We explain what contraceptive methods are and what types exist. In addition, advantages and disadvantages of male and female methods.
What are the contraceptive methods?
It is understood by contraceptive methods, contraception or contraception to 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 of them very old, although most of the really effective ones were not available until the mid-twentieth century. Contraceptive methods are part of family planning , a strategy by which couples can choose the most auspicious moment of their lives to have offspring, and not do so in a disorderly and improvised way.
Contraceptive methods, despite the fact that some religions and traditional positions are not well seen, the emergence and massification of modern methods have allowed not only to give women a greater margin of decision as to whether or not to get pregnant and from whom, but it has also allowed 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 a good sexual and reproductive education, especially in the stages of adolescence , considered the most vulnerable due to the awakening of the 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.
- Behavior . 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.
Male contraceptive methods
The contraceptive methods available to man are:
- Condom or condom . One of the most recommended methods, consisting of a latex barrier that unwinds around the erect penis and covers it, isolating it from contact with the vagina. This method not only has a high safety index (about 2% of unwanted pregnancies), but also protects against STDs, which makes it one of the most recommended in the world. Condoms are disposable and in most cases have no adverse reactions (there are people allergic to the material they are made of).
- Coitus interruptus or interrupted intercourse . A popular and extremely old method, but extremely unreliable, which involves removing the penis from the vagina just before ejaculation. Not only does this method not protect against STDs, but it has a low efficacy rate (between 18 and 25% of unwanted pregnancies).
- Sterilization . It consists of a medical procedure called a vasectomy, in which the passage of sperm to the ejaculatory duct is interrupted, generating permanent artificial infertility. This method does not protect from STDs and usually presents a minimum margin of regret, depending on the individual’s love and reproductive history.
Female contraceptive methods
Female contraceptive methods are:
- Oral contraceptives . The known contraceptive pills, consist of a treatment throughout the menstrual cycle, which reduce the fertility of women (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 that if not fulfilled correctly it is not so safe (increases to 13% of pregnancies).
- Implants, injections and contraceptive patches . These are temporary applications on the woman’s body: implants under the skin or patches on her, which work similarly to oral contraception: using hormones. Its reliability is extremely high (99% effective in implants, 94% in injection and 91% in the 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 based on 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 which is inserted into the vagina and isolates from contact with the penis. It is less effective than the male condom (provides 79% security) 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 less time, the more effective they are), and the chances of pregnancy decrease. They cannot be used as a regular method of protection and are only for emergencies.
- The rhythm method . It consists of limiting intercourse to the days when the menstrual calendar indicates low fertility, before ovulation, for example. Other similar methods consult temperature or cervical mucus. This method does not protect against STDs and is only 76% effective.