Long before the advent of modern science and technology, man had been devising ways to prevent pregnancy with the use of crude concoctions such as crocodile or elephant dung mixed with honey as well as a potion of dried beaver testicles mixed with alcohol.
Medical innovations, however, have provided us with effective birth control methods in the form of pills, implants, and shots just to name a few. These methods have empowered women the world over in terms of the range of options they have for birth control.
Today’s women consider lifestyle and health issues as essential factors in determining which birth control options they will choose. Besides, pills may not be effective for everyone especially if you’ve forgotten to take it too many times. Some women may opt for hormones while others prefer implants or patches. There are those who would consider permanent birth control procedures while others prefer reversible methods. What is good for one woman may not be effective for another.
To those who are scouting for birth control methods that are virtually hassle-free for months, years, or even a lifetime, advances in birth control technology have made it possible for women to choose which one would suit their medical science and medication offer women new methods and more types of contraception to choose from.
Reversible birth control means it can be stopped any time without long-term effects on a woman’s fertility or ability to become pregnant. Since a woman’s child-bearing goals and preferences change throughout her life, this option can protect a woman from pregnancy without taking away the opportunity to have children in the future. The three types of reversible birth control methods are hormonal, non-hormonal, and fertility awareness methods.
Hormonal contraceptives work by suppressing two key hormones, the follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH), that trigger ovulation. FSH is responsible for coaxing the egg to maturity while LH triggers the release of the egg at mid-cycle. Patches, vaginal rings, implants and pills are examples of hormonal birth control.
Non-hormonal birth control methods includes diaphragm, male and female condoms, intrauterine device (IUD), cervical cap, vaginal sponge, spermicides.
Fertility awareness method is a collection of practices that help a woman know which days of the month she is most likely to get pregnant by using the body’s natural and normal functions. Through observation and charting physical changes in a woman’s body, she can learn when her ovulation is coming. She can then use this information to avoid or encourage pregnancy.
With reversible birth control, fertility returns in one to two months. And though fertility may return, pregnancy might not happen right away. It takes time before one can become pregnant again.
Permanent birth control methods are for couples who may decide not to have anymore children due to a variety of reasons including health and financial concerns.
Tubal ligation or occlusion is a permanent birth control method for women that involves the closure of the the tubes between the ovaries and the uterus. The procedure prevents sperm cells from reaching the egg cells. Vasectomy, on the other hand, is a male permanent birth control procedure in which the doctor ties or seals the tubes in the scrotum that carry sperm to the penis. Vasectomy lets a man enjoy sex without causing pregnancy.
Indeed, modern medicine and technology has enabled women to become more empowered in terms of their child-bearing and family planning decisions. With the right information and birth control products, women now have a chance to lead a better life, and so do their children should they decide to get pregnant and raise a family.