Contraceptives: Definition, Types and Their Pros and Cons

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What are contraceptives?

Contraception refers to any method used to prevent pregnancy during sexual activity. Ways to accomplish this goal abound. There are advantages and disadvantages to every option. To achieve your goals, you may need to experiment with several approaches, and you may find that different ones work best at certain points in your relationship or your life.

The question is, how effective are they?

The following contraceptive options are all safe and reliable. Though no approach can guarantee success every time, it can improve the odds. The effectiveness rate of the contraceptive injectable, for instance, is greater than 99%. This means that more than 99 out of 100 women will have positive results. Therefore, less than one in every hundred women will become pregnant each year while utilizing this strategy.

Some techniques are only as good as their application. User-dependent approaches are those that rely on the input of the user. Unless you know how to use them, they won’t do their job. The combination oral contraceptive (COC) pill, commonly known as “the pill,” has an effectiveness rate of over 99% when used as directed. It loses some of its efficacy if you forget to take a dose or if you throw up while taking it.

Different methods of contraception

1. Combination birth control pill

Combination birth control pill

When people talk about being “on the pill,” they usually refer to the combined oral contraceptive (COC) pill. Pregnancy rates among women taking birth control range from 3.9 per 1,000 to 90.0 per 1,000 years. It all depends on how well a lady takes her pill. Estrogen and progestogen, two female hormones, are found in the pill. 


  • The pain and discomfort of heavy periods are reduced.
  • Ovarian and uterine cancer risk is reduced somewhat (uterus).
  • When you stop doing it, the effects will swiftly fade.


  • Bleeding in between periods, mood fluctuations, and breast pain are the most prevalent.
  • Women with specific medical issues cannot use it. Some examples include women who have a personal or familial history of blood clots, women with uncontrolled high blood pressure, and people who suffer from certain forms of migraine.
  • Women who use it have a slightly increased chance of developing breast cancer.

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2. Progestogen-only pill

Sometimes, the progestogen-only pill (POP) is referred to as “the mini-pill.” It contains merely a progestogen hormone. Three to ninety percent of women utilizing the POP will become pregnant.


  • Less chance of severe complications than with the COC tablet.
  • Many women who cannot take the COC pill due to a medical issue can safely use the POP, including smokers older than 35 and women with certain migraine kinds.
  • It can be used while nursing.


  • Periods become irregular frequently.
  • Some women suffer from negative effects.
  • You must be more precise about when you take it each day compared to the COC pill. Certain POPs must be administered within three hours of the previous day’s dosage. In some cases, there is a 12-hour window before the medication is considered “missed.”
  • There may be a slight increase in breast cancer risk.

3. Contraceptive patch

Contraceptive Patch

In patch form, the contraceptive patch includes the same hormones as the COC pill. It functions similarly and has many of the same advantages and disadvantages. Between 3 and 90 women per 1,000 who use it will become pregnant. The contraceptive patch is adhered to the skin to ensure continuous delivery of the two hormones.


  • It is highly efficient and simple to use.
  • You are not required to remember to take a pill daily.
  • Typically, your periods are lighter, less painful, and more consistent.
  • The contraceptive patch is still effective if you suffer nausea (vomiting) or diarrhea (runny stools).


  • Some females have skin discomfort.
  • Despite its stealthy form, some women believe the contraceptive patch is still visible.
  • It could fail and become less effective.
  • It carries the same dangers as the pill (such as blood clots).

4. Contraceptive vaginal ring

Contraceptive Vaginal RIng

The vaginal ring contraception contains the same hormones as the COC tablet. These hormones have actions in the body that prevent pregnancy from occurring. It is a flexible, transparent ring with a diameter of just over 5 centimeters. It remains in the vagina for three weeks, followed by one week without it. After exactly one week, you insert a new vaginal ring.


  • It is efficient and simple to use.
  • You are not required to remember to take a pill daily.
  • The contraceptive vaginal ring is still effective if you have nausea (vomiting) or diarrhea (runny stools).
  • Your periods are pretty consistent.


  • During sex, some women (and their partners) experience it.
  • It may cause vaginal irritation and discomfort or discharge.
  • It carries the same dangers as the pill (such as blood clots).

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5. Barrier methods

Among the barrier methods are male condoms, female condoms, diaphragms, and caps. They stop sperm from entering the uterus (uterus).


  • There are no significant dangers or adverse effects.
  • Condoms give protection against sexually transmitted diseases.
  • Condoms for men are commonly accessible.


  • They are not as reliable as alternative procedures.
  • They must be used correctly every time one has sex.
  • Sometimes, male condoms will split or detach.
  • When using a diaphragm, spermicide is required, which can be messy or irritating.
  • Typically, diaphragms and caps must be fitted.
  • They may hinder spontaneity or disrupt sexual activity.

6. Contraceptive injections

Contraceptive Injections

Progestogen hormones are used in injectable contraceptives and are released gradually into the body. They work quite well. Only 3-6 out of every 1,000 women who try it end become pregnant. Each injection type requires a further injection every 8-13 weeks.


  • You do not need to remember to take your medication.
  • Once your body becomes accustomed to the hormone, you may experience no or very light periods. Especially if you’ve had painful or heavy periods, this is an advantage.
  • It is possible to receive contraceptive injections while breastfeeding.


  • Periods might become erratic (but often lighter or stop altogether).
  • After stopping birth control, your fertility may not return to normal for several months. It could take up to a year before your menstruation returns.
  • Some women suffer from negative effects.
  •  Common adverse effects include weight gain, mood swings, and headaches. The injection cannot be reversed, so if side effects arise, they may last longer than 8 to 13 weeks.
  • The injections produce a small reduction in bone density.
  • There may be a very slight increase in the risk of breast cancer and womb-neck cancer (cervix).

7. Contraceptive implants

Contraceptive Implants

A contraceptive implant is a tiny device that is positioned beneath the skin. It contains a progestogen hormone that is released gradually into the body. Approximately 1 in 2,000 women who use the implant will become pregnant each year. This involves a minor procedure. To numb the skin, a local anesthetic injection is administered. The lifespan of each implant is three years, after which it must be removed.


  • It is quite efficient.
  • You do not need to remember to take your medication.
  • They are reversible, and periods rapidly reappear after removal.
  • Your periods are typically very mild or absent.


  • Periods may become irregular (but more often are lighter or stop altogether).
  • Some women develop side effects but these tend to settle after the first few months.

8. Intrauterine contraceptive device

intrauterine contraceptive device

A contraceptive coil is also known as an intrauterine contraceptive device (IUCD). A plastic and copper implant is inserted into the uterus (uterus). It lasts for at least five years. In one year of using this approach, between 6 and 8 per 1,000 women will become pregnant.


  • You do not need to remember to take your medication.
  • It lasts between 5 and 10 years.
  • Because there are no hormones, there are no side effects associated with hormonal changes in the body.


  • Your periods could get heavier or hurt more.
  • There is a small chance that something bad will happen.
  • Getting the coil put in is a little painful. (But this only happens once every 5–10 years.)

Intrauterine system

With the intrauterine system (IUS), a plastic device containing a progestogen hormone is put into the uterus (uterus). The progestogen is slowly but steadily released. About 1-2 of every 1,000 women who use this method for a year will get pregnant.

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9. Natural methods of Contraception

The majority of natural methods of contraception entail understanding your cycle and reproductive window. You may then utilize barrier contraceptive methods or abstain from sexual activity during these times. Depending on how cautious you are, the efficacy of this quite varies. Using this procedure, up to 25 out of 100 women may become pregnant. However, if employed with extreme caution, this number can be significantly reduced. You must be really dedicated and regularly test your fertility.


  • No side effects
  • Once instructed, anyone can utilize this method securely.

10. The lactational amenorrhoea method (LAM)


LAM is another kind of natural family planning for breastfeeding mothers without periods.

11. Sterilisation

Sterilization requires a surgical procedure. However, no type of contraception is 100 percent reliable. Male sterilization (vasectomy) is simpler because it can be performed under local anesthesia, and it is also more effective. These techniques are frequently employed when a family is complete. You should be confident in your choice, as decisions are tough to undo.


  • It is quite challenging to reverse. Indeed, you must presume sterilization is irreversible while considering it. If you change your mind in the future, you may regret your decision.
  • Sterilization of women typically requires general anesthesia. This is accompanied by the minimal hazards associated with general anesthetics. Following surgery, your abdomen may feel bloated and uncomfortable for a few days.
  • Men may have soreness, bruising, and swelling for around one week following surgery.
  • A vasectomy takes some time to become effective. During this time, you must utilize another method of contraception.

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