Contraceptive methods - 5 ways to avoid unwanted pregnancy

Contraception is commonly referred to as a set of measures aimed at preventing conception and preventing the development of pregnancy. There are many methods and types of protection. However, not all methods of contraception are equally effective and universal.

Classification of contraceptive methods

Contraception is always considered by physicians as an integral part of the family planning system. With its help, you can regulate the birth rate, and taking hormonal contraceptives has a positive effect on women’s health. So, the use of such drugs reduces the frequency of abortions – one of the causes of gynecological pathologies. In addition, contraceptives are a kind of regulators of the onset of the pregnancy process.

Innovative methods of contraception prevent tumor processes in the reproductive system. Often with their help it is possible to prevent inflammation, menstrual cycle failures. Depending on the active ingredient and method of application, modern methods of contraception can be divided as follows:

  • intrauterine;
  • barrier;
  • natural;
  • hormonal;
  • surgical.

natural contraception

This type of contraception is commonly referred to as a set of measures that exclude the use of drugs and devices. The method is based on the exclusion of sexual intercourse on dangerous days – the period of ovulation in the female body. Because of this, it is often referred to as a calendar method of contraception. Efficiency can range from 6 to 40 according to the Pearl index (the number of pregnancies that occurred within 1 year in 100 women who used the method).

The calendar method of contraception is based on determining the time of ovulation in the body. This happens around the middle of the cycle. So, with a common 28-day cycle, this is the 14th day. Due to the fact that the cycle does not have constancy, the boundaries of the fertile period are shifted in both directions by 2 days. The life expectancy of spermatozoa is also taken into account – 4 days after sex. Given these features, with a cycle of 28 days, there is a high probability of conception from the 8th to the 17th day. If the cycle is not constant, then 11 days are subtracted from the duration of the shortest, and 18 days from the longest.

There are other, less common methods of natural contraception:

  • change in basal temperature (increases with ovulation);
  • coitus interruptus as a method of contraception is not considered, but is practiced among married couples;
  • examination of the consistency of cervical mucus (volume and extensibility increase).

calendar method of contraception

barrier methods of contraception

Modern methods of contraception have stepped forward, but often married couples use one of the oldest methods – barrier. It is based on creating an obstacle on the way of the sperm to the egg. Often this group of contraceptives is called mechanical. These birth control methods include:

Condoms are widely used, which are often referred to as male contraceptives. However, there are also female condoms – a thin cylindrical bag made of latex. There are 2 rings along the edges, one of which is inserted into the vagina and put on the neck, and the second is brought out. In this way, they create an obstacle for spermatozoa.

Hormonal contraception

Among the existing methods of preventing pregnancy, hormonal methods of contraception have gained great popularity. This is due to ease of use and availability. To prevent conception, a woman needs to take a hormonal drug (usually pills) according to a certain scheme at the same time. The preparations contain estrogenic and progestogen components.

Many hormonal methods of contraception in parallel with the protective action cause a violation of the growth of the uterine endometrium. Among the existing hormonal contraceptives, it is customary to distinguish the following forms:

1. Combined (estrogen-progestin):

  • oral;
  • plasters;
  • vaginal rings;
  • mini-pills (small doses of gestagens).

2. Implants.

3. Injections.

Chemical contraception

Chemical methods of pregnancy prevention are based on the use of special agents that have a detrimental effect on spermatozoa. These substances (spermicides) destroy the cell membrane of male germ cells, which leads to their death. Chemical contraceptives also contain benzalkonium chloride as a spermicide.

It should be noted that the effectiveness of this method is low – the Pearl index ranges from 6 to 20. Spermicides present on the pharmaceutical market are produced in the form of:

  • suppositories,
  • candles,
  • gels,
  • creams,
  • films.

A woman injects these funds immediately before sexual intercourse into the upper part of the vagina (10-20 minutes before sex). Almost immediately after the introduction, the drug exhibits a contraceptive effect. Repeated sexual intercourse requires additional administration of such funds, since they have a short-term effect. Doctors advise using these non-hormonal methods of contraception as an additional means, for example, when using barrier contraceptives.

methods of contraception

Surgical contraception

The surgical method of contraception, called sterilization, is a radical way to prevent pregnancy. It can be applied to both men and women. During sterilization in women, doctors artificially create obstruction of the fallopian tubes. As a result, fertilization becomes impossible. Surgical contraception in men is carried out by crossing the vas deferens, resulting in no sperm in the ejaculate.

Sterilization is the most effective method of contraception. Conception is possible in extreme cases and is due to a violation of the technique of surgical intervention. In some cases, recanalization of the fallopian tubes is possible – restoration of patency. This method is irreversible, therefore it is not used in women of reproductive age.

Emergency contraceptive methods

Emergency or postcoital is a type of contraception in which measures to prevent pregnancy are carried out after unprotected intercourse. These methods of contraception prevent conception at the stage of fertilization or implantation. They involve the introduction into the body of a large amount of hormonal substances that provoke endometrial detachment and cause bleeding (unscheduled periods).

This type of protection involves taking the tablet form of drugs, so it is often included in oral methods of contraception. Doctors are categorically against the frequent use of this method and do not recommend it to young women who have not yet given birth. Emergency contraception should be used in extreme cases:

  • when a condom breaks;
  • after rape;
  • with the ineffectiveness of other methods.

Methods of contraception after childbirth

Considering the methods of contraception after childbirth, doctors note the natural method of protection – lactational amenorrhea. With active lactation, breastfeeding produces a large amount of prolactin, which inhibits ovulation. This method is effective for at least 6 months if the child is regularly applied to the breast (at least 1 time in every 6 hours). The second most common method is the installation of a spiral. The procedure is carried out after the restoration of the uterus. Mothers also use traditional methods of contraception: a hot bath, lemon juice.

The most effective methods of contraception

Doctors cannot unambiguously name the best method of contraception. This is due to the fact that each organism is individual and there is no universal remedy and method. The selection of a contraceptive should be carried out on an individual basis, together with a doctor, after undergoing a comprehensive examination of the patient’s reproductive system.

Methods of contraception for women

Most girls choose hormonal drugs as effective and modern methods of contraception. These drugs are available, easy to use, well tolerated by the body. Sterilization, as the most reliable method of contraception, is rarely used. Many women want to achieve a temporary effect and not lose the opportunity to become a mother if they wish. Among the popular methods in women:

  • intrauterine device;
  • condom;
  • spermicides.

Methods of contraception for men

In the first place in men among the methods of contraception is a barrier (condom). Availability, ease of use, high efficiency make it the most popular. Many representatives of the stronger sex throughout the entire reproductive period use only this method. However, there are other effective methods of contraception for men, including:

  • hormonal drugs (androgens and antiandrogens);
  • subcutaneous implant – ampoules containing androgens are implanted by the surgeon under the skin, resolve within 2-4 weeks;
  • sterilization.