Birth control options for females are increasing all the time yet it is still a very difficult task deciding which option to use. When women want to avoid pregnancy, they don’t want health risks or weight gain to be a factor. Each year more women are getting off of the pill and using alternate forms of birth control. Women want a birth control method that is convenient with very little or no side effects.
Unfortunately, they usually have to choose which one is more important. When a woman uses certain types of birth control she cannot always “act in the moment” because of certain preparation needed prior to sex in order to avoid pregnancy.
Here Are the 5 Birth Control Options for Females
Abstinence is the one and only form of birth control that is 100% effective against pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases. A person that practices complete abstinence (no skin-to-skin contact) avoids all types of genital and sexual contact. Although many people have a different interpretations for the word abstinence it includes avoiding every type of penetrative sex whether oral, vaginal or anal sex. Ultimately, a person makes their own decision on what other activities they are or are not comfortable with such as kissing or holding hands.
Many people choose to abstain from sex off and on throughout their lives for reasons other than avoiding pregnancy and diseases. Regardless of the reason it can be a difficult decision and hard to stand by as others either don’t understand your reasons or they are just trying to make you “give in.”
IUD stands for intrauterine device which is a T-shaped piece of plastic that can be copper-coated and placed inside the uterus to prevent pregnancy. The type of IUD that releases hormones are made of plastic. The IUD creates an environment that makes your uterus unwelcoming to sperm and some devices can stop ovulation. Hormonal IUD’s also help thin the uterine lining and to thicken cervical mucus. The IUD is long lasting, easily reversible, more than 99% effective and the second most commonly used method worldwide following sterilization. This device can prevent pregnancy from three to 10 years depending on the brand.
The IUD is so tiny that you do not feel it even during sex but if you do, something has gone wrong such as an expulsion where the IUD has come out of the uterus. You cannot buy an IUD over the counter and you must have the device put in place by a doctor. When using the IUD, you do not have to remember to take something daily or insert something right before sex. This device will not prevent sexually transmitted infections however it can be used in conjunction with male or female condoms to prevent diseases.
- Female Condoms
The female condom is a birth control contraceptive that acts as a barrier to keep sperm from entering the uterus in order to prevent pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections. The female condom has a loose-fitting pouch and is very soft. It is inserted into the vagina and sometimes called an internal condom. This type of birth control is available without a prescription and there’s no need for a special fitting. It can be inserted up to 8 hours prior to sex, has minimal risks and side effects and rarely causes allergic reactions. About 21 out of every hundred women that use female condoms will become pregnant. It’s possible this figure is high because they don’t use a condom every single time they have sex.
The female condom has a higher failure rate than the male condom for both preventing pregnancy and sexually transmitted. Women should consider using additional water or oil-based lubricants to make it easier to insert the condom. The female condom should be removed and thrown in the trash immediately after sex.
A contraceptive implant is placed under the skin of the woman’s upper arm. The implant releases a steady dose of a progestational hormone which thickens the cervical mucus and the endometrium (thin lining of the uterus). The implant is a flexible plastic rod that is about the same size of a matchstick. The procedure is not painful because they numb the arm and it usually only takes about 5 minutes. The implant is more than 99% effective in preventing pregnancy. Fewer than one out of every 100 women who have implants get pregnant each year. One of the most common side effects is irregular bleeding usually in the form of spotting especially in the first 6 to 12 months after getting the implant.
A lot of women consider it a plus since they have lighter periods or none at all while using the implant. Some women experience continuous bleeding for 14 days or more. Implants are very inexpensive, safe to use during lactation, effective within seven days of implant insertion and are easily removed in the event a woman decides to become pregnant.
- Tubal Ligation
A tubal ligation is a surgery to prevent pregnancy. Doctors have been performing tubal ligations since the 1800s. This surgery is sometimes referred to as having your tubes tied or tubal sterilization. A tubal ligation blocks sperm from traveling up the fallopian tubes to the eggs and prevents an egg from travelling from the ovaries through the fallopian tubes which prevents pregnancy. Doctors can perform a tubal ligation as a stand-alone surgery or in combination with other surgeries such as a C-section or after childbirth. In most cases, this procedure cannot be reversed however when a reversal is attempted it requires major surgery and is not always effective.
Tubal ligation may decrease a woman’s risk in contracting ovarian cancer especially if the fallopian tubes are removed. In some cases, doctors will deny a woman from having a tubal ligation. Some of reasons for denial are being too young, having only one child, being unmarried or not having the spouses consent. Many women are infuriated when they are denied a tubal ligation and do not believe that these are valid reasons for them not to be able to prevent an unwanted pregnancy.