Types of birth control include:
Hormonal birth control methods include:
1. Birth control pills
2. Hormonal patches
3. Birth control implants
4. Vaginal ring
Barrier birth control methods include:
3. Cervical caps
Natural birth control methods include the use of:
1. Ovulation test kits
2. Cervical mucus examination
3. Tracking menstrual cycles (rhythm method)
Other types of birth control options include:
1. Intrauterine devices
2. Emergency contraception “morning after” pills
Surgical sterilization methods for birth control include:
1. Tubal ligation (“tubes tied”)
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 (birth control shot).
Common side effects of birth control pills
3. Weight gain
4. Skin discoloration
6. Bleeding between periods or spotting
7. Mood swings
8. Change in menstrual flow
9. Breast swelling or tenderness
10. Heart attacks, blood clots, and strokes are severe and potential complications of oral contraceptives.
Cigarette smoking increases the risk of these complications. This risk is highest in women over 35 who are heavy smokers (>15 cigarettes/day). Your health-care professional l usually will recommend that you quit smoking if you use birth control pills.
Barrier options prevent fertilization of the egg by a sperm cell. These either avoid contact between eggs and sperm via a physical block or kill sperm cells before they can 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. Spermicides may be used in combination with barrier methods for greater effectiveness.
Side effects of barrier methods of birth control
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.
• 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.
One of the advantages of using barrier methods is that they can decrease the risk of sexually transmitted diseases (especially properly used condoms). None of them eliminates this risk.
Natural methods involve tracking a woman’s menstrual cycle 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 (ovulation causes a slight increase in basal body temperature) 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.
These methods tend to be the least successful as they require discipline in recording and tracking and understanding of the results.
Emergency contraception types and side effects
Emergency contraception is a medication or device used to prevent pregnancy after unprotected intercourse has occurred. Emergency hormonal contraceptives are sometimes known as “morning-after” pills. These drugs prevent pregnancy if taken within 72 hours after intercourse. Insertion of a copper intrauterine device (IUD) is also an effective method of emergency contraception.
Side effects of emergency contraception or “morning after” pills can include
• breast tenderness, and
• lower abdominal pain.
Surgical sterilization is a form of permanent birth control available for both women (tubal ligation) and men (vasectomy). Sterilization implants (a small coil is inserted into the fallopian tubes to block them) are a more recent type of permanent birth control that is available for women that allow women to avoid the surgical procedure associated with tubal ligation.
What are the risks of a vasectomy or 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, including some swelling and pain in the days following the procedure. For a post-vasectomy, a man can still be fertile, and it is usually recommended that a barrier or other birth control method be used for 10-12 weeks or 15 to 20 ejaculations post-procedure.
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