The 6 methods of birth control

A look at the most popular methods of birth control.

Birth Control pill and Male Condom

1. Birth Control pill: The birth control pill is an oral contraceptive taken daily that contains estrogen and progesterone. It is more-commonly known as “The Pill.” The Pill prevents pregnancy by stopping an egg from being released each month (ovulation) and by changing the cervical mucous to make it more difficult for sperm to enter the uterus. When used correctly, the Pill is 92 - 99.2% effective in preventing pregnancy. This means that up to 8 out of 100 females taking the Pill for one year will get pregnant.*

2. Male Condom: The male condom is a thin, tight-fitting sheath made from latex or polyurethane. It covers an erect penis and collects ejaculate or pre-ejaculate (cum/semen).

Abstinence and Fertility Awareness

1. Abstinence: Abstinence is simply not having sexual intercourse. If you’re abstinent, it means you’ve decided not to have sex - this includes vaginal, oral and anal sex. Abstinence prevents pregnancy by not giving the opportunity for semen to enter the vagina. A sperm can’t fertilize an egg if you don’t have intercourse.

2. Fertility awareness: Natural Family Planning (NFP) is a general term for methods a woman can use to determine her fertile days of the month. NFP prevents pregnancy by not having unprotected intercourse during a woman’s fertile days. You can use the Calendar Tracking methods, Basal Body Temperature; and Cervical mucus methods together or separately to determine when you’re the most fertile. Once you know your body's fertile period, you can either abstain from sexual intercourse or use one of the barrier methods during that time.

Withdrawal and Sterilization

1. Withdrawal: Commonly known as “pulling out” - is the removal of the penis from the vagina before ejaculation. Withdrawal prevents pregnancy by keeping sperm from entering the vagina and coming in contact with an egg. a 73% success rate.

2. Sterilization: A permanent form of birth control that is extremely effective at preventing pregnancy. But it is difficult to reverse if you change your mind, and it does not protect against STDs. Both men and women can be sterilized. For women, a tubal ligation is performed; for men, a vasectomy is performed.