Birth Control and Contraception
Contraception and The Pill
Having control over the size of your family is your right as a woman. Dr. Corney supports that right by offering professional, non-judgmental, up-to-date medical information on the variety of birth control methods available.
Make a consultation appointment to discuss what method is best for your lifestyle and your time of life. You should also make a consultation appointment if you are currently using contraception and are planning a pregnancy.
Traditional birth control methods
Celibacy or sexual abstinence – this means avoiding penis-in-vagina intercourse to prevent pregnancy.
Withdrawal (coitus interruptus) – when the man is about to have an orgasm he pulls his penis out of the vagina. The ejaculation occurs outside of the vagina. The idea behind this method is that no sperm will be deposited in the vagina. According to some organizations this method is about 90% effective if used correctly. Typically, though, about one third of couples who use this method will experience an accidental pregnancy within twelve months.
Modern birth control methods
this device is a mechanical barrier which prevents pregnancy by stopping sperm from entering the vagina. It should be placed over the penis before sexual intercourse begins. They are made of polyurethane or latex. Male condoms look like long thin deflated balloons. As well as preventing pregnancy, they are also useful in helping protect sexual partners from sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
Female condom made of polyurethane
The female condom has a flexible ring at each end – one secures behind the pubic bone to hold the condom in place, while the other ring stays outside the vagina.
may be placed in the vagina before intercourse and create a chemical barrier. Spermicides may be used alone, or in combination with a physical barrier.
Contraceptive sponge has a depression to hold it in place over the cervix. Foam is placed into the vagina using an applicator. As well as having a spermicidal which destroys the male sperm, the sponge also acts as a barrier which stops the sperm from reaching the egg.
Diaphragm fits into place behind the woman’s pubic bone and has a firm but flexible ring, which helps it press against the vaginal walls. It is a rubber dome-shaped device which is placed over the cervix. When combined with spermicide use the diaphragm is a very effective contraceptive device.
The Lea contraceptive
This is a soft pliable cup-shaped bowl with a loop. It is inserted into the vagina before intercourse and prevents sperm from entering the cervix. To be effective it must be used with a spermicide and left in place for 8 hours.
Combined contraceptive pills have two hormones – an estrogen and progestin. They stop the release of the egg (ovulation), and also make the lining of the uterus thinner. When used correctly about 3 in every 1,000 women will become accidentally pregnant in the first year.
A transdermal patch applied to the skin. It releases synthetic estrogen and progestin hormones. They have been shown to be as effective as the combined oral contraceptive pill. At the moment (September 2009) the only available contraceptive patches are Ortho Evra, marketed in the USA by Ortho-McNeil, and Evra sold in Canada by Janssen-Ortho and in the UK by Janssen-Cilag. The “Patch” is worn each week for 3 consecutive weeks, generally on the lower abdomen or buttocks. The fourth week is patch-free.
Contraceptive vaginal ring (NuvaRing)
NuvaRing is the trade name for a combined hormonal contraceptive vaginal ring manufactured by Organon. It is a flexible plastic (ethylene-vinyl acetate copolymer) ring that releases a low dose of a progestin and an estrogen over 3 weeks. The woman inserts the NuvaRing into the vagina for a 3-week period, and then removes it for one week, during which she will experience a menstrual period.
Contraceptive injection (The Shot)
Depot medroxyprogesterone acetate (DMPA) is a progestin-only long acting reversible hormonal contraceptive birth control drug which is injected every 3 months. It stops the woman from releasing an egg and provides other contraceptive effects. Depo-Provera is the brand name.
Implanon (made by Organon International) is a rod with a core of progestin (etonogestrel). It is inserted under the skin of the upper arm of a woman. The progestin is released slowly. The implant is effective for 3 years.
Emergency contraception (emergency postcoital contraception)
This refers to contraceptive measures that, if taken after sex, may prevent pregnancy. They include: Emergency contraceptive pills – often referred to as emergency contraceptives or the morning-after pill. They are drugs that prevent ovulation or fertilization and possible post-fertilization implantation of a blastocyst (embryo). Emergency contraceptive pills are different from medical abortion methods that act after implantation (when the fertilized egg is implanted in the womb).
Intrauterine devices usually used as a primary contraception method, but may be used as emergency contraception.
Emergency contraception is intended for occasional use, when primary contraception means fail. As emergency contraception acts before implantation, most people see it as a form of contraception. However, as the egg may have already been fertilized, some see this as a potential abortifacient (a substance that induces abortion).
Intrauterine device (IUD)
A small, flexible T-shaped device that is placed in the uterus by a physician. It is also known as a coil. IUDs are currently used by about 160 million women, most of them in China. It stays in place the entire time pregnancy is not desired. Depending on the type, an IUD can last from 5 to 10 years. The copper T 380A has been shown in trials to be effective for at least 12 years.
Male contraceptive pill
They are not currently (September 2009) on the market, although several forms are in various stages of research and development.
A permanent form of female sterilization. The fallopian tubes are severed and sealed (pinched shut) in order to prevent fertilization.
A surgical procedure designed to make a man sterile. The right and left vas deferens – the tubes through which sperm pass into the ejaculate – are cut or blocked. Although a vasectomy is sometimes reversible (vasovasostomy) the likelihood of an abundance of abnormal sperm is higher, resulting in lower fertility. The higher rates of aneuploidy and diploidy in the sperm cells of men who have undergone vasectomy reversal may lead to a higher rate of birth defects.
Birth Control Fact Sheets
Below are downloadable PDF files of fact sheets on the major forms of birth control. Read these before your consultation appointment so that if you have any questions about the birth control methods you can write the questions down before your consultation.
Postpartum Sterilization Fact Sheet
Natural Family Planning Fact Sheet
Implants Injections Rings And Patches Fact Sheet
Sterilization For Women and Men Fact Sheet
Barrier Methods Of Contraception Fact Sheet
Emergency Contraception Fact Sheet
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