Types of Birth Control

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Birth control, also known as contraceptives, is a term used to describe ways in which to avoid becoming pregnant. There are many types of birth control, some made for women and some for men. It is important to study your options before you decide which method is best for you. The types of birth control are:

Abstinence: One way to avoid becoming pregnant is to refrain from engaging in sex. This is the only method that is 100% effective in preventing pregnancy. You may chose to engage in other sexual activities such as oral sex or genital rubbing.

Male condom: The male condom is made out of a thin rubber called latex, that is rolled over the erect penis before contact with the vagina.

Female condom: The female condom is about 7inches long and is inserted into the vagina. This type of condom covers the cervix, vaginal canal, and area around the vagina. This method is usually not as effective as the male condom.

Spermacides: These are chemicals designed to kill sperm. They come in the form of foams, jelly, tablets (to be inserted in the vagina), and are contained in some condoms.

Diaphragms: A soft rubber dome that is filled with spermicide and inserted into the vagina over the cervix.

IUD: The IUD (Intrauterine Device), is a small plastic tube containing birth controlling hormones and is inserted into the uterus by a doctor. This does not stop the sperm from entering the vagina, but it does stop the sperm from connecting with an egg.

Birth control pills: Pills that are taken daily by the female and prevent the connection of sperm and egg. Usually this method is very effective, but should not be taken by individuals who are smokers as it raised blood pressure and chance of heart attack.

Birth control patch: A patch that is placed on your skin at such areas as the arm. There are pregnancy preventing hormones on the patch and they prevent pregnancy form occurring. You leave the patch on for three weeks and then remove it to allow for your monthly period.

Withdrawal: When the male withdraws his erect penis from the vagina prior to ejaculation. This method is very ineffective and does not prevent against any sexually transmitted diseases.

Sterilization: In females, a surgery is done which closes the fallopian tubes so eggs can no longer escape. In males, this is a surgery done which closes the tubes which allow sperm to escape. This method is permanent, and is usually not done until two people are married and have decided they do not want anymore children.

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