Birth control or Contraception prevents or reduces the probability of a pregnancy occurring due to intercourse. The variety of contraceptive methods available range from barrier methods to injectable, implants and intrauterine devices. Birth control measures have enabled women to exercise their right to reproductive self-determination.
In this age of STDs and HIV, it must be noted that no method of birth control offers total protection against sexually transmitted diseases. STDs can wreak havoc on a woman's reproductive system resulting in infertility and sometimes death. Multiple partners and teenage sexual activity has necessitated that women take responsibility and make conscious contraceptive choices.
Our section on contraceptive measures looks at various methods to prevent pregnancy. There is no best method - you have to choose one that suits you best. Factors to be taken into account when choosing a contraceptive method are the overall condition of your health, side effects, reliability and reversibility as well your comfort level with a particular contraceptive method. Take a look at oral contraceptive pills, contraceptive patches, diaphragms, intrauterine devices as well as newer contraceptive options such as Depo Provera, vaginal Ring, female condoms and contraceptive sponges.
Natural contraception refers to identification of the symptoms of fertility so as to avoid intercourse and chances of pregnancy. Keeping track of changes during a woman's ovulatory cycle is of the essence here. Natural contraception can be followed by either tracking the woman's body temperature or cervical mucus.
The ovulation method involves checking the mucus secretions of the woman so as to determine the fertile time. Cervical mucus changes in quantity and texture during the fertile phase of the month. Women can learn how to identify and chart out the fertile times of the cycle. The second method involves keeping a chart of the body temperature of the woman during the menstrual cycle. The body temperature is affected by the rise and fall of hormones. Body temperature tends to be raised marginally, just after ovulation.
Using either or both these natural contraceptive measures can prove to be successful, if used correctly. Natural contraception method aids a woman in understanding her menstrual cycle and fertility better. It can be helpful when she decides to get pregnant too. Abnormal vaginal secretions can be quickly recognized. But this delicate ovulatory cycle can be disturbed by stress, illness or lifestyle factors; thereby making it easy to follow.