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.

Reversible Methods of Birth Control

Intrauterine Contraception

Levonorgestrel intrauterine system (LNG IUD)—The LNG IUD is a small T-shaped device like the Copper T IUD. It is placed inside the uterus by a doctor. It releases a small amount of progestin each day to keep you from getting pregnant. The LNG IUD stays in your uterus for up to 3 to 6 years, depending on the device.

Copper T intrauterine device (IUD)—This IUD is a small device that is shaped in the form of a “T.” Your doctor places it inside the uterus to prevent pregnancy. It can stay in your uterus for up to 10 years.

Hormonal Methods

Implant—The implant is a single, thin rod that is inserted under the skin of a women’s upper arm. The rod contains a progestin that is released into the body over 3 years.

Injection or “shot”—Women get shots of the hormone progestin in the buttocks or arm every three months from their doctor.

Combined oral contraceptives—Also called “the pill,” combined oral contraceptives contain the hormones estrogen and progestin. It is prescribed by a doctor. A pill is taken at the same time each day. If you are older than 35 years and smoke, have a history of blood clots or breast cancer, your doctor may advise you not to take the pill.

Progestin only pill—Unlike the combined pill, the progestin-only pill (sometimes called the mini-pill) only has one hormone, progestin, instead of both estrogen and progestin. It is prescribed by a doctor. It is taken at the same time each day. It may be a good option for women who can’t take estrogen.

Hormonal vaginal contraceptive ring—The ring releases the hormones progestin and estrogen. You place the ring inside your vagina. You wear the ring for three weeks, take it out for the week you have your period, and then put in a new ring.

Barrier Methods

Male condom—Worn by the man, a male condom keeps sperm from getting into a woman’s body. Latex condoms, the most common type, help prevent pregnancy, and HIV and other STIs, as do the newer synthetic condoms. “Natural” or “lambskin” condoms also help prevent pregnancy, but may not provide protection against STIs, including HIV. Condoms can only be used once. You can buy condoms, KY jelly, or water-based lubricants at a drug store. Do not use oil-based lubricants such as massage oils, baby oil, lotions, or petroleum jelly with latex condoms. They will weaken the condom, causing it to tear or break.

Female condom—Worn by the woman, the female condom helps keeps sperm from getting into her body. It is packaged with a lubricant and is available at drug stores. It can be inserted up to eight hours before sexual intercourse and also may help prevent STIs.

Emergency Contraception

Emergency contraceptive pills—Women can take emergency contraceptive pills up to 5 days after unprotected sex, but the sooner the pills are taken, the better they will work.  Some emergency contraceptive pills are available over the counter. Emergency contraception is NOT a regular method of birth control known as the morning after pill. Emergency contraception can be used after no birth control was used during sex, or if the birth control method failed, such as if a condom broke.

Permanent Methods of Birth Control

Female Sterilization—Tubal ligation or “tying tubes”— A woman can have her fallopian tubes tied (or closed) so that sperm and eggs cannot meet for fertilization. The procedure can be done in a hospital or in an outpatient surgical center. You can go home the same day of the surgery and resume your normal activities within a few days. This method is effective immediately.

Male Sterilization–Vasectomy—This operation is done to keep a man’s sperm from going to his penis, so his ejaculate never has any sperm in it that can fertilize an egg. The procedure is typically done at an outpatient surgical center. The man can go home the same day. Recovery time is less than one week. After the operation, a man visits his doctor for tests to count his sperm and to make sure the sperm count has dropped to zero; this takes about 12 weeks. Another form of birth control should be used until the man’s sperm count has dropped to zero.