When you think of preventing pregnancies, the best move is to consider birth control methods that are effective, safe, and comfortable. With a wide variety of options available today, finding the one most suited to your needs may be a demanding task, but worthwhile.
The following birth control types are some of the most effective methods:
- Barrier options
These options prevent the fusion of the egg and sperm by obstructing the passage. The male condom is one of the most widely used birth control methods. Female condoms are also an alternative but not widely used. There are certain other advantages to using condoms. They both protect against STDs.
Other popular options include the diaphragm, cervical cap, and sponge. The diaphragm & cervical cap need to be inserted into the cervix, or the sponge is inserted into the vagina by a health care professional. It can be inserted much before intercourse, unlike condoms.
Word of caution – there is a risk of toxic shock syndrome and irritation to the inner lining of the cervix and vagina due to possible allergic reactions. It is advisable to do an allergy test before you choose any of these methods.
- Short-Term hormonal methods
These include combination or single hormone pills, the vaginal ring, and the patch. All these methods work on the body’s endocrine system and inhibit the release of an egg by releasing oestrogen and progesterone. They thicken the cervical mucus, preventing fertilisation.
Mankind’s Unwanted 21 is one such hormonal pill that is considered safe and effective. The vaginal ring can be self-inserted and must be removed every three weeks to experience the period. The patch also follows a similar mechanism and must be reapplied each week for three weeks.
Hormones can also be administered through injections. Although this may not be very cost-effective, they need to be injected once a month (as compared to the daily use of the pill and weekly use of the patch) by a health care professional.
These short-term methods are convenient but need to be regularly used to ensure effectiveness. Remember, they do not protect against STDs. In case you are not on any birth control or forget to use one, you can take Mankind’s Unwanted 72 emergency pill within 72 hours of unprotected sex. It is India’s No. 1 Contraceptive Tablet and widely available.
- Long-Term prevention methods
Some long-term birth control methods like Intra-Uterine Devices (IUDs) may be your ideal choice if the need to be consistent with short term methods like the pill or increased sensitivity to barrier options are some of your concerns.
There are two types of IUDs. The copper- T prevents a fertilised egg from implanting in your uterus. Once the device is placed, it can be kept for several years, depending on its type. It is reversible and can be removed if you plan a pregnancy. Consult your doctor about what kind of device suits you best. The hormonal IUD works like the ring and releases hormones to thicken the cervical mucus.
There are some permanent solutions to explore if you have decided not to have a child. These solutions are 99% effective. Tubal Ligation is one technique that involves blocking or cutting off the fallopian tubes. This, however, does not affect your menstrual cycle. It is important to note that this procedure cannot be reversed.
Birth control is a critical part of your life. Consult a health care worker along with your partner, to find out the best birth control method for you.