Choose your own birth control

Birth control is planning the pregnancy and meant for preventing pregnancy until the family gets ready for a baby. It can also be used by couple who have a child and need to take some before they opt for another one, which is called spacing.

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Do it yourself

There are different types of birth control options available and the couples can choose which ones suits them the best depending on their needs. Different situations can demand different types of birth control; similarly personal preferences of the couples also need to be kept in mind.

As you are the best judge of your requirements, you can choose your own birth control option. While it is worth taking a physician’s advice initially so that you are aware of all the effects and side effects, it is also important to have a clear idea of what can suit your needs.

Birth control options

Some of the birth control or contraceptive options are:

· Barrier methods – These options act as a barrier and do not allow the sperms and the egg to come in contact with each other. For example, condoms used by men, vaginal diaphragms and female condoms used by women.

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· Intrauterine devices (IUD) –It is a T-shaped device which has copper or a hormonal medicine. It is used by women and a doctor inserts it inside the uterus. Most of these devices last for around 5 years and are found to be safe. They cannot be felt during intercourse by either of the partners.

· Hormonal methods – These include hormonal treatment where the hormones can enter the body through different routes.

For example, birth control or oral contraceptive pills – The days of the pill dosage have to be strictly followed in order to prevent pregnancy. Hormones are also used as patches on skin or implant under the skin, or ring to put in the female reproductive tract.

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· Natural methods – These methods follow a natural course and determine the days when a woman can possibly get pregnant or the days of fertility. These ‘fertile days’ are avoided and intercourse is made only during the ‘safe period’. The safe period can be determined on the basis of rhythm or calendar methods. Other methods like the increase in temperature, the thickness of discharges, etc are also considered to recognize the fertile period and are accordingly avoided.

· Emergency pill (ECP) – In case of failure to follow any of the contraceptive methods, an emergency contraceptive pill or ECP should be immediately taken after an unprotected intercourse.

· Sterilization – This is a surgical procedure and generally a permanent one. This can be chosen by couples who have children and are sure of not wanting anymore. Men can undergo a sterilization surgery, which is called vasectomy. Women can undergo a surgery called tubectomy.

· Abstinence – This is the only surest way to prevent pregnancy. It means there is no physical contact or intercourse between the couple.

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