Unless you are ready to get into a maternity dress and carry diaper bags, birth control is something that is non-negotiable if you have an active sex life. However, which method will actually be the best for you? Here are 5 of the most effective birth control methods you might want to learn more about.

1. Surgical Sterilization

Sterilization can be surgical or non-surgical and is available for both men and women. This method is intended for permanent result and reversal can be generally difficult, to the point of impossible.

  • Tubal ligation. This is done in females and is also commonly referred to as “getting tubes tied”. The method involves cutting, clipping or cauterizing the fallopian tubes, which are what allow sperms and ovum to fertilize.
  • Hysterectomy. This will involve surgically removing the uterus in females, permanently preventing them from becoming pregnant.
  • Vasectomy. This birth control procedure is done in males. The vasa deferentia or the tube connecting prostates and testicles will be cut, and then closed. Such will prevent sperms from becoming ejaculated semen.
  • Castration. This is also done in males and involves surgically removing the testicles.

Reliability: Surgical Sterilization is guaranteed to be effective at a rate of more than 99%.

2. Injection or Depo-Provera

This is a birth control method specifically for women. It contains a type of hormone, the same as progesterone and is injected by physicians into a woman’s buttocks or arms. One shot can last up to 14 weeks but must be consistently received once in 12 weeks for full protection.

Reliability: Depo-Provera is guaranteed 99% effective. However, it cannot guarantee protection from STD.

3. Implanon (Birth Control Implant)

Implanon comes in the form of a flexible rod made of plastic that will be inserted right through the upper arm. It contains the progestin-like hormone referred to as etonorgestrel, which helps prevent ovulation. It also thins the uterine lining and further decreases production of cervical mucus. Sperms will hence have a hard time swimming through the uterus.

Reliability: This is effective for 3 years at most, at a rate of more than 99%.

4. Pills

Birth control pillsNowadays, birth control pills are created with added bonus. That’s getting shorter or no period at all. Regular pills offer 7 days of placebos and 21 days of hormones. There are also pills such as Loestrin Fe24 and Yaz that offer only 4 days of placebos but 24 days for hormonal pills.

Many women opt to increase the amount of hormonal pills they take in. This is to decrease hormone fluctuation, subsequently decreasing symptoms that follow hormone withdrawal which many experience during the 7 days of taking placebo pills. Symptoms can be one or a few of the following:

  • Breast tenderness
  • Bloating
  • Headaches
  • Pelvic pain

It was further found that pills like Seasonique can cut down periods to just 4 a year. Such pills provide women low estrogen dose while they have their quarterly periods, lowering chances of bleeding breakthroughs. There are also pills like Lybrel that have been found to completely eliminate monthly periods, lowering hormone dose throughout the entire year.

You don’t even have to worry about tampering with your body’s natural cycle that way. Pills prescribed by licensed professionals guarantee no danger as long as they are taken properly and in the instructed dosages.

Reliability: When taken properly, pills prevent pregnancy at a rate of 99% at the very least. What is important to remember though is to take them consistently, not missing a dose everyday.

5. The IUD

Around 1.8% of women in the US choose IUD as a birth control method and they have 2 options: either hormone or copper. IUD is characterized as having metal wrapped all throughout a plastic frame with a T shape.

  • Copper IUD

This IUD has to be inserted by professional doctors alone. Copper works by increasing white blood cell production in the uterus, ultimately repelling sperms. Other than white blood cells, it also drives increased production of copper ions as well as other enzymes which kill sperms.

Reliability: Copper is 99% reliable for the first 5 years. Over ten years, reliability will decrease to 98%.

  • Hormone IUD

This IUD releases progestin, changing the chemistry within the uterus and cervix. The sperms will be prevented from passing through by the thick, sticky mucus that will be produced. The IUD will also be keeping the uterus lining thin, creating an environment that is unsuitable for eggs to implant or grow.

Reliability: Hormone is at least 99% effective for pregnancy prevention.

When deciding on a birth control method to go for, make sure that you will be working hand in hand with a trusted physician. Remember that some of these methods are irreversible as well, so it is important that you internalize the decision you have to make.

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