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Birth Control Methods - Know Your Options

Feb 26, 2008
Men and women are constantly facing the problem of what to do about birth control, they readily agree that they are not prepared to become parents and they need to make a choice about what method they should use. They know there are many options available, however most people are confused about what they are. Having a working knowledge will make you feel confident about the choice you make about birth control methods.

Making informed decisions about birth control will come after you have thoroughly researched the facts and discussed them with your medical care professional, as well as recruiting you partner or spouse to help you with the final decision process. While no method is 100% effective, some are very close to that number while others are not quite as effective, you should know which will offer you the maximum protection.

Before making your choice of contraceptive, you will need to consider certain factors. These factors include your general health, the number of partners you have, if you plan on bearing children in the future, how well your birth control method of choice works, and the possible side effects. Most types are safe but you should discuss side effects with your health professional so that you can avoid any future problems associated with the side effects of you method. Another important thing to remember is that most birth control methods do not prevent sexually transmitted diseases (STD), so it is recommended that you take that into consideration when choosing.

The most effective way to avoid STDs or pregnancy is abstinence (no sexual intercourse), it is the only form of birth control methods that is 100% effective against both pregnancies and STDs, however most people do not practice abstinence, so the use of other forms as a necessity.

One of the most effective forms of birth control methods available on the market today is the latex male condom. It offers the best protection from STDs and used correctly is also the best protection from pregnancy. It can be bought over the counter in pharmacies and is given away free in most clinics and family planning centers all over the country.

Oral Contraceptives (the Pill) are taken on a daily basis and block the ovaries from releasing eggs. This option is between 95% and 99% effective; however they will not protect you from STDs. The most common forms of this contraceptive are the Ovcon35 and Seasonale. There is also a miniature version of the medication called the Mini Pill which thickens the cervical mucus to prevent the sperm from reaching the egg. This method is about 92% to 99.99% effective. It may cause "birth control pill acne" birth control on your back and face.

Copper T IUD (intrauterine devices) are small devices that are shaped like the lowercase letter t and is placed in your uterus by your doctor. It stops the sperm from reaching and fertilizing the egg. This form of birth control does not protect against STD's and is about 99% effective.

Mirena (IUS) is another T shaped device placed in the uterus by the doctor. Mirena releases a hormone called Levonorgestrel every day. The hormone causes the cervical mucus to thicken and block sperm from fertilizing the egg. It is 99% effective and lasts in the system for 5 years.

Depo Provera is an injection of the hormone Progestin every three months. It does not protect against STDs and is 97% effective.

Less effective forms of birth control include female condoms, the diaphragm, contraceptive sponge, the patch, and the NUVA ring. While they do offer some measure of protection there is still a higher chance of pregnancy.

In conclusion, if you do not want to get pregnant, you should go ASAP to see your health professional to discuss the form of birth control method that is the best for you and know what you birth control options are.
About the Author
Tess Barksdale is your average new century woman, author, mother, daughter, friend, and businesswoman. Tess writes on many topics but loves discussing all things women. Find out more about birth control methods by visiting Tess at her website at http://womenshealthreport.org or her blog at http://womenshealthreport.org/blog
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