Contraceptives for women are used in the prevention of pregnancy. The most common contraceptives are condoms and birth control pills. However, there are other female contraceptives for which you need to speak with your doctor. The choice of contraception depends on your health or wish to prevent certain diseases and personal preferences and beliefs.
Popular contraceptives for women
- Abstinence: Many women consider refusing sex as an option. This is true since no contraceptive is 100% secure. Abstinence prevents STDs, unwanted pregnancy and risks.
- Barrier methods: Barrier methods like the cervical cap, diaphragm, condoms and contraceptive sponges block the sperm from entering the uterus. However, using them may increase risks of infections or allergies in the urinary tract.
- Condoms: These are not expensive and available easily. Condoms may be used along with other modes of birth control. When used with spermicides, condoms are effective against pregnancy and STIs. However, female condoms are not too effective.
- Hormonal approaches: These contraceptives for women prevent pregnancy chiefly by forestalling ovulation. The hormonal methods are generally prescribed by the doctor and usually include patches, pills, vaginal rings, implants, hormone shots and IUD or intrauterine devices.
- Pills: This is an orally taken contraceptive which should be taken everyday. Women taking pills usually have a period in 4 weeks. Some pills reduce the frequency of the period to once in 3 months. Side effects of the pills include nausea, acne, high blood pressure, headache, bloating, breast tenderness, depression and obesity.
- Patch: These contraceptives for women are thin and flexible, worn on the upper arm, chest, stomach or buttocks. The patch is worn once a week up to 3 weeks. During the fourth, it is not put on and period starts. In the first couple of months, you may experience breast discomfort and blood clots. You should not smoke while wearing the patch.
- Vaginal ring: This is a thin and flexible circular ring which is inserted into the vagina for around 3 weeks. When the ring is taken out, the period begins. After that, a fresh ring is inserted.
- Implants and hormone shots: The hormone shot or injection is taken in the arm to prevent pregnancy for around 3 months. The side effects include headache, mood swings, obesity and changes in periods. A hormone implant is flexible, thin plastic inserted in the upper arm. With an implant, a pregnancy is avoided for 3 years, although implants can be eliminated any time. The side effects may include uncomfortable periods or none at all.
- IUD: An intrauterine device is small and T-shaped inserted in the uterus. It may contain copper or may release a small quantity of the progestin hormone. The copper IUD lasts for about 12 years, while the hormonal IUD lasts up to 5 years, is safe with fewer side effects.
- Sterilization: In this process, a woman or man may engage in a surgery for preventing pregnancy permanently. Sterilization is recommended only when you are 100% sure about not having kids. In Tubal Ligation, the fallopian tubes are closed to prevent the eggs from traveling into the uterus.
- Natural planning: In natural family planning, the couple should be aware of the woman’s ovulatory phase. A barrier method needs to be used. Often, withdrawal is not effective as some sperm is left behind before the man pulls out.
The effectiveness of the contraceptives for women depends on using them in the appropriate manner.