Guide

Birth Control Guide

Birth control has been around, in some form, for thousands of years. In this section you’ll find detailed information about all of the common forms of birth control used today as well as in depth information on responsible sexual choices, and even birth control technology of the future.

Barrier Methods for Women: Barrier methods are some of the oldest methods of birth control. Women in ancient Egypt used vaginal suppositories to prevent pregnancy. However, unlike the sponges of today and modern spermicides, Egyptian women concocted their vaginal suppositories out of crocodile dung and honey. Modern devices include the traditional diaphragm as well as its smaller counterparts, the FemCap cervical cap and Lea’s Shield. For protection against many sexually transmitted diseases, the female condom is now a reality.BARRIER METHODS
Barrier Methods Overview
Spermicides
Contraceptive Sponge
Cervical Caps
Diaphragms
Female Condoms
Lea’s Shield
Natural Methods: These methods are also termed “periodic abstinence” because a women abstains from sex on days that she is fertile. Natural methods require no drugs or internal devices. These include methods that use charts, such as the symptothermal method and the ovulation mucus method, as well as calendar-based methods, such as the antiquated rhythm method and its successor, the new standard days method (also known as CycleBeads).FERTILITY AWARENESS
Natural Family Planning
Basal Body Temperature
Fertility Awareness Charting
Ovulation Method
Standard Days Method
Rhythm Method
Hormonal Contraceptives: Hormonal methods include all contraceptives that use synthetic female hormones as birth control. The oldest of these is The Pill, which includes combined oral contraceptive pills and the newer estrogen-free mini-pill. These same hormones are used in the OrthoEvra patch and the Nuva vaginal ring. Lunelle is one type of birth control shot available along with Depo-provera, an estrogen-free three-month birth control injection. Read about the controversy surrounding the mechanisms of all hormonal contraceptives.HORMONAL METHODS
Birth Control Pills
Pill Questions & Answers
The Pill and Controversy
Contraceptive Patch
Contraceptive Ring
Depo-Provera
Long Term Birth Control: For women who are interested in worry-free birth control that lasts a year or more, the IUD is often recommended by doctors. Norplant implants last up to five years but are no longer available in the U.S., although women elsewhere may be able to obtain them. Similar to Norplant, Implanon has recently been approved for use in the U.S. Women who want no more children may opt for a tubal ligation, but keep in mind this is permanent and not easily reversed.LONG-TERM METHODS
Intrauterine Device (IUD)
Norplant
Implanon
Tubal Ligation
Tubal Ligation Reversal
Methods for Men: When it comes to reversible methods for men, condoms are the only option. Condoms are popular because they are easy to use and inexpensive. Made of latex, plastic, or natural animal tissues, condoms can prevent both pregnancy and sexually transmitted disease. For men who are sure they want no more children, a vasectomy is a surgical option. While this birth control should be seen as permanent, it is possible to get a vasectomy reversal.BIRTH CONTROL FOR MEN
Male Condoms
Using Condoms
Condom Questions
Vasectomy
Vasectomy Reversal
Birth Control Issues: See our chart on birth control comparisons to educate yourself about effective methods of birth control and ineffective methods, like withdrawal (the pull-out method). Learn about safe versus safer sex and what to do when contraception fails. See our important facts about hormonal-based emergency contraceptives and elective abortion. Some contraceptive methods may increase your risk of dangerous blood clots. If you use the birth control patch, or are considering it, take a look at Problems with the Patch to learn more. And if you’ve found that your libido seems to have waned since starting the pill, then you’ll want to read Birth Control Controlling Your Sex Drive?CONTRACEPTIVE ISSUES
Birth Control Comparisons
Birth Control Education
Ineffective Methods
Withdrawal
Sexual Risks
When Contraception Fails
Emergency Contraceptives
Abortion
Problems with the Patch
Birth Control Controlling Your Sex Drive?
Responsible Sex: Making good choices about sex is often easier said than done. Read our article about responsible sexual choices and you to understand the issues related to your choice to become sexually active. Abstinence is the best way to prevent unplanned pregnancy and sexually transmitted disease, but there are many reasons why waiting is hard, especially when it seems like sex is everywhere. A beauty queen tells us why she is choosing to save sex until her wedding night.SEXUAL CHOICES
Sexuality and You
Responsible Sexual Choices
Sex and Single Adults
Sex and Marriage
12 Types of Men to Avoid
Sexual Abstinence
Barriers to Abstinence
Article: Beauty Queen Abstains
The Future of Birth Control: As technology continues to advance, the science of contraception advances as well. Fertility monitors are small computers widely used in Europe to predict when it is safe to have sex, without any drugs or devices. A new birth control pill is on the horizon that promises freedom from menstruation. Also read about other new methods under development.FUTURE METHODS
Fertility Monitors
A New Birth Control Pill
Other Methods in Development
Religious Views: For many people, their choices surrounding family planning revolve around their religious beliefs. But do all religions have the same viewpoint when it comes to procreation as well as sex both inside and outside of the institution of marriage? Here we look at common religions, including Catholicism, Judaism, and Islam, and their values when it comes to sex, birth control, and abortion.RELIGIOUS VIEWS
Catholicism
Judaism
Islam

Get the answers to all of your birth control questions in our birth control forum.

Please also visit Contraceptive Information Resource for more birth control articles.