Contraception (Birth Control)
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- Generic: Drospirenone and Ethinyl EstradiolEquivalent Brand: Yaz24 Tablet/s$7.00
- Generic: Levonorgestrel and EthinylestradiolEquivalent Brand: Seasonique21 Tablet/s$5.00
- Generic: Levonorgestrel and EthinylestradiolEquivalent Brand: Seasonique21 Tablet/s$10.00
Contraception, also known as birth control, refers to methods and devices used to prevent pregnancy. There are various options available, each with its own mechanism of action and considerations. Here's an overview of contraception methods:
1. Barrier Methods:
- Condoms: Male and female condoms create a physical barrier, preventing sperm from reaching the egg. They also provide protection against sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
- Diaphragm and Cervical Cap: These are devices inserted into the vagina to cover the cervix, blocking sperm from entering.
2. Hormonal Methods:
- Birth Control Pills: Oral contraceptive pills contain hormones (usually estrogen and progestin) that prevent ovulation and alter cervical mucus to inhibit sperm movement.
- Birth Control Patch: A patch releases hormones through the skin to prevent ovulation and thicken cervical mucus.
- Birth Control Ring: A flexible ring inserted into the vagina releases hormones to prevent ovulation and alter cervical mucus.
- Birth Control Shot (Depo-Provera): A hormonal injection given every three months to prevent ovulation and alter cervical mucus.
3. Long-Acting Reversible Contraception (LARC):
- Intrauterine Devices (IUDs): Small devices placed in the uterus to prevent pregnancy. Hormonal IUDs release hormones, while copper IUDs create an environment inhospitable to sperm.
- Implants: Small rods inserted under the skin of the upper arm release hormones to prevent ovulation and alter cervical mucus.
4. Emergency Contraception:
- Morning-After Pill: Emergency contraception pills, taken within a specific timeframe after unprotected sex, can prevent pregnancy by inhibiting ovulation or interfering with fertilization.
- Tubal Ligation: A surgical procedure where the fallopian tubes are cut, tied, or sealed to prevent the egg from reaching the uterus.
- Vasectomy: A surgical procedure where the vas deferens, the tubes that carry sperm, are cut or sealed to prevent the release of sperm.
6. Natural Methods:
- Fertility Awareness-Based Methods (FABMs): Monitoring menstrual cycles, basal body temperature, and cervical mucus to identify fertile days and avoid intercourse during that time.
7. Behavioral Methods:
- Withdrawal (Pull-Out) Method: Involves the man withdrawing the penis before ejaculation. It is less effective than many other methods and does not protect against STIs.
8. Dual Protection:
- Combining Methods: Using two methods simultaneously, such as condoms and hormonal methods, for added protection against pregnancy and STIs.
- Effectiveness: Effectiveness varies among methods, and proper use is crucial for optimal results.
- Health Considerations: Individual health, medical history, and lifestyle should be considered when choosing a method.
- STI Protection: Barrier methods like condoms provide protection against STIs, while hormonal methods do not.
- Accessibility: Availability, cost, and ease of use are factors to consider when selecting a contraception method.
Choosing the right contraception method involves considering individual preferences, health factors, and lifestyle. Consulting with healthcare professionals helps individuals make informed decisions to achieve effective pregnancy prevention while meeting their specific needs.