What Birth Control Option is Best for Me?

HealthAid Bloggers
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Tuesday, July 26, 2022

Birth control (also known as fertility control or conception control), refers to the methods employed to prevent pregnancy. There are lots of birth control options like the use of pills, IUDs, male and female condoms, and other permanent alternatives. Birth control applies to both men and women.

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The type of birth control that is best for you depends on several factors as everyone has different needs. In this article, we look at the different types of birth control and guide you on how to choose the one that suits your needs.

 Types of Birth Control

Before choosing a type of birth control, it’s essential you discuss it with your partner and your doctor. Mind you, birth control is only effective when used correctly. Here are some birth control methods, from the most effective to the least effective.


This is a 100% effective method to prevent pregnancies and STDs. Most people consider abstinence to mean zero physical contact (zero abstinence) while others allow other forms of sex play except penetration (contraceptive abstinence).

Tubal ligation(surgical)

This is a surgical procedure performed for female sterilization. Here, the fallopian tubes are tied/sealed to prevent the transport of egg to the uterus or the passage of sperm up the tube to the ovary for fertilization. It is an irreversible sterilization procedure. 


This is a simple male sterilization procedure that can be carried out in the surgeon’s office. A small incision is made in the scrotum and the tubes (vas deferens) are tied and cut. This procedure doesn't affect a man’s ability to ejaculate or achieve orgasm. There will be fluid ejaculate(semen) but with no sperm cells.

Progestin implant

The doctor uses a needle to insert a single rod of progestin (matchstick size) under the skin of the upper arm. It can last up to 3 years and is reversible if you want to get pregnant. However, it has a few side effects like irregular bleeding and may cause weight gain.

Intrauterine device(IUD)

A small flexible T-shaped device is placed in the uterus. There are two types; the copper IUD and the plastic IUD with low doses of progestin. The function of the copper IUD is to block the passage of sperm to the tubes while the progestin IUD makes the cervical mucus thicker so sperm cannot swim.

Depo-Provera(birth control shot)

It’s a form of progestin given in injection form in the buttocks or arm. It protects against pregnancy for up to 3 months and requires repeat shots on time. It also has uncomfortable side effects like bleeding between periods and weight gain. 

Combined hormonal contraception

This is a combination of oestrogen-containing birth control pills, a vaginal ring, and the patch. The pill has to be taken at the same time every day, the vaginal ring once every month, and the patch is changed weekly. Some pills allow a woman to have her period once a month while others allow for once every month and some cause cessation in periods. These methods require regular use and if you miss a day, you may experience irregular menstruation and may also get pregnant.

Other birth control methods are:

  • Progestin-only pills(mini-pills)
  • Emergency contraceptive or morning after pill
  • Male condoms
  • Diaphragm
  • Cervical cap
  • Female condoms
  • Sponge
  • Withdrawal method(pull out) and spermicides
  • Rhythm or natural family planning. 

Before choosing a birth control method, you must answer the following questions:

  • Does the cost matter a lot to me?
  • How failproof do I need the birth control plan to be?
  • Do I have a regular partner whose needs I care about?
  • Do I need to protect myself against sexually transmitted diseases?
  • Does it matter if the birth control option affects my period?
  • Do I intend to have a child sometime in the future?

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Aug 27, 2022
Who knows how long does a contraceptive drug last? All I've been told is that once you are ready to get pregnant, stop it.

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