Types of Contraception

When it comes to birth control there are a number of different options available. Most people tend to stick to the traditional ones such as the pill or condom. However, there are many birth control and family planning options available, all of which have their pros and cons.

Why Should I Change the Contraception I Use?

Although it’s advisable to use contraception as a method for birth control, it shouldn’t mean you only use one or the same as what everyone else uses. The Telegraph recently published an article which showed 63% of 1000 women use the same type of birth control and questions whether the type of contraception they use should be changed.

While popular methods such as the pill or condom work well for many, they don’t work well for all. Contraception works differently for everyone so knowing the different options that are available and the pros and cons of each contraception can help you to make a more informed decision about the type you should be using.

Types of Contraception and Their Pros and Cons

Male Condom

What is the Male Condom? – The male condom is made out of thin latex and covers the penis to prevent sperm from entering the vagina. When used correctly the male condom is said to have an effectiveness of 98%, but this usually averages out at about 82% for most women.

Pros of the Male Condom

  • Condoms are one of the best ways to prevent STIs
  • In most cases there are no side effects
  • No advance preparation is needed, you only need to use them when you have sex
  • When used correctly, they’re a reliable way of preventing pregnancy

Cons of the Male Condom

  • When the wrong size is used the condom can break or even slip off
  • The man needs to pull our immediately after ejaculating before he becomes soft
  • Some people are allergic to latex, plastic or spermicides

Condoms

Female Condom

What is the female condom? – The female condom is made of thin polyurethane that loosely lines the vagina to stop any sperm from entering it. When used correctly is can have an effectiveness rate of 95%, but for most women it usually has an effectiveness rate of around 79%.

Pros of the Female Condom

  • It protects both partners from STIs
  • In most cases there are no medical side effects
  • When used in the right way it’s a reliable way of preventing pregnancy
  • You only need to use it when having sex

Cons of the Female Condom

  • It’s not as widely available as the male condom us
  • Has the possibility of being pushed into the vagina
  • Can split or tear when not used correctly

Contraceptive Injection

What is the Contraception Injection? – The contraception injection is a reversible contraceptive that does not depends on you taking it daily and is more than 99% effective. The injection will be given by a doctor or nurse and usually lasts 8 to 13 weeks.

Pros of the Contraceptive Injection

  • It doesn’t interrupt sex
  • There no worry to remember about taking the pill everyday
  • Can reduce painful periods
  • It offers some protection from pelvic inflammatory disease and can also give some protection against cancer of the womb

Cons of the Contraceptive Injection

  • It can’t be removed from the body once it’s been injected so side effects such as irregular periods or weight gain might occur sometime afterwards
  • Some women are prone to weight gain
  • Periods and fertility may take some time to return after stopping the injections

Contraceptive Injection

Contraceptive Implant

What is the Contraceptive Implant? – The contraceptive implant is a small and flexible rod that is placed under the skin of the upper arm. Having the rod implanted release progestogen to stop ovulation. It’s a long acting reversible contraception that has an effectiveness rate of over 99%.

Pros of the Contraceptive Implant

  • The average lifespan of an implant is three years, but it can be removed before
  • There’s no need to use any other type of contraception
  • When the implant gets the removed fertility returns to normal

Cons of the Contraceptive Implant

  • Increases the chances of getting acne in all age groups
  • Can be felt in the arm

Contraceptive Implant

Vaginal Ring

What is the Vaginal Ring? – The vaginal ring is a small plastic ring that is inserted into the vagina every month and releases hormones to stop ovulation. Most vaginal rings are said to have an effectiveness of 99% but in the average woman it is said to have a 91% effectiveness rate. The vaginal ring is used for three weeks out of four.

The Pros of the Vaginal Ring?

  • Once it’s fitted there’s no day to day worry of taking any other contraception
  • Periods can become lighter and more regular and consistent

The Cons of the Vaginal Ring?

  • Its not suitable for very overweight women or smokers over the age of 35
  • You need to insert it and remove it yourself
  • It has a risk of causing blood clots, breast cancer and cervical cancer, the risk is very low but the risk is still there
  • Temporary side effects such as headaches, nausea, mood changes and breast tenderness

Vaginal Ring

Diaphragm

What is the Diaphragm – The diaphragm is a soft dome made of either latex or silicone and is used with spermicide. Diaphragms are inserted into the vagina to cover the cervix and they can have a 92%-96% effectiveness rate, but it usually has an 88% effectiveness rate for the average woman.

The Pros of the Diaphragm

  • It can be put in any time before sex and removed 6 hours after
  • You only need to use it during sex
  • It poses no serious health risks

The Cons of the Diaphragm

  • You need to use spermicides with it
  • You might need to change the size of a diaphragm after have a baby, miscarriage or abortion
  • It can take time to learn how to use it correctly

Diaphragm

Tubal Occlusion

What is a tubal occlusion?

The Pros of a Tubal Occlusion

Tubal occlusion is the female form of sterilisation and is a permanent method for women who are sure they will never want children. The tubal occlusion works by cutting or sealing the fallopian tubes in an operation.

  • Periods aren’t affected
  • You’ll never need to take or use contraception again

The Cons of a Tubal Occlusion

  • It’s a procedure that can’t easily be reversed
  • You might experience some discomfort after the operation
  • It’s important to be completely certain, so seeking advice and counselling beforehand is always recommended

Tubal Occlusion

Vasectomy

What is a vasectomy? A vasectomy is the male form of sterilisation. It’s a permanent birth control method for men who have decided they don’t want to have children. Having a vasectomy carried out involves the tubes that carry sperm from the man’s penis are cut, sealed or tied.

The Pros of a Vasectomy

  • You won’t need to use contraception again
  • It’s a relatively quick procedure and can usually be performed under general anaesthetic

The Cons of a Vasectomy

  • It’s a procedure that’s difficult to reverse
  • Some discomfort might be felt after an operation
  • It’s important to be completely certain, so seeking advice and counselling beforehand is always recommended

Vasectomy