What are the Contraceptive Methods?

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What Does Contraceptive methods Mean

We explain what contraceptive methods are and what types exist. Also, advantages and disadvantages of male and female methods.

The pills reduce a woman's fertility to 1.1% unwanted pregnancy.

What are the contraceptive methods?

Contraceptive methods, contraception or contraception are understood as the different ways that exist to prevent pregnancy . Some of them even serve to prevent venereal diseases or STDs.

These are varied techniques and procedures, some extremely ancient, although most of the really effective ones were not available until the middle of the 20th century. Contraceptive methods are part of family planning , a strategy by which couples can choose the most propitious moment of their lives to have children, and not do it in a disorderly and improvised way.

Contraceptive methods, despite the fact that by some religions and traditional positions they are not well seen, the emergence and massification of modern methods have not only allowed women a greater margin of decision regarding whether or not they want to get pregnant and from whom, but has also made it possible to combat the reproduction of poverty to the extent that families with fewer resources can enjoy their privacy without necessarily having to expand their family.

Even so, it is true that contraceptives only work ideally if they are accompanied by good sexual and reproductive education, especially in the stages of adolescence , considered the most vulnerable due to the awakening of libido that occurs during puberty.

Contraceptive methods can be classified according to their nature in:

  • Barrier. Some element is used to physically block the contact of the genital organs and their secretions.
  • Hormonal. It consists of drugs or medications to temporarily and artificially inhibit female fertility.
  • Behavioral. Those that consist of sexual practices that try to prevent fertilization.
  • Doctors. More or less invasive interventions, reversible or not, that reduce the fertility of men or women.

See also: Abortion

Male contraceptive methods

The condom has a high safety index and protects against STDs.

The contraceptive methods available to men are:

  • Condom or condom. One of the most recommended methods, which consists of a latex barrier that is unrolled around the erect penis and covers it, isolating it from contact with the vagina. This method not only has a high safety rate (around 2% unwanted pregnancies), but it also protects against STDs, which makes it one of the most recommended in the world. Condoms are disposable and in most cases do not present adverse reactions (there are people who are allergic to the material from which they are made).
  • Coitus interruptus or interrupted intercourse . A popular and extremely old but extremely unreliable method of removing the penis from the vagina just prior to ejaculation. Not only does this method not protect against STDs at all, it has a low efficacy rate(18-25% unwanted pregnancies).
  • Sterilization. It consists of a medical procedure called vasectomy, in which the passage of sperm to the ejaculatory duct is interrupted, generating permanent artificial infertility. This method does not protect against STDs and usually presents a minimal margin of regret, depending on the love and reproductive history of the individual.

Female contraceptive methods

Female contraceptive methods are:

  • Oral contraceptives. The well-known contraceptive pills consist of a treatment throughout the menstrual cycle, which reduces the fertility of the woman (to 1.1% of unwanted pregnancy, if used well). They do not protect against STDs and require medical supervision, since it is a hormonal treatment that can have side effects in women, and if it is not carried out correctly, it is not so safe (increases to 13% of pregnancies).
  • Contraceptive implants, injections and patches. These are temporary applications on the woman's body: implants under the skin or patches on it, which work in a similar way to oral contraception: using hormones. Their reliability is extremely high (99% effective in implants, 94% in injection and 91% in patch) but must be applied and renewed from time to time by a doctor, and they do not protect against STDs.
  • Intrauterine Devices (IUD). The famous "copper T" consists of an intrauterine implant that operates on the basis of hormones, preventing pregnancy in 99% of cases. Although it does not protect against STDs, it is a long-term method (between 3 and 6 years) and can even be used as an emergency method.
  • Female condom. A variant of the condom, but that is inserted into the vagina and isolates it from contact with the penis. It is less effective than the male condom (provides 79% safety) but protects against STDs.
  • Cervical diaphragm. It is a physical barrier that is inserted into the uterus and prevents the passage of sperm, making fertilization impossible. It is 88% effective and does not protect against STDs.
  • Emergency pills. These are non-abortive pills that are ingested up to 72 hours after sexual intercourse (the shorter the time, the more effective they are), and reduce the chances of pregnancy. They cannot be used as a regular method of protection and are only for emergencies.
  • Rhythm method. It consists of limiting intercourse to the days when the menstrual calendar indicates low fertility, before ovulation, for example. Other similar methods look at the temperature or cervical mucus. This method does not protect against STDs and is only 76% effective.
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