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Best Contraceptives for Men and Women
When you have thoughts about birth control, your mind goes to the several methods available that ensure you don’t get pregnant. While these methods work to prevent pregnancy, some work better than others. In all, the most effective way to avoid pregnancy is to abstain. But in cases where abstinence is not an option, what other methods can the couple use?
Couples, who have sex regularly and do not want to get pregnant, need to use birth control methods properly and ideally to achieve maximum results. For example, the birth control pill is an effective way to prevent pregnancy. But if a girl forgets to take them, then it becomes less effective. The same goes for most birth control methods.
This now raises the question, ‘What is the best birth control method?” If you have this question and need real answers to it, then continue reading this article, as we explain the birth control methods in detail to help you make a decision.
What’s the best birth control method?
The term “best” is used to describe a birth control method that is most effective in preventing pregnancy. It is a contraceptive method that effectively prevents you from getting pregnant, as well as suits your lifestyle. Hence, what is “best” among the several birth control methods differs from person to person.
What’s right for you may be worse for someone else. More so, your needs may change over time giving you reasons to try out other birth control methods. So, before you choose what kind of contraceptive method to use, here are few questions to ask yourself.
- Does the cost matter so much?
- How important is your privacy to you?
- As a lady, do you care if your menstruation is affected?
- Will you one day want to have a child?
- How perfectly do you want your protection plan to be?
- How much effort will you be ready to put in to prevent getting pregnant?
- Do you need to be protected against sexually transmitted diseases (STD)?
- Do you have a partner whose needs you care about?
How does Birth Control work?
Birth control methods work according to different categories. They include;
The behavior method of birth control is something you and your partner decide to take part in. For example, you both can decide to avoid having sex altogether (abstinence) and avoid it at several points in a woman’s cycle when she is most likely to get pregnant or remove the penis quickly from the vagina before ejaculation (withdrawal)
Several medical procedures are used to prevent conception. It is a procedure that changes your body and ensures you don’t get pregnant.
The hormonal method of birth control alters the woman’s body chemistry. Depending on the hormones, this method stops the ovaries from dropping the eggs, thickens the mucus around your cervix and builds a wall to keep sperm from reaching the egg, or thins the lining of the uterus.
The barrier method of birth control involves inserting a device into your body to block sperm from getting to the egg.
How Effective are Birth Control Methods?
The major reason people go for different types of birth control methods is dependent on their efficiency. When doctors speak about how effective a birth control method is, it is based on when it’s used “ideally” (exactly how it was designed to be used) or “typically” (by the average person in real life). “Typical” use considers that people can’t or won’t always use birth control methods correctly or consistently.
Below is a table showing the several birth control methods and how effective they are;
|Method of birth control||How effective is it?|
|Male Condom||Moderately effective|
|Birth control implant||Very Effective|
|Female Condom||Less effective|
|Withdrawal (pulling out)||Less effective|
|Birth control shot||Effective|
|Birth control pill||Effective|
|Birth control ring||Effective|
|Emergency contraception (taken 72 hours after unprotected sex)||Effective|
|Fertility awareness||Less effective|
Best Contraception Methods for Men and Women
Below are the various kinds of birth control for both men and women.
Abstinence is a behavioral type of birth control method. It involves avoiding all forms of sexual intercourse. To some people, abstinence means having zero sexual contact (complete abstinence), while for others it’s when the penis doesn’t have contact with the vagina.
Abstinence is a highly effective method of birth control when used correctly.
However, the downside to this is that you may have trouble saying “no” or “stop” when you’re enjoying other forms of sex play.
2. Birth Control Implant
A birth control implant is a hormonal method of birth control where a doctor inserts a matchstick-sized rod having progestin under the skin on your arm using a needle.
This method is very effective in preventing pregnancy, and it lasts up to 3 years. More so, the process can be reversed if you want to get pregnant.
The downside to this hormonal method is that it can cause rapid weight gain an abnormality to your period pattern.
3. Progestin/Copper IUD
Progestin/Copper IUD is a hormonal method of birth control where a small T-shaped device that has progestin or copper is inserted into your uterus.
This method is very effective in preventing pregnancy and can last up to 3-5 years. Once it’s removed, you can get pregnant.
The disadvantage of this is that it may cause irregular periods, pain, or ovarian cysts. In some unusual cases, it can worsen Pelvic Infections.
In rare cases, the IUD may get stuck in your uterus or cause a very serious infection.
4. Birth Control Shot (Depo-Provera)
Another birth control method that involves altering the hormones is the birth control shot.
In this method, your doctor gives you a shot of Progestin, which can last up to 3 months.
It’s a reliable method as birth control protection starts with the first shot.
However, the con to this method is that you have to get the injections on time, you can lose bone density, gain rapid weight, or have serious belly discomfort.
5. Birth Control ring (Vaginal ring)
The vaginal ring is another birth control method that alters the hormone in the woman’s body.
Here, you put a flexible plastic ring into your vagina. This ring helps to release progestin and estrogen.
This method is effective in preventing pregnancy and is very easy to use. It lasts up to one month for each ring. The demerit to this method is that you must keep the ring in place, and change it on schedule.
In addition, you may experience vaginal discharge and mild discomfort. In some cases, there are high risks of heart attack and stroke.
6. Birth Control patch
In this method, you stick a patch of about 2 inches across your abdomen, buttocks, arm, and back. Your skin absorbs good amount of estrogen and progestin from it.
You use it for 3 weeks, and then skip a week to enable you to have your period. This birth control method lasts up to 1 week per patch and is very easy to use.
Just like every other method, the downside to this is that it must be changed on time, and may cause a skin reaction.
In some cases, there are increased risks of blood clots and stroke.
7. Continuous-use Birth Control Pill
The birth control pill is a hormonal method of preventing pregnancy. It simply involves taking a pill with progestin and estrogen every day.
This method is effective and can last up to 3 months or 1 year depending on your prescription.
Its disadvantage is enormous, as you must take a pill at the same time every day. More so, it may cause spotting between periods than with regular birth control pills.
It may also cause changes in your period, breast tenderness, headache, and higher chances of blood clots, and stroke.
8. Diaphragm with spermicide
Contrary to other types of contraceptive measures, the diaphragm and spermicide method of birth control is a barrier one.
Here, you load a dome-shaped disk with sperm-killing jelly (nonoxynol-9) and put it into your vagina to cover your cervix.
This method works immediately and can last up to 2 hours straight. The best part is, neither you nor your partner can feel it.
It can be inserted hours before having sex and be left inside the vaginal wars for up to 24 hours. As long as you will add spermicide each time you have sex and then every 2 hours afterward.
Regardless of its pros, there are still some negative effects with the use of this method. It can cause irritation, allergic reactions, or infections.
Spermicides with nonoxynol-9 can increase the risks of HIV.
Withdrawal is a behavioral method of birth control. As the name implies, men remove their penis out of the vagina before they ejaculate.
It is totally of zero cost and easy to use and can be used with other forms of birth control.
However, the big risk to this is that the man may not pull out in time, and may pre-ejaculate. Pre-ejaculate can still contain sperm.
10. Fertility Awareness
Rounding up my list of best contraceptive methods is fertility awareness.
Here, women track their fertility to know which days to abstain from sex or use other forms of birth control.
This method lasts as long as it is practiced and is inexpensive. However, its major disadvantage is that you have to be very careful with record-keeping, and you can be sexually spontaneous during fertile periods. This means that errors are bound to happen.
Choosing which birth control method suits you is dependent on your needs and lifestyle.
Because, in the end, the goal is to prevent pregnancy. And either of these methods does just that.
Disclaimer: Our blog articles are to enlighten you on general healthcare or fertility-related issues. This isn’t a diagnosis. Please feel free to reach out to us for a consultation with a specialist to examine your case.