For a sexually active person, knowing your contraceptive options is a must. When a person is not ready to rear a child, unwanted or unplanned pregnancies can wreck havoc on someone’s life, effecting both the parent and the child. This is why practicing safe sex and knowing about all of your contraceptive options just makes good plain sense.
- Condoms. Condoms are the most popular and most used type of contraceptive. A Male condom, which is a thin sheathing made of latex, lambskin or polyurethane and designed to fit over the penis, is the most popular of all types of contraceptives. This is mostly due because of they are cheap and easy to purchase. Females also have the option of using a condom. These devices are placed inside the woman’s vaginal canal, acting as a barrier, preventing sperm from reaching the egg. Both devices not only act as contraceptives but they also help prevent some sexually transmitted diseases.
- Hormonal options. Another popular type of birth control are methods that affect the woman’s hormones. These can be birth control pills, hormonal shots, vaginal rings and patches. Almost as popular as the condom, and often used in conjunction with the condom, this type of birth control is common among women because it gives them more control. As a contraceptive device, each of these types of birth control work differently, but the basic premises either causes the woman to miss her period, thickens the mucus around the cervix or thins the lining of the uterus. Birth control pills and other hormonal options are a fairly effective contraceptive option, but just like the condom, it is not 100 percent fool proof. It is also important to note that none of these hormonal options prevent sexually transmitted diseases.
- Natural Family Planning. Another popular contraceptive option, but the least effective, is the rhythm method, or natural family planning. The premise behind the rhythm method is basically forgoing sex when a woman is ovulating. This method takes a lot of time and planning. The woman must chart her cycle, noting her ovulation times for many months before she can effectively implement this method. Sex must then be avoided during the times when the woman is ovulating. While this method does have some effectiveness, it is most effective when used in conjunction with some other type of birth control method.