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Understanding Birth Control Methods

Birth control methods are technique and practices that are used to reduce and prevent the likelihood of a woman becoming pregnant. The use of birth control methods allws a woman to have more control over how large her family is as well as how often she becomes pregnant.

It is important that women remember that the birth control method that works for one woman may not be the best solution for another. A woman should be well informed of the options available to her when she consults her doctor about birth control. Even when using a form of birth control, women should always protect themselves against sexually transmitted diseases.

Abstinence

Abstinence from sexual activity is the most effective method of birth control. It is also the most cost effect since there is no cost to being sexually abstinent. Sexual abstinence happens when a couple decides that they will not have sexual intercourse.

Being sexually abstinent individuals often participate in other forms of sexual activity such as fondling. It is important to remember that some people consider themselves abstinent only if they abstain from sexual activity in any form. This form of birth control has no medical or hormonal side effects. Individuals who use this form of birth control are also less likely to catch a sexually transmitted disease.

Birth Control Pill

The Birth Control Pill, also known as the Pill, is a small pill that is taken by the mouth daily to prevent pregnancy. The Pill contains either the hormones estrogen and progestin or just the hormone progestin. The hormones that are in the Pill prevent a woman’s ovulation, thus preventing pregnancy. The cervical mucus is also thickened when a woman is using this form of birth control. This keeps the sperm from connecting with an egg.

Vominting, nausea, bleeding between periods and breast tenderness are common side when using the Pill. Bleeding between periods is more common in women who use the Pill that only contains the hormone progestin. A month’s supply of this method of birth control costs between $ 15- $50 a month. When used correctly, less than 1 in 100 women will become pregnant. When used incorrectly, approximately 8 in 100 women will become pregnant.

Vaginal Ring (Nuva Ring)

The vaginal Ring, also known as the Nuva Ring, is a small ring that is placed in the vagina for three weeks and is removed during the fourth week to allow menstruation to occur. This form of birth control uses the hormones estrogen and progestin. Like the Pill, the Vaginal Ring prevent a woman from ovulating which prevents pregnancy. Also like the Pill, the Nuva Ring prevents sperm from uniting with an egg by thickening the cervical mucus.

Women who use the Vaginal Ring may experience some of the same side effect as those who use the Pill. These include vomiting, nausea and bleeding between periods. One month of this birth control will usually costs $15-$50 a month. When used correctly less than 1 in 100 women will become pregnant. When used correctly, roughly 8 in 100 women will become pregnant.

Birth Control Shot (Depo-Provera)

The Birth Control Shot, also known as Depo-Provera, is a form of birth control that requires that a person receives a shot in her arm every 12 weeks as a means to prevent pregnancy. This shot only contains the hormone progestin. The hormones in Depo-Provera prevents a woman’s pregnancy by thickening the cervical mucus as well as preventing monthly ovulation.

Women who take this form of birth control may experience that their bones thin. They may also experience hair loss or body hair gain. Each shot of Depo-Provera costs between $35-75. In addition to this, the woman will have to pay doctor office fees. When used correctly, less than 1 in 100 women will become pregnant. When used incorrectly, 3 in 100 women will become pregnant.

IUD (Intrauterine Device)

The IUD, also known as the Intrauterine Device is a form of birth control that is implanted into the uterus. It is made of T-shaped plastic and is put in place by a healthcare provider. There are two types of IUD’s available. Mirena is implanted in the uterus for up to five years. It holds the hormone progestin. ParaGard is implanted in the uterus for up to twelve years and contains copper. Both IUD’s affect the manner in which sperm moves, which prevents it from fertilizing an egg. ParaGard can be implanted as a form of emergency birth control.

Women may experience spotting while using IUD’s. Periods may become more heavy. Women who use this form of birth control can, in rare cases, develop infections which may impair their ability to have children in the future. IUD’s cost between $175-$650 for 5-12 years of birth control. Less than 1 in 100 women will become pregnant while using an IUD.

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