Birth Control Options

Birth control takes many forms. Contraception includes barrier methods, hormonal contraception (oral contraception) and intrauterine devices. In this section, we will investigate some of the other types of contraception in use, what they are and how they work.

Choosing Permanent Contraception

Often when a couple has determined their family has reached the size they want it to be, they take a more permanent road to birth control. Tubal ligation for women and vasectomy for men are both forms of surgical sterilization that are available and common today. While it is possible to reverse these procedures, the results are often unsuccessful. Find out more about these surgical procedures and their effectiveness by reading our articles in this section.

Fertility Awareness in Its Many Forms

Several connected types of birth control involve natural contraception. Behavioral methods that include timing of intercourse, fertility awareness, and the lactational amenorrhea method (LAM) can be used as a means of birth control. All of these types of birth control require a monitoring of ovulation, although LAM is actually breastfeeding infertility. These methods have been used by women the world over for centuries as a means of avoiding pregnancy. We will investigate their effectiveness here.

Coitus interruptus (interrupted sexual intercourse or pulling out) and avoiding semen near the vagina (non-penetrative sex) are yet other types of birth control methods that have been used to avoid pregnancy. There are obvious risks to these methods; however, they too have been used over the centuries with some level of success.

Abstinence or Abortion?

Sexual abstinence can be defined in a variety of ways. In terms of birth control, the understanding is commonly thought to be the avoidance of all sexual activity. While abstinence provides 100% effectiveness in pregnancy prevention, it does not preclude the risk of an unwanted pregnancy due to non-consensual sex. We'll discuss the debate around this method of birth control in this section.

Induced abortion as a primary means of birth control is still commonly used in some European countries and has been a source of controversy in North America for some years. There are different methods used to perform abortion, from surgical to medical and herbal practices.

New Methods on the Horizon

Along with all of these more familiar methods of birth control, there are many that are being developed for use by both men and women. Learn about Praneem, BufferGel, Duet, and SILCS diaphragm for women and Adjudin, RISUG, and vas-occulsive contraception for men here at

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