1. Combined Oral Contraceptives “the pill” – these are a low dose of combined pills that prevent the release of eggs from the ovaries (ovulation).

One pill is taken daily for it to be very effective.

It is a short-term acting method for contraception.

2. Emergency Contraceptive Pills (ECPs) – commonly known as “morning afters”

­- They work by preventing or delaying the release of eggs from ovaries.

These pills are not effective if a girl or woman is already pregnant.

It is a temporary and short term method used oftentimes in emergencies.

3. Depo-Provera (Progestion Only Injectable) – it is an injection administered just under the skin or into the muscle and releases the progesterone hormone slowly in the blood stream.

It requires regular injection after three months for greatest effectiveness against pregnancy.

It works primarily by preventing the release of eggs from ovaries (ovulation).

4. Implants i.e. jadelle and implanon – these are small, flexible rods, the size of a match stick that are inserted under the skin of the upper arm, and release a progestin like natural hormone. They work primarily by thickening cervical mucus (this blocks sperm from reaching an egg).

Jadelle consist of small two rods.                    

Implanon is only a single rod.

These implants may be used throughout breast-feeding as they do not contain estrogen.

They are a long-term method of contraceptives and highly effective up to three to five years of preventing pregnancy.

The process of inserting implants is immediately reversible.

5. Intrauterine Device (copper-bearing intrauterine device) – a small, flexible plastic frame with copper sleeves or wires around it.

It works by causing a chemical change that damages sperm and egg before they can meet to cause pregnancy.

It is an effective long-term pregnancy protection up to twelve years.

The process is immediately reversible.   

6. Female sterilization (tubal ligation) – it is a permanent surgical contraception method for women who will not want more children. It works because the fallopian tubes are blocked or cut as eggs released from ovaries cannot move down the tubes and so they do not meet the sperms.

This process is permanent and intended to provide life-long and very effective protection against pregnancy.

The surgical reversal process is usually not possible.

7. Vasectomy – this is a permanent contraception method for men intended to provide lifelong and very effective protection against pregnancy. It involves a small incision or puncture in the scrotum by the urologist and he locates each of the two tubes that carries sperms to the penis and either cuts or block the tubes tying them closed.

It keeps sperms out of semen as semen alone will not be able to cause pregnancy.

The contraceptive method is effective after three months of the surgical procedure.

It is possible to impregnate a woman after vasectomy has been performed if the three month threshold has not lapsed and if consistent use of condoms is ignored soon after the procedure. (Possibilities are one in every 100 women will be pregnant whose partners have had vasectomy).

This procedure is non reversible.

Willing patients must go through intensive counselling and be thoroughly informed about the process before commitment to vasectomy.

8. Male and Female condoms – these are common and popular barriers to pregnancy amongst young people and are made of latex.

They are effective in preventing pregnancy as well as sexually transmitted infections and HIV if they are correctly and consistently used.

Male condoms are worn on an erect penis whereas female condoms are inserted in the vagina.

One condom for one round of sexual intercourse.

  • Myths and Misconceptions

Myths and Misconceptions

  1. The use of contraceptives such as hormonal pills cause young women to gain weight.
  2. Consistent use of contraceptive methods reduces the sexual drive and arousal.
  3. Birth control i.e. use of different contraceptive methods is 100% effective.
  4. All contraceptive methods are appropriate for all women.
  5. The morning after pill is like an abortion pill.
  6. Birth control reduces fertility.