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8 Types of Contraceptives You Can Use to Prevent Pregnancy

8 Types of Contraceptives You Can Use to Prevent Pregnancy

Contraception, also known as birth control, plays a crucial role in empowering individuals to make informed decisions about their reproductive health and family planning. Contraceptive methods enable individuals to prevent unwanted pregnancies, space their children, and enhance their overall well-being. With a wide range of options available today, it is essential to understand the various contraceptive methods and their effectiveness to make informed choices.

This article explains in detail some of the most common contraceptive methods, highlighting their benefits, efficacy rates, and considerations for choosing the right method.

1. CONDOMS.

Also known as “barrier methods,” they act as physical barriers to prevent sperm from reaching the egg. They include male and female condoms, diaphragms, and cervical caps. These methods are readily accessible, protect against sexually transmitted infections (STIs), and have minimal side effects. 

Male condoms, made of latex or polyurethane, are worn over the penis, while female condoms are inserted into the vagina. Diaphragms and cervical caps, inserted into the vagina to cover the cervix, require a prescription and must be used with spermicide. Barrier methods offer a moderate level of effectiveness, with failure rates ranging from 12% to 21% due to inconsistent or incorrect use.

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2. HORMONAL METHODS.

Hormonal methods use synthetic hormones to prevent pregnancy. These methods include oral contraceptive pills, contraceptive patches, hormonal injections, vaginal rings, and hormonal intrauterine devices (IUDs). Oral contraceptive pills are taken daily, releasing hormones that prevent ovulation. 

Contraceptive patches and vaginal rings are changed monthly and deliver hormones through the skin or vaginal lining. Hormonal injections are administered every few months, while hormonal IUDs are inserted into the uterus by a healthcare provider. Hormonal methods are highly effective when used correctly, with failure rates as low as 0.1% to 0.3%. However, they may have side effects such as nausea, weight gain, mood changes, and irregular bleeding.

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(b.) Hormonal Patch:

A thin, beige patch that releases hormones through the skin, the patch offers a convenient alternative to daily pill intake. It is changed weekly for three weeks, followed by a patch-free week.

(c.) Hormonal Implants:

Small, flexible rods inserted under the skin of the upper arm, hormonal implants release progestin, preventing pregnancy for up to several years. They are highly effective and reversible.

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(d.) Hormonal Injections:

Progestin injections are administered every three months to prevent ovulation. They provide long-lasting contraception, making them suitable for those who prefer less frequent maintenance.

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3. Intrauterine Devices (IUDs)

IUDs are small, T-shaped devices inserted into the uterus to prevent pregnancy. They come in hormonal and non-hormonal (copper) varieties. Hormonal IUDs release progesterone, thickening the cervical mucus and thinning the uterine lining to prevent fertilization. 

Copper IUDs create an inhospitable environment for sperm, preventing fertilization. IUDs are highly effective, with failure rates of less than 1%. They provide long-term contraception, lasting from 3 to 10 years, depending on the type. IUDs require professional insertion but are hassle-free once in place. Some women may experience cramping and heavier periods with copper IUDs, while hormonal IUDs may cause irregular bleeding.

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4. EMERGENCY CONTRACEPTION.

Emergency contraception, often referred to as the “morning-after pill,” is used to prevent pregnancy after unprotected intercourse or contraceptive failure. It is available as a single pill or a two-pill regimen. Emergency contraception works by preventing or delaying ovulation, fertilization, or the implantation of a fertilized egg. 

It should be taken as soon as possible after unprotected sex and within the recommended time frame (usually up to 72 hours, but can be up to 120 hours depending on the type). While emergency contraception is effective in reducing the risk of pregnancy, it is not intended for regular use as a primary contraceptive method.

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5. STERILIZATION.

Sterilization is a permanent method of contraception that involves blocking or sealing the fallopian tubes in women (tubal ligation) or cutting and sealing the vas deferens in men (vasectomy). These procedures are considered permanent and require surgical intervention.

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6. ABSTINENCE.

Abstinence is a practice whereby a man or a woman refrains from having sexual intercourse until they’re ready for pregnancy. This means that if you don’t want any unwanted pregnancy in the next 5 years, then you shouldn’t have sex for the next 5 years. This method is the most effective type of contraceptive because it gives assurance and peace of mind.

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7. WITHDRAWAL METHOD.

This method is not always reliable, as it does fail. The withdrawal method is a process whereby the man pulls out immediately after he cums to avoid the semen going to the vagina to fertilize the egg. This method is recommended for experts only, as it is not always reliable.

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8. CALENDAR METHOD.

This is the type of contraceptive whereby a woman studies her body and menstrual cycle to understand her safe period, ovulation period, and menstrual period. This can be done by calculating your menstrual cycle to determine when you are safe to have sex and when you are not. There are many calendar apps that can help you achieve this. This method also works effectively for some women, especially those who have an understanding spouse.

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What are the best types of contraceptives?

The barrier method, which involves the use of condoms, is the best method among all other types of contraceptives because it is easy and safe to use and contains zero or fewer side effects. Oral contraceptives, which require the use of pills, are also one of the best because they’re reliable and also have fewer side effects, but abusing the pills can result in adverse side effects that may affect your chances of conceiving in the future.

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In conclusion, all contraceptive (birth control) measures have side effects, but if you realize you are experiencing the adverse or intolerable side effects of a particular type, it’s advisable for you to switch to another type that you can tolerate better. You should talk to your doctor about what you are experiencing so he can suggest alternatives.

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Comrade 9ja A.k.a 9jaPoly is A passionate Reporter that provides complete, accurate and compelling coverage of both anticipated and spontaneous News across all Nigerian polytechnics and universities campuses. 9jaPoly Started his career as a blogger and campus reporter in 2016.He loves to feed people with relevant Info. He is a polytechnic graduate (HND BIOCHEMISTRY). POLY TV is a relationship expert, life coach and polytechnic education consultant. Apart from blogging, He love watching movies and meeting with new people to share ideas with. Add 9jaPoly on WhatsApp +2347040957598 to enjoy more of his Updates and Articles.

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