How Not to Get Pregnant

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Having an unwanted child can be tragic for everyone involved. Some parents reject unwanted children, which can cause life-long damaging effects. According to Judge Orman W. Ketcham of the District of Columbia Juvenile Court, in a “Time” magazine article, most of the kids that came before him in the courtroom were unwanted children. Short of abstaining from intercourse, the only way not to get pregnant is by using some sort of birth control method.

Choose a Birth Control Method

The key to not getting pregnant is finding a birth control method that fits your life, according to Planned Parenthood. You have a number of birth control options, and it can be overwhelming to pick one. Planned Parenthood has a tool called, “My Method,” which asks you a series of questions that will help you make a decision. If your goal is not getting pregnant, effectiveness will probably be your biggest concern. However, you might want to factor in cost, convenience and protection from sexually transmitted diseases, too.

Effective Methods

If you are sure that you never want to become pregnant, you and your partner may want a permanent solution, such as a vasectomy for your partner or sterilization for you. If you may want to become pregnant some day, the IUD or the birth control implant are the most effective methods that are not permanent. Fewer than 1 in 100 women per year get pregnant using these methods.

Considerations

The next tier of birth control effectiveness, with two to eight women per 100 getting pregnant per year, are breastfeeding, the birth control shot (Depo-Provera), the birth control pill, ring or patch. If you have just given birth and are breastfeeding, your body does not ovulate. Depo-Provera injects a hormone into you that prevents pregnancy for three months. You take the pill every day. You change the ring once a month, and the patch once a week.

More Choices

Other birth control choices that are not quite as effective are the male or female condom, the diaphragm, the cervical cap, the sponge or the fertility-awareness method. The condoms, diaphragm, cervical cap and sponge require you to use them correctly every time you have sex. The fertility-awareness method is another name for the rhythm method, where you abstain from sex around the time of ovulation. With these methods, 15 to 25 per 100 women per year get pregnant.

Risky Methods

The least effective birth control methods are withdrawal and using a spermicide. About 30 pregnancies per 100 women each year happen using those methods. Withdrawal, also called the “pull-out method,” is convenient, but it is not terribly effective. You can use spermicide alone, but it is more effective to use it with a female condom or diaphragm.

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