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Top 5 contraception methods

First contraception methods were developed in ancient civilizations. Different types of society were concerned about number of children for several reasons (food, working power, reproduction, support, etc.). Prevention of unplanned pregnancies was always the issue. Ancient books describe how people have used contraception methods for thousands of years. Modern developed civilization offer many types of family planning and sometimes it is pretty difficult to choose the right one. This is why here we introduce top 5 contraception methods which can provide high effectiveness, security and minimum side effects.

Different types of contraception are available almost in all countries and it is very important to choose the best method for each person and for each couple. Only you can decide what is best for you. Top 5 contraception methods can be used during different periods of your life. While choosing birth control method, you should know that there is no 100% contraception if you use only one method but you can have 100% contraception by using dual contraception.

Top 5 contraception methods – Birth control pills

Birth control pills are most popular in XXI century – they can be used not only for contraception but also for treatment of acne, irregular menstrual cycles, ovarian cysts and even sometimes for breast enlargement (see “Birth control pills and breast size”). Contraceptive effectiveness of birth control pills is high (97-98%, if correctly used). Birth control pills don’t protect from sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).

Birth control pills contain two synthetic hormonal components (estrogen and progestin). These hormones prevent natural cyclic hormonal fluctuations and inhibit ovulation. Unplanned unwanted pregnancy is prevented by combination of factors including prevention of egg release from ovary (stop ovulation), change in cervical mucus (creating problems for sperm to find egg) and transformations in internal uterine lining (making it inhospitable for implantation).

Top 5 contraception methods

Birth control pills benefits:

  • Prevent pregnancy,
  • Improve menstrual cycle,
  • Prevent some types of cancer,
  • Protect from ovarian cysts,
  • Promote clear skin (improve acne),
  • Reduce risks for PID, anemia and ectopic pregnancy.

Birth control pills side effects:

  • Nausea,
  • Weight gain,
  • Sore or swollen breasts,
  • Brown spotting between periods (mainly during missed pills),
  • Lighter periods,
  • Mood changes,
  • Headaches.

Top 5 contraception methods – IUDs

Intrauterine devices (IUDs) are considered as safe and effective method of reversible contraception. IUDs are small flexible devices made of metal and/or plastic – they can be inert or could release hormone (mainly progestin).Intrauterine devices (without hormonal component) have proved to be highly effective for at least 10-12. The levonorgestrel-releasing IUD lasts for more than 5 years.

Intrauterine devices prevent pregnancy by a combination of actions including:

  • Inhibition of sperm migration in the upper female genital tract;
  • Inhibition of ovum transport;
  • Inhibition of fertilization;
  • The levonorgestrel-releasing IUD, in addition to the above, causes changes in the amount and viscosity of the cervical mucus, inhibiting sperm penetration.

Users of intrauterine devices could experience few side effects:

  • Pelvic pain and cramping could occur for first 24-48 hours after insertion;
  • Abnormal vaginal discharge could occur during first few weeks due to the initial reaction of uterine internal lining;
  • Changes in menstrual periods (longer menstrual period, brown spotting between periods, uterine bleeding) are common during first 3-6 months.

Top 5 contraception methods – Condoms

Health commercial industry produces two types of condoms (for females and males). Both are considered as pretty effective modern contraception. Each year the quality of condoms is improving and providing better and safer contraception.

Male condom is a sheath made to fit over the erect penis. It collects semen and acts as a barrier preventing passage of sperm into the vagina. Most condoms are made of thin latex rubber. When used correctly, male condoms can be effective method of contraception and prevention of sexually transmitted infections.

Female condom is made of soft pliable polyurethane pre-lubricated with a silicone-based substance (dimethicone). It is inserted into the vagina before sexual contact. An inner ring is used for insertion and holds the condom in place high in vagina; an outer ring lies flat and covers the labia during sexual contact. Female condoms also prevent transmission of infections from one partner to another.

Condoms can have only few rare side effects such as discomfort and allergy to latex or lubricants.

Top 5 contraception methods – Emergency contraception

Emergency contraception (morning after pills) is a very specific kind of contraception which can be used ONLY after unprotected sexual contacts. Most emergency contraception pills work during first 72 hours. The sooner you take morning after pills, the better they work. If you use emergency contraception correctly after you have unprotected sex, it makes it much less likely that you’ll get pregnant.

Emergency contraception cannot be used as ordinary contraception – it can be used only if:

  • you didn’t use any contraception when you had vaginal sexual contact;
  • you messed up your contraception (missed pills, forgot to change your patch or ring, didn’t make your shot on schedules time, your partner didn’t pull out in time);
  • your condom broke or slipped off;
  • you were forced to have unprotected vaginal sex.

Recently modern technologies develop a new generation of emergency contraception called “ella” which can be taken during 120 hours (5 days) after unprotected sexual contact. According to experts, ella works just as well on day 5 as it does on day 1.

Emergency contraception side effects are temporary and harmless, but annoying (nausea, bleeding between periods, dysfunction of menstrual cycles).

Top 5 contraception methods – Dual contraception

Dual contraception is the most effective – it protects not only from unwanted pregnancies but also from sexually transmitted infections. Dual contraception is simultaneous use of modern effective contraception by both partners which could be an ideal way to prevent both pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections and diseases. Safe dual protection means mutual monogamy between healthy non-infected partners who chose to use modern effective contraception. You can use different combinations for dual contraception:

  • Birth control pills combined with male condoms;
  • Intrauterine device (IUD) combined with male condom;
  • Spermicides combined with male condom;
  • Condom only double contraception (female condom combined with male condom).

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