Everything you need to know about contraception to know what’s right for you

Everything you need to know about contraception to know what’s right for you

The History of Contraception

The history of contraception goes back thousands of years. The first contraception methods were mechanical barriers placed inside the woman’s vagina to block sperm from fertilizing an egg, and this method was used across the ancient world. Some of these included devices such as diaphragms, cervical caps, and condoms (both male and female) and remain in use today.

A significant advance in contraception came with the development of hormonal methods. In 1909, German scientist Oscar Leopold Julius Schmid first synthesized progesterone, which was then used in a variety of trials for birth control.

In 1957, scientists working at Syntex Laboratories in Mexico City created norethindrone (norethisterone), another synthetic hormone with contraceptive properties. Both progesterone and norethindrone are members of a class of compounds known as progestins. Progestins work by inhibiting ovulation—that is, they prevent the release of an egg from the ovary each month. They also thicken cervical mucus so that sperm have difficulty swimming through it to reach an egg. Finally, progestins can thin the lining of the uterus so that implantation is less likely to occur even if fertilization occurs.

The first oral contraceptive pill approved for use in the United States contained both estrogen and a progestin; it was released in 1960 under the brand name Enovid-10. However, side effects, including nausea, weight gain, breast tenderness, and increased blood pressure, led many women to discontinue use within a year or two.

In 1962, American physician John Rock collaborated with Gregory Pincus on clinical trials using only synthetic progestin pills; these were much better tolerated by patients. Norgeston (levonorgestrel) became available in Britain in 1964; this was followed by Ovidol (Ethinylestradiol + levonorgestrel) and Ovulen -21/Ovral-28 (Ethinylestradiol + norgestrel) later that same year.

Oral contraceptives quickly gained popularity worldwide; today they are used by more than 100 million women globally. When taken correctly — typically once daily at about the same time each day — modern oral contraceptives are highly effective at preventing pregnancy. For example, “the pill” is 99% effective when used ideally but only 91% effective with typical use. That means that out of every 100 women who rely on oral contraceptives for birth control, nine will become pregnant over the course of one year due to missed pills or other errors in taking their medication correctly. Other factors such as vomiting or diarrhea can also reduce effectiveness; however, backup contraception is not generally necessary if these episodes are short-lived.

How religion and contraception collided.

The historical interaction between contraception and the world religions, including Christianity, Judaism, and Islam, has been a long and complicated one. In general, the major world religions have not been opposed to contraception itself, but rather to certain types of contraception or to the use of contraception for specific purposes. For example, many Christians believe that artificial birth control is morally wrong because it interferes with God's plan for human reproduction. Jews generally do not object to contraception per se, but some Orthodox Jewish groups prohibit the use of hormonal methods of birth control because they may cause early abortions. And most Muslims believe that contraceptives are permissible as long as they do not prevent pregnancy altogether (which would be tantamount to abortion). There have been a few notable exceptions to these general attitudes within religious groups. Some Christian sects such as the Quakers and Mennonites have always supported the use of birth control; in fact, members of these groups were among the first users of condoms in North America. Similarly, a number of small Islamic sects - usually considered heretical by mainstream Muslims - permit contraceptive use without restriction. But overall, contraceptive use has tended to be more common among those who do not adhere strictly to traditional religious teachings on sexuality and reproduction.

Contraception Categories

According to the Guttmacher Institute, approximately 225 million women of reproductive age worldwide who want to avoid pregnancy are not using a modern contraceptive method. In other words, about one in three sexually active women of reproductive age globally are at risk for an unintended pregnancy—and 80% of these pregnancies occur in developing countries.

There is significant variation in contraceptive use by region. For example, as of 2010–2015, only 6% of married or cohabiting women aged 15–49 living in sub-Saharan Africa used any form of contraception; this compares with 36% who did so in Latin America and the Caribbean and 55% who did so in Northern Africa. Among all regions, Oceania (covering the geographic region that includes Australasia, Melanesia, Micronesia, and Polynesia) had the highest prevalence of modern contraceptive use (67%).

The most common methods among married or cohabiting women were sterilization (28%), oral contraceptives (15%), and injectables (9%). The least common were intrauterine devices/systems (IUDs/IUS) (3%) and implants (2%). The male condom was used by 13% of couples. Use varied considerably within regions as well. In Asia, for instance, where 38% of married or cohabiting women aged 15–49 used a modern method overall—the lowest level among all regions—use ranged from 2% in Afghanistan to 60% in China. Similarly, abortion rates also vary widely across regions: from less than 1 per 1000 women aged 15–44 years in Western Europe to 29 per 1000 in Eastern Europe.

There are many different types of contraception available on the market today, including; condoms; oral contraceptives ( birth control pills); intrauterine devices (IUD); vasectomy; tubal ligation; diaphragm with spermicide; sponge with spermicide; male condom, and female condom; hormonal implant and periodontal ring.

Here is a brief overview of some of the most popular methods:

The birth control pill is one of the most common forms of contraception. It works by preventing ovulation and, thus, pregnancy. The pill must be taken every day at roughly the same time to be effective.

Another popular form of contraception is the intrauterine device (IUD). IUDs work by either releasing hormones or copper into the uterus, which prevents pregnancy. IUDs are long-term contraceptives and can last for 3-10 years, depending on the type used. They are also very effective, with a failure rate of around 1%.

Condoms are another well-known form of contraception. They work by creating a barrier between sperm and eggs, thus preventing fertilization from occurring. Condoms come in male and female varieties and can be made from latex or polyurethane. Latex condoms are more effective than polyurethane ones, but they can cause allergic reactions in some people. Male condoms have a failure rate of around 2%, while female condoms have a slightly higher failure rate at 21%. However, female condoms provide additional protection against STDs, so they may be worth considering if you’re not exclusively monogamous.

The more “natural” withdrawal method, where the man pulls out his penis before ejaculating, has about as much chance of failing as using no contraceptive at all!

Advances in contraception for men

A lot had changed in the field of contraception for men since the early days when it was first introduced. Medical advances have made it much more effective and safer, with a wide variety of available options. Here we will look at some of the most significant developments in this area.

The most common form of contraception for men is condoms, which are now made from latex or polyurethane and are very effective at preventing pregnancy. There are also male contraceptive pills that contain hormones, but these are not yet licensed for use in all parts of the world, like the U.K.

Another option is vasectomy, where the tubes that carry sperm from the testicles to the penis are cut or blocked. This is a permanent method of contraception and requires surgery to reverse if you later change your mind about having children.

There has been some recent research into new methods of male contraception that could be reversible without surgery, such as gel injections or implants. These methods are still being developed and tested so it will be some time before they become widely available. Still, they offer promising potential for those who do not want to undergo surgery. Injections of testosterone can also act as a temporary contraceptive for men. However, this does not entirely block sperm production, and so there is still a small risk of pregnancy occurring. However, this method can help to reduce fertility levels significantly and so may be suitable for couples who want to delay starting a family or who have difficulty conceiving naturally.

Effectiveness of Contraception

According to recent reports, the number of unplanned pregnancies in the United States has been on the rise. This is a cause for concern for many people, as unplanned pregnancies can often lead to negative consequences such as financial instability, relationship problems, and health complications.

There are several reasons why the number of unplanned pregnancies may be increasing. One possibility is that more people are engaging in risky sexual behavior without using birth control or other protective measures. Another opportunity is that there has been a decrease in access to contraception due to changes in insurance coverage or availability of Planned Parenthood clinics. Whatever the reason, it is clear that there is a rise in unplanned pregnancies in the U.S. and in some countries worldwide.

One way to reduce unplanned pregnancy rates is by providing comprehensive sex education in schools. This would help young people learn about different methods of contraception and how to use them properly. It would also teach them about consent and healthy relationships, which could help prevent situations where one partner feels pressured into having unprotected sex. In addition, making emergency contraception more widely available could also help reduce rates of unplanned pregnancies.

There are many different types of contraception available today, and new research is constantly emerging on their effectiveness. Here we will review some of the latest studies on three popular methods: birth control pills, intrauterine devices (IUDs), and condoms.

The pill remains one of the most popular forms of contraception, with an estimated 12 million women using it in the United States alone. A recent study published in The New England Journal of Medicine followed over 7,500 women for three years and found that those who took the pill had a 92% reduction in pregnancy risk compared to those who did not use any form of contraception. This is similar to other extensive studies that have been conducted over the past few decades, which all suggest that the pill is around 91-99% effective at preventing pregnancy when used perfectly. However, in real-world conditions where people sometimes forget to take their pills or do not take them every day as prescribed, this number drops to about 80%.

IUDs are another very effective form of contraception with a less than 1% failure rate. Copper IUDs work by releasing small amounts of copper into the uterus, which acts as a spermicide. Hormonal IUDs release progestin hormone into the uterus, thickening cervical mucus and thinning out the uterine lining, making it difficult for fertilized eggs implantation. There are also now newer versions like Skyla® and Kyleena®, which can last up to 5 or 6 years before needing replacement.

Condoms are one of the most effective and available forms of contraception. Used correctly, condoms can reduce the risk of pregnancy by up to 98%. There are a few reasons why condoms are so effective at preventing pregnancy. First, they provide a physical barrier between sperm and eggs, which prevents fertilization from taking place. Second, they help prevent sexually transmitted infections (STIs), which can cause problems with fertility. And finally, they keep semen away from the vaginal opening where it could come into contact with an egg. But while condoms are highly effective when used correctly, there’s always a chance that something could go wrong. The condom could break or slip off during sex, for instance. If this happens, you may want to consider emergency contraception, such as the morning-after pill, just in case (condoms are not 100% effective). If you’re thinking about using condoms to prevent pregnancy but have some questions or concerns, talk to your healthcare provider. They can help you figure out if condoms are right for you and give you tips on how to use them properly.

Why Contraception Fails

Contraception fails to prevent pregnancy for a variety of reasons. The most common cause is human error, such as forgetting to take a pill or not using a condom correctly. Other times, the method of contraception may be ineffective, such as when condoms break or hormonal birth control methods fail. Others think they can only get pregnant during certain times of the month, so they don't bother using contraception consistently.

Irrespective of the method, contraception methods are prone to failure are they require proper use. This is why most contraceptive methods are not 100% effective. Even if a couple has used contraception perfectly every time but then one time forgot to use it or used it incorrectly, there is still a chance that pregnancy could occur from that one instance of unprotected sex. Therefore, it's crucial for couples who don't want to become pregnant to be consistent in their contraceptive usage and always use some form of protection whenever they engage in sexual intercourse.

Should, however, contraception methods fail, women can resort to methods that prevent the egg from getting fertilized. The morning-after pill is a type of emergency contraception that can be used to avoid pregnancy after unprotected sex. It works by delaying or preventing ovulation and can be taken up to 5 days after unprotected sex. The morning-after pill is not 100% effective and should not be used as a regular method of birth control.

How does the morning-after pill work? The morning after pill contains levonorgestrel, a synthetic hormone that is similar to progesterone. Levonorgestrel prevents ovulation (the release of an egg from the ovary) and makes it more difficult for sperm to fertilize an egg if ovulation has already occurred. The morning after pill is most effective when taken within 24 hours of unprotected sex but can still be somewhat effective up to 5 days afterward. It is important to note that the morning-after pill will not terminate an existing pregnancy - it only delays or prevents ovulation in order to reduce the risk of conception occurring.

There are two types of morning-after pills: those with one dose of levonorgestrel (like Plan B One-Step®)and those with two doses (like Ella®). Both work in basically the same way to help prevent pregnancy; however, they contain different hormones and are taken at different times in terms of dosage amount and timing of these doses.

The morning-after pill is available with a prescription from your health care provider. Some women purchase several doses in advance to take the pill in a timely manner when every minute matters.

Potential Side Effects of Contraception

There are many different types of contraception available today, each with its own set of possible side effects. The most common type of contraception is the birth control pill (which is taken orally), condoms, diaphragms, spermicides, and intrauterine devices (IUDs). Although contraceptives are generally safe for most women to use, some may experience minor side effects such as headaches or nausea. More serious risks are associated with certain types of contraception, such as blood clots and strokes. It’s important to talk to your doctor about any contraceptive method's potential risks and benefits before starting it.

The birth control pill is one of the most common forms of contraception used by women today. There are many different types and brands of pills available on the market, so it’s important to find one that works best for you. Some women may experience mild side effects from taking the pill, such as headaches or breast tenderness. These usually go away after a few months once your body adjusts to the medication. However, some women continue to have these symptoms even after they stop taking the pill. If this happens, it’s essential to speak with your doctor about changing brands or stopping altogether if necessary.

Other more serious risks associated with taking oral contraceptives include an increased risk of developing Blood clots that can form in arteries or veins, causing blockages that can lead to stroke or heart attack.

While IUDs are a highly effective form of contraception, they come with their own share Side Effects, including pelvic inflammatory disease, expulsion (when IUD falls out), and an infection that can be serious in rare cases. It is important that any application of an IUD is monitored by a healthcare professional.

Contraception after giving birth

While contraception conversations are centered on preventing pregnancy, it is vital to consider a contraception method that is right for you and your partner. Despite some misconceptions, nursing women can still get pregnant as active nursing is not a reliable contraception method.

There are many options available, so be sure to talk with your healthcare provider about what would work best for you. Some factors to consider include whether or not you want to breastfeed, how often you have sex, and if you have any health conditions. The most common types of contraception are hormonal methods, such as the pill, patch, ring, shot, and intrauterine devices (IUDs). These all work by preventing ovulation or fertilization of eggs. The pill is taken orally every day and must be started on the first day of your period or within five days after unprotected intercourse. The patch and ring are both applied externally; the patch is worn for a week at a time while the ring stays in place for three weeks out of each month. The shot is given intramuscularly every three months. IUDs can last anywhere from 3-10 years depending on the type; they work by either thickening cervical mucus or thinning uterine lining, making it difficult for sperm to travel through the cervix into the uterus, thereby preventing fertilization from occurring inside the womb. Irrespective of the method, couples need to use conception to avoid unwanted pregnancies after giving birth.

Newest Breakthroughs in Contraception

Though there are many different types of contraception available on the market today, medical researchers are still looking for ways to improve these products and make them more effective.

Here are some of the latest breakthroughs in contraceptive treatments and practices:

  • A new type of birth control pill has been developed that is said to be up to 99% effective in preventing pregnancy. The pill, known as “Yasminelle,” contains a lower dose of hormones than other oral contraceptives and is taken just once a day. It is currently available in Europe but has not yet been approved for use in the United States.
  • A new study has found that the cervical cap is nearly as effective as condoms in preventing pregnancy when used correctly. The cervical cap is a small silicone cup that covers the cervix and must be fitted by a doctor or nurse before use. In the study, which was published in The Lancet, women who used the cervical cap were about 86% less likely to become pregnant than those who did not use any form of contraception at all.
  • Researchers have also made progress toward developing a male contraceptive pill. Though it is still several years away from being commercially available, early studies suggest that it could be over 90% effective at preventing pregnancy if taken daily. The pill temporarily suppresses sperm production rather than permanently sterilizes men as current vasectomy procedures do. This means that it could potentially offer a reversible form of contraception for men, which would be highly desirable for many couples.

How to know which approach is best for you

When it comes to contraception, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. The best method of contraception for an individual depends on several factors, including their age, health, lifestyle, and preferences.

Here are some things to consider when choosing a contraceptive method:

Age: Younger women who have not yet had children may be more suited to long-acting methods such as the intrauterine device (IUD) or implant. These methods are highly effective and can last for several years. Older women approaching menopause may prefer shorter-term options such as the pill or patch, which can be stopped once menopause has started.

Health: Some medical conditions can make certain types of contraception unsuitable. For example, women with high blood pressure should avoid the combined pill, while those with migraines may find that the mini pill suits them better. It’s essential to speak to your G.P. about any health concerns before starting any new contraception method.

Lifestyle: If you have an active lifestyle or often travel for work, you may prefer a contraceptive method that doesn’t require daily attention – such as the IUD or implant. On the other hand, if you want something that you can control yourself and isn’t permanent, then short-acting methods like condoms might suit you better. Consider also how easy it is to access each type of contraception; some require regular checkups at clinics, while others can be obtained over-the-counter from pharmacies.

Preferences: There are many different types of contraceptives available, so it’s important to think about what YOU want from your chosen method. Do you want something that is reversible? Are you happy to take hormones? Would you prefer a long-acting or short-acting option? What suits your lifestyle best? Once you’ve considered all these factors, you should have a good idea of which contraceptive method will work best for you.


In the United States, low-income women are more likely to experience unintended pregnancies than higher-income women. In fact, nearly half of all pregnancies among American women are unplanned, and the majority of these occur among those with incomes below 200% of the federal poverty level.

The consequences of unintended pregnancy can have a host of negative effects for mothers and their children in all demographic groups, including poorer health outcomes, lower educational attainment, and increased economic instability.

Contraception can help prevent unintended pregnancy and its associated adverse outcomes. When used consistently and correctly, modern contraceptive methods are highly effective at preventing pregnancy; in fact, they are up to 99% effective. However, if women do not have access to quality contraceptive care or information about how to use their chosen method correctly, they may resort to using less effective methods like withdrawal or condoms—or no method at all—which increases their risk of becoming pregnant unintentionally. Providing all women with quality access to contraception can help them avoid unwanted pregnancies and improve their overall well-being and that of their families.