If you and your partner are not ready to have a baby, consider various contraceptive methods. Of course, they have their pros and cons, so it’s best to know more about your options to decide which one would be right for you. Some of the factors to consider when making your choice are availability, effectiveness, and safety. Furthermore, some methods will protect you from sexually transmitted diseases like HIV and AIDS, while others do not. Below are some of the most common contraceptive methods.
Permanent contraceptive methods
These methods will keep you from getting pregnant, but they are permanent, so you must be 100% decided before trying them.
- Female sterilization. Also called tying tubes or tubal ligation, it closes or ties the fallopian tube so the egg and sperm would not meet, thus preventing fertilization. It’s a minor procedure, so you can be discharged on the same day. You also only need a few days of rest to return to your normal activities.
- Male sterilization. Also called vasectomy, it prevents sperm from going to the penis, so no sperm makes it out when he ejaculates. Like tubal ligation, the patient can also go home on the same day, and recovery is only for a few days.
Reversible contraceptive methods
There are also contraceptives that you can stop using, which could reverse the initial effects, should you choose to get pregnant. These options are great if you don’t want to have kids now but consider having them in the future.
- Birth control pills. You take these pills at the same time every day as prescribed by the doctor. The pills will prevent women from producing eggs; thus, there is nothing for the sperm to meet. They are easily accessible, but there are also several side effects of birth control pill that come with taking the medication. Some are nausea, migraines, vaginal discharge, missed periods, and breakthrough bleeding.
- IUD. The doctor inserts the intrauterine device or IUD inside the uterus to prevent pregnancy. Depending on the type of IUD, it could stay there for three to 10 years.
- Shot or injection. You may get a shot of the progestin hormone from your doctor every three months.
- Condoms. There are male and female condoms, and both prevent sperm from getting inside the woman’s body. These contraceptive methods also prevent sexually transmitted diseases like HIV and AIDS.
- Implant. A rod is inserted in your upper arm, which releases progestin hormone. It can remain effective for more than three years.
- Fertility awareness-based method. This is only for those with regular menstrual cycles. It determines when the woman is fertile or not, indicating the dates that are safe for sexual contact.
- Patch. It is prescribed by the doctor and placed on the upper body (except for the breast), buttocks, or abdomen. It releases estrogen and progestin in the blood, preventing pregnancy. Change the patch once a week for the next three weeks, then stop wearing one on the fourth week to get your period.
Talk to your partner about the contraceptive methods available, and decide the best option for you.