You can prevent a baby without using a condom. Which method of contraception you choose will depend on how often you need it, how permanent you need it to be and how comfortable you are with using the product. Many contraceptive options can save you from a pregnancy scare for months on end, while other options can keep you baby-free for the rest of your life.
You have five basic types of contraceptive methods to choose from, according to the Mayo Clinic. These types of methods are barrier, hormonal, intrauterine, sterilization and natural family planning. Cervical caps, diaphragms, contraceptive sponges and spermicide are examples of barrier methods. Birth control pills, implants, vaginal rings, patches and injections are all hormonal methods. Examples of sterilization are vasectomies and tubal ligation. Measuring the female’s temperature and keeping track of cervical secretions are methods used in natural family planning.
These five contraception methods use various techniques to prevent pregnancies. Barrier methods are items placed in the genital area to block sperm and/or kill sperm so that it cannot fertilize the female’s eggs. Hormonal and intrauterine methods prevent the female’s eggs from being fertilized using the female’s body to regulate the process. Sterilization keeps the sperm from leaving the body during ejaculation in the male and keeps the female’s egg from being dropped for fertilization. Natural family planning is simply waiting to have sex during the least-fertile times during a woman’s cycle.
Each method has its own benefits. Barrier methods are temporary and can be removed in minutes. Hormonal and intrauterine techniques are more long-term and do not need to be inserted before sex, preserving the mood. Sterilization is the most permanent choice and is a worry-free option for couples who are not planning on ever getting pregnant. Natural family planning is an all-natural choice for couples who are against using chemicals for contraception.
Many people discount natural family planning as a valid form of contraception because they believe it does not work. According to a 2007 study by the Department of Gynaecological Endocrinology at the University of Heidelberg, Germany, published in “Science Daily,” natural family planning that uses two fertility indicators is just as effective as a contraceptive pill for preventing pregnancy.
Contraception that alters your hormones can have serious health risks. Consult your doctor about the risks before starting any hormone-related contraceptive options, such as the pill. Also, pills, shots and rings do not protect you from sexually transmitted diseases, such as HIV and herpes.