission of sperm from the man's penis.
  • Female Condoms: A female condom is a birth control device that refrains the sperm from entering the uterus. These are supposed to inserted into the vagina prior to having sex. They also prevent sexually transmitted diseases.
  • Diaphragm: A diaphragm is a shallow, bendable and cup-shaped device which is made up of soft silicone. It is inserted inside the vagina to cover the cervix before having intercourse.
  • Cervical Cap: A cervical cap is similar to a diaphragm but smaller. the cap fits more snugly on the cervix itself.
  • Spermicides: Spermicide is a gel-like substance which you put into your vagina before having intercourse. The chemical present in it prevents the sperm from reaching the egg.
  • Contraceptive Sponge: A birth control sponge is a small, round sponge made from squishy plastic. It is put deep inside the vagina before having sex and covers the cervix. It contains spermicides to help prevent pregnancy.

Hormonal Methods

Whether administered as a pill, patch, shot, ring or implant, hormone medications change the hormone levels during a woman's cycle by using different forms of synthetic hormones that mimic estrogen and progesterone that are naturally produced in a woman’s body. All these methods prevent 

  • Oral contraceptive pills: These are small tablets containing hormones which are to be swallowed by the women who want to prevent pregnancy.
  • Vaginal ring: It is a small flexible ring which is worn inside the vagina to control birth. It is a safe and convenient contraception method that prevents pregnancy by releasing hormones into the body. However, it does not prevent sexually transmitted diseases.
  • Birth control patch: Also known as a contraceptive patch, birth control patch is a transdermal patch applied on the woman's skin usually on the belly, upper outer arm, buttocks, etc. A patch releases synthetic hormones to prevent pregnancy. These patches need to be changed strictly every week on the same day.
  • Intrauterine contraceptives (IUCs): An intrauterine contraceptive is a small, mostly T-shaped birth control device inserted into a woman's uterus to prevent pregnancy.
  • Injectable contraception: A contraceptive injection is a shot of hormones that prevents pregnancy and lasts for 1 to 3 months.

How and when to take contraceptives?

While the barrier and hormonal contraceptives can be used as and when required or during intercourse, oral contraception needs to be planned and should be timely. So ladies, make sure you consult a gynaecologist before you start taking the birth control pills to make sure everything goes right!

How effective are contraceptives?

While on an average, most of the contraceptive methods are more than 90% effective but there is still a slight chance that you still might get pregnant. So if you are extra cautious to not to get pregnant no matter what, then consult a gynaecologist and find out the best way of contraception that would suit you and your beau.

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Pros & Cons of using Contraceptives

Pros

People use contraception for a variety of reasons such as:

  • Family planning
  • Reducing pregnancy-related risks
  • Saves you from Sexually Transmitted Diseases

Cons

There can be some side effects of oral contraception such as:

  • Breast tenderness
  • Nausea
  • Headaches and migraine
  • Weight gain
  • Mood changes
  • Vaginal discharge
  • Missed periods
    ...

    Find out which type of contraception suits you best!