Contraception or birth control means using various artificial methods to prevent pregnancy.
There are some basic steps for a pregnancy to take place. The egg (ovum) and the sperm meet (fertilization) and a zygote forms. This zygote gets attached to the mother’s womb, where it develops for nine months to a baby.
Contraceptive methods aim at preventing normal pregnancy by interfering at three different levels.
- Prevent egg production in the female body.
- Prevent the fertilization of the sperm and the egg.
- Prevent the zygote attachment to the womb.
There are several different methods available for contraception. In this article, we will discuss hormonal contraceptive methods. Before starting any hormonal method for contraception, it is important to consult a gynecologist. You can consult an online gynecologist.
Common hormonal contraceptive methods are:
Intrauterine Device (IUD)
It is also known as levonorgestrel intrauterine device (LNG-IUD). It can provide contraception for three to six years. It is a small T-shaped device that secretes small amounts of progestin hormone each day. The doctor places it inside the uterus. The failure rates with this method are less than 1% (0.3 – 0.4%).
This method is similar to LNG-IUD, except it can provide contraception for ten years.
A hormonal implant is a small, thin rod inserted under the skin, usually on the arm. This small device releases progestin hormone and can prevent pregnancy for up to 3 years. The failure rate with this method is low, which is 0.1%.
In this method, your doctor gives you an injection that contains progestin. You have to get this shot every three months to prevent pregnancy. According to the experts, the failure rate with this method is 4%.
Oral contraceptive methods
Oral contraceptive methods are pills that you have to take daily to prevent an unwanted pregnancy. They include Combine Oral contraceptive pill (COCP) and Progestin-only pill (POP).
Combined Oral Contraceptive Pill
These pills contain two hormones, estrogen, and progestin, hence the name. These pills require to be taken at the same time each day. Forgetting to take it may result in a pregnancy. Combined Oral Contraceptive pills are contraindicated in the following conditions:
- Women who smoke
- Women aged over 35
- History of migraine
- History of deep vein thrombosis or pulmonary embolism
- History of cerebrovascular disease
- History of coronary artery disease
- Congestive heart failure
- Estrogen dependent tumor
- Abnormal vaginal bleeding that is undiagnosed
- Breast cancer
- Ongoing liver disease
- Diabetes with vascular problems.
A skin patch can be worn somewhere on the body except the breasts. This patch needs to be applied every week, for three consecutive weeks, and not applied during the fourth week. In this patch-free period, you will get your period.
This patch secretes estrogen and progestin into your bloodstream that helps prevent pregnancy. The failure rate with this method is 7%.
Vaginal Contraceptive Ring
This ring can be inserted into the vagina. It releases the hormones estrogen and progestin. This ring requires to be inserted in the vagina for three consecutive weeks, and you have to remove it during the fourth week to get your monthly period. The failure rate with this method is 7%.
In this article, we discussed different hormonal contraceptive methods. There are other non-hormonal methods available for contraception.
Every method has its advantages and disadvantages. The most suitable technique for a couple depends upon different factors like preexisting health conditions, availability, and affordability. Your gynecologist can guide you better regarding this and help you make the right decision and what is best for you. You can consult the Best Gynecologist in Karachi.