What Is Contraception?
Contraception, also known as birth control, is designed to prevent pregnancy.
What Are Some Methods of Contraception?
There are several general methods of birth control,including (but not limited to):
Barrier methods. Barrier methods, such as condoms, the
diaphragm and the cervical cap, are designed to prevent the sperm from
reaching the egg for fertilization.
Intrauterine Device. Intrauterine device, or IUD, is a small
device that is inserted into the uterus by a health care provider. The
IUD prevents a fertilized egg from implanting in the uterus. An IUD can
stay in the uterus for up to 10 years until it is removed by a health
Hormonal Birth Control. Hormonal birth control, such as
birth control pills, injections, skin patches and vaginal rings,
release hormones into a woman’s body that interfere with fertility by
preventing ovulation, fertilization or implantation.
Sterilization. Sterilization is a method that permanently
prevents a woman from getting pregnant or a man from being able to get
a woman pregnant. Sterilization involves surgical procedures that must
be done by a health care provider and usually cannot be reversed.
choice of birth control depends on factors such as a person's overall
health, age, frequency of sexual activity, number of sexual partners,
desire to have children in the future, and family history of certain
diseases. A woman should talk to her health care provider about her
choice of birth control method.
is important to remember that even though all these methods can prevent
pregnancy, condoms are the only method that can protect against
sexually transmitted diseases or HIV.
Last Update: 2007
Source: National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD)