Birth Control

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Birth control refers to a group of different kinds of methods, devices, and agents that prevent conception, in sexually active individuals. Birth control has become very necessary in terms that it is a very effective form of population control. Birth control can be classified into 5 types:

  1. Hormonal methods
  2. Barrier methods
  3. Intrauterine device implantation
  4. Natural methods
  5. Emergency contraception


  1. Hormonal methods

These are some of the common hormonal methods

  • Combined hormones (Pill, Patch, Nuvaring)
  • Progestin only (Depo-provera, Progestin-only pill)
  1. Barrier methods
  • Condoms
  • Spermicides
  • Diaphragm
  • Cervical cap
  • Sterilization
  1. Intrauterine device (IUD)
  • Copper type
  • Hormonal type
  1. Natural methods
  • Abstinence
  • Fertility awareness method
  • Lactation amenorrhea method
  • Withdrawal
  1. Emergency contraception
  • Hormonal pills

Adverse Effects and Complications

Each type of birth control method comes with its own set of adverse effects and complications. Following are some of the adverse effects related to each type:

  1. Hormonal methods
  • Nausea
  • Headache
  • Weight gain
  • Mood changes
  • Breast tenderness
  1. Barrier methods
  • Condoms can rip during intercourse
  • Diaphragm and cervical caps can lead to infections, menstrual irregularities
  • Sterilization is permanent
  1. Intrauterine device
  • Uterine wall perforation
  • Cramping and backache
  • Increased menstrual cramps
  • Pelvic inflammatory disease
  1. Natural methods
  • Not always 100% effective (except abstinence)
  • Requires a lot of calculation and planning
  1. Emergency contraception
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue
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