What are contraceptives?

To date, there are many contraceptives. Some of them are less effective than others. Some have more severe side effects, others less. Without contraception, 80–90% of women would become pregnant during the first year of sexual activity.  

The main purpose of the use of contraceptives is the prevention of unwanted pregnancy. An unwanted pregnancy can cause not only negative emotions, it can be dangerous to health and put in a serious financial situation. 


1. Birth control pills (oral contraceptives).
Currently, the most popular combination drugs. Due to their low hormone content, they cause fewer unpleasant side effects; in addition, it is believed that the likelihood of serious complications when taking them is lower than when using tablets that were produced earlier, with a high content of hormones.
Oral contraceptives prevent conception, blocking the normal hormone secretion cycle and thereby preventing ovulation. The progestogen available in tablets makes implantation difficult, inhibiting the development of the uterine mucosa; in addition, it causes thickening of the mucus contained in the neck, which makes it difficult for sperm to move.

2. Condoms.
This is currently the most common contraceptive used by men.
Condoms are usually packaged in plastic or foil and are diverse: some are coated with grease, others are multi-colored, and others have small ribbing or protrusions, which are thought to stimulate a woman more during sexual intercourse. Condoms come with either a rounded end or a small reservoir at the tip for sperm collection.

3. Intrauterine contraceptives (IUDs).
The IUD, or, in common parlance, the spiral is a small plastic-metal device that is inserted through the vagina into the uterine cavity. They are believed to prevent the implantation of a fertilized egg, causing a local inflammatory response, and block the sperm, preventing it from fertilizing the egg. 

4. Aperture.
The diaphragm is a shallow rounded dome made of thin rubber stretched over an elastic ring. The diaphragm serves as a mechanical barrier, it is inserted into the vagina and positioned so that it completely covers the cervix. Due to the lack of reliability of this barrier, the diaphragm is lubricated with a spermicide, which kills spermatozoa, which managed to penetrate under it.

5. Cervical cap.
The cervical cap is a device similar to the diaphragm, tightly adjacent to the cervix, which is held in place by suction. Cervical caps, as well as diaphragms, create a mechanical barrier to sperm. They are more effective than diaphragms, because they fit more tightly to the cervix. 

6. Spermicides.
Spermicides, or chemical vaginal contraceptives, are very diverse: foams, jellies, creams, pastes, tablets.
Spermicides act in two directions: their active chemical component kills sperm, and the filler containing this component creates a mechanical barrier that blocks access to the cervix.

7. Birth control swabs.
This latest contraceptive, now widely used, is a soft, single-use swab inserted into the vagina. The swab has a round shape, is saturated with spermicide, its size is about 5 × 2.5 cm. Birth control swabs are sold in pharmacies without a prescription and they do not need to be selected with the help of a doctor.  

8. Sterilization.
The highest degree of protection against pregnancy, with the exception of complete abstinence, is currently provided by sterilization – surgical operations that make conception impossible. Both women and men can be exposed to it. There are many surgical methods for sterilizing women. Almost all of them come down to blocking the fallopian tubes to prevent the fusion of the sperm and the egg. Currently, tubal ligation as such is rarely performed, since this procedure is less effective than other methods of blocking – partial excision, clamping , etc. Vasectomy – excision of the vas deferens in men. This is a simple surgical operation, which consists in cutting the duct and ligating the ends. Since mature germ cells are already present at the time of vasectomy, it usually takes some time before the seminal fluid becomes sterile. However, resorting to sterilization, it should be remembered that this process is one-sided and reverse operation does not exist. 

Sometimes people are worried that someone who finds contraceptives in them will understand that they are having or are planning to have sex. This situation is quite real for adolescents who fear that their parents will find out about it. But do not be ashamed of this or fear. I do not think that someone will be pleased with an unwanted pregnancy. Therefore, I urge you to be careful and protect yourself. After all, there are so many methods of contraception and now you know a little more about them. I think my article will help you decide which contraceptive you choose.

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