Birth Control Methods (cont.)

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Barrier birth control options (including condoms)

Barrier options prevent fertilization of the egg by a sperm cell. These either prevent contact between egg and sperm via a physical block or kill sperm cells before they are able to fertilize an egg. Examples of physical barrier contraceptives include the diaphragm, condoms, and the cervical cap or shield. Contraceptive sponges contain a spermicide cream to kill sperm cells, and other forms of spermicides are available as well. Spermicides may be used in combination with barrier methods for greater effectiveness.

Side effects of barrier methods of birth control can include an increased risk for developing urinary tract infections (UTIs) if using a diaphragm and spermicide. Leaving a diaphragm or cervical cap in for longer than 24 hours increases your risk for toxic shock syndrome. Finally, some people may have allergies to the chemicals used in spermicide creams or other spermicide products. They may develop irritation of the vagina or penis.

Natural birth control options

Natural methods involve tracking a woman's menstrual cycle to try to determine when ovulation is most likely to occur, and avoiding sexual intercourse (or using barrier contraceptives) during that time. There are different ways to detect ovulation, including the basal body temperature method and the use of home ovulation test kits. Checking and recording the consistency of cervical mucus is another way to help determine when ovulation occurs.

Surgical sterilization (tubal ligation or vasectomy) birth control

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Surgical sterilization is a form of permanent birth control that is available for both women (tubal ligation) and men (vasectomy). Sterilization implants are a more recent type of permanent birth control that is available for women that allows women to avoid the surgical procedure associated with tubal ligation.

Although women who have had tubal ligation do not have side effects after recovering from the procedure, any surgery itself carries a small risk of infection or bleeding as well as complications from the anesthetic agents.

Likewise, the vasectomy procedure is associated with small risks from the procedure as well as some swelling and pain in the days following the procedure.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 6/24/2015

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Birth Control Methods - Types Question: What type of birth control do you find most comfortable and effective?
Birth Control Methods: Hormonal Question: What type of hormonal birth control are you taking, or have you taken in the past; and what if any side effects did you experience?
Birth Control Methods: IUD Question: Please share your experience with the IUD birth control method.
Birth Control Methods: Surgical Sterilization Question: Please share your experience with tubal ligation or vasectomy.
Birth Control Options - Experience Question: Please share your experience with types of birth control.