Sex is an extremely sensual experience and an excellent way to bond with one’s spouse or partner. While having safe and healthy sex can enhance the experience, unprotected sex may result in unwanted pregnancies and contraction of sexually transmitted infections.
Using contraceptives can be extremely beneficial when one doesn’t intend to have a baby. There are many types of contraceptives and birth control methods to prevent unwanted pregnancies. This blog discusses the seven most effective types. Read on to know more.
- 1. Condom
The big drawback of a condom is that it is not 100 percent effective in preventing pregnancies. As per Guttmacher Institute, it is 98 percent effective when used perfectly. To ensure the utmost efficacy of a condom, check its expiry before buying or using, avoid exposure to light and heat, ensure not to tear while opening, use a water-based lubricant, and prevent it from slipping off pre and post intercourse.
- 2. Permanent method of contraception
Tubal ligation and vasectomy are the permanent methods of contraception for women and men respectively. The former is a procedure that seals off nearly an inch of each fallopian tube to prevent the egg from traveling towards the uterus and coming in contact with sperm. The latter is a procedure in which the vas deferens, which are the small tubes in the scrotum that carry sperm, are severed or blocked.
Although the success rate of the birth control methods is one hundred percent effective, they don’t protect against sexually transmitted diseases.
- 3. Hormonal contraceptives
These consist of tiny amounts of artificial hormones (such as estrogen and progesterone) that change the regular hormonal cycles of the body and prevent pregnancy. The contraceptives thicken cervical mucus such that sperm cannot travel to an egg or prevent ovulation.
Apart from the birth control pills, hormonal contraceptives consist of vaginal rings, birth control implants, birth control shots, and birth control patches. Though hormonal contraceptives have a high efficacy rate of 99.9 percent, they have some side effects such as nausea, headache, weight gain, change in the menstrual cycle, vaginal yeast infections, and sore breasts.
- 4. Calendar rhythm method
The calendar rhythm method entails using a calendar and keeping a track of ovulation dates, menstrual cycles, and the chance of getting pregnant. In this method, ovulation dates can be determined by keeping a tab on the prior menstrual cycles. As the chance of getting pregnant is high on the ovulation dates, it is best to abstain from having sex during the fertile days.
The biggest plus point of this method is that it is natural and does not require the use of medications and artificial methods. On the flip side, however, there is a chance of miscalculation. Apart from that, stress, food habits, and other body and lifestyle changes can affect the menstrual cycle as well as ovulation dates and increase the risk of getting pregnant.
- 5. Barriers
Like condoms, barriers can prevent unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections. But these are not as effective as the former. The most popular barriers are diaphragms and sponges. The former is a shallow and flexible cup manufactured from silicone that is put inside the vagina. By covering the cervix, it prevents sperm from reaching an egg. Their efficacy is more when they are used with spermicide. The latter is a round and small plastic that is inserted deep inside the vagina for up to 24 hours before intercourse.
Both diaphragms and sponges are about 80 to 85 effective when used perfectly and 75 to 80 percent effective when used typically. The main advantages of using these contraceptives are they are simple and safe to use while breastfeeding and they don’t affect the menstrual cycle and have no major side effects. The biggest demerit is their lower efficacy to prevent unwanted pregnancies compared to condoms and permanent methods.
- 6. Cervical caps
This is a silicone cup similar to the diaphragms but smaller in size. The cap is inserted deep into the vagina and its efficacy increases manifold when used with spermicide. It is also more effective in women who have never given birth. As per Planned Parenthood, while the cap is 71 percent effective for women who have had given birth before, it is 86 percent effective for those who have never given birth.
Though these are sold in medicine stores and pharmacies, a prescription is necessary to buy these. A doctor or registered nurse can determine the best size of the cervical cap after conducting a checkup.
- 7. Internal condom
Also known as a female condom, this type of contraceptive is placed inside the vagina before intercourse. Covering the inside of the vagina, the internal condom creates a barrier that prevents sperm from traveling to an egg. Like regular condoms, this not only prevents unwanted pregnancies but also sexually transmitted infections. These are as effective as the regular ones.
All in all,
When not planning a baby, contraceptives are extremely useful in preventing unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases. While it is crucial to select the best and most effective contraceptives for excellent sex life and health, it is equally important to select the best sanitary products to maintain utmost hygiene and wellness. At Wonderize, we manufacture sanitary napkins, period panty, and panty liners that protect heavy flow and provide excellent value for money.