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Aside from birth control pills, how else can I prevent pregnancy?

How can pregnancy be prevented naturally?

Table showing the two natural methods of preventing pregnancy Table showing the two natural methods of preventing pregnancy

Are barrier methods effective forms of birth control?

Diagram showing placement of diaphragm and cervical cap

A diaphragm/ cervical cap is commonly used as a barrier contraceptive method. A diaphragm is a circular dome, made of a flexible and soft material. It is inserted into the vagina before sexual intercourse, and it covers the cervix, preventing sperms from entering the uterus and fertilising the egg. It is typically used with a gel (spermicide).

Table showing advantages and disadvantages of cervical cap/diaphragm Table showing advantages and disadvantages of cervical cap/diaphragm

How does a femidom differ from a condom?

Diagram of placement of a femidom

A femidom , similar to a condom, is made from soft synthetic latex. However, instead of covering the penis, it is worn inside the vagina. When a man ejaculates, the semen is deposited in the femidom and not in the woman's vagina. Therefore, the sperms cannot fertilise the egg, preventing pregnancy.

Table showing advantages and disadvantages of using femidom Table showing advantages and disadvantages of using femidom

Is the patch a good form of birth control?

Diagram showing placement of a patch

It is a sticker which is attached to the thigh, abdomen, arms or buttocks. Hormones such as progestin and estrogen are gradually released via the patch. They get absorbed by the skin and prevent ovulation, stop the uterine lining from thickening (ie. implantation cannot occur), and also thicken the cervical mucus (ie. lower chance of fertilisation).

The patch will be worn for 3 weeks, and it will not be worn for the 4th week, during which menstruation occurs. The patch should be replaced every week. It costs $50 to $60 a month.

Table showing advantages and disadvantages of using a patch Table showing advantages and disadvantages of using a patch

What is a contraceptive injection?

You will be injected with progestin (brand name Depo-Provera), which is a hormone that prevents ovulation and thickens the cervical mucus to prevent the sperm from travelling up the uterus and meeting an egg.

This injection is given once every 3 months, and should not be taken for more than 2 years. It costs roughly $150 to $200 per injection.

Table showing advantages and disadvantages of contraceptive injection Table showing advantages and disadvantages of contraceptive injection

How do contraceptive implants prevent pregnancy?

Grid of different contraceptives

Contraceptive implants are small, flexible plastic rods which are inserted under the skin in your arm. Progestin, a hormone that prevents ovulation and thickens the cervical mucus, is released from the implant slowly. The implant serves as an effective contraceptive method for up to 3 years and costs $400 to $600 per implant.

Table showing advantages and disadvantages of contraceptive implants Table showing advantages and disadvantages of contraceptive implants

Why should I get an IUD?

IUD on a hand

IUDs are contraceptive devices that are approximately 2 cm each. An IUD is usually inserted into your uterus on Day 5 of your period, in a short 15-30 min procedure.

There are 2 types of IUDs:

Table showing the 2 types of IUDs Table showing the 2 types of IUDs

How does the birth control ring work?

A birth control ring

The birth control ring, also known as a vaginal ring, is a small, flexible plastic ring that is placed inside the vagina for 3 weeks. After 3 weeks, it is removed from the vagina and you have to wait another 7 days before inserting a new ring.

This ring contains two hormones – estrogen and progesterone. Together, they prevent ovulation, thicken the cervical lining and thin the uterine lining. Each vaginal ring costs around $60.

Table showing advantages and disadvantages of a birth control ring Table showing advantages and disadvantages of a birth control ring

Can I get a tubal ligation?

Diagram of a fallopian tube ligation procedure

Tubal ligation is a minor surgical procedure in which the fallopian tubes are cut/ clipped. This prevents the fertilised eggs from travelling to the uterus and also prevents sperms from travelling to the egg, stopping implantation and fertilisation from occurring.

Table showing advantages and disadvantages of tubal ligation procedure Table showing advantages and disadvantages of tubal ligation procedure

If you have:

  • Completed a pelvic and/or abdominal surgery
  • Obesity/ are overweight
  • Diabetes
  • Pelvic inflammatory disease
  • Lung disease

There is a higher risk of complications after surgery. Therefore, tubal ligation may not be recommended for you. If there is a possibility that you would want to become pregnant in the future, tubal ligation is not suitable for you either.

However, if you are an adult woman and you do not wish to ever have a baby (due to personal reasons or existing genetic conditions), you may consider tubal ligation, to prevent any unnecessary worry during sexual intercourse.

In summary, pregnancy can be avoided via the natural ways of temporary abstinence or the withdrawal method, or through contraceptives. Talk to a medical practitioner if you are unsure of which is best for you.

For more information or if you require a medical consultation, please contact My Healthcare Collective here.