Hormonal Contraception - A Pill or an Injection?

November 10, 2008

There are several different methods of contraception, some of which are covered in our article The Other Word For Birth Control. With all of the different types of birth control available today, you are sure to be able to find something that fits your lifestyle and philosophy.

Hormonal Birth Control Options

In this article we will examine the hormonal methods of birth control. These methods may be administered in a number of different ways and work in one of three ways. They will prevent a woman's ovaries from releasing an egg each month; they will cause the cervical mucus to thicken, thus making it more difficult for the sperm to reach and fertilize the egg; or they will thin the lining of the uterus making it difficult for a fertilized egg to implant in the uterus. Again, it is important to be reminded that hormonal contraception does not prevent the transmission of sexually transmitted diseases.

The most popular method of hormonal contraception is the birth control pill, which is prescribed by a doctor and taken daily. Depo-Provera is an injection which is effective for three months and is also administered by your physician. Lunelle, like Depo-Provera, is an injection but lasts for one month instead of three. The NuvaRing, or vaginal ring, is a flexible ring which is inserted into the vagina for three weeks and removed for one week then replaced with a new ring and the cycle repeats. The birth control patch is placed direction on a woman's skin. The hormones are infused into the sticky side and are absorbed by the woman when she wears the patch on her hip, buttocks or upper arm. The patch is worn for three weeks and left off for the week of your period. The IUD, intrauterine device, is a small plastic fixture which contains either copper or hormones, and is inserted into the uterus by a physician. The IUD does not stop sperm, but it changes the cervical mucus which decreases the probability of fertilization. It also changes the lining of the uterus which prevents implantation in the event of fertilization of the egg.

Withdrawal and Surgical Sterilization

Withdrawal is exactly what it implies - the withdrawal of the erect penis before ejaculation. And finally, there is sterilization - both female and male.

Female sterilization is called tubal ligation and it is the surgical closing of the fallopian tubes which prevents the eggs which leave the ovaries from making the trip to the uterus. Male sterilization is called a vasectomy and it is the surgical closing of the tubes that deposit sperm into ejaculate. These types of birth control are quite permanent; however, reversals of both are possible. The success rate for pregnancy after a tubal ligation reversal is not extremely high and there is usually a chance of an ectopic pregnancy in such a case.  Therefore, women should be sure that they never want children before opting for a tubal ligation.

 

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