The term birth control (contraception) is quite self-explanatory. It involves means by which individuals try to regulate the occurrence of pregnancy. There are natural and artificial means of contraception.
Natural methods of contraception include:
-Rhythm method – sexual intercourse is limited to the ‘safe period’ of the menstrual cycle.
-Withdrawal method – no ejaculation occurs in the vagina during sexual intercourse.
Artificial methods of contraception include:
-Condom – rubber sheath placed on the erect penis or inside the vagina before sexual intercourse.
-IUD (intra-uterine device) – T-shaped device placed inside the uterus to prevent implantation (attachment of the egg to the uterus wall) of a fertilized egg.
-Contraceptive pill – pills taken daily to prevent ovulation. These pills often contain some amount of hormones.
-Diaphragm (cervical cap) – rubber shaped dome placed over the cervix to prevent sperm from entering the uterus. It is best used with spermicidal cream which kills sperm.
-Sterilization – This is a very permanent procedure. In males it involves the cutting and tying of the vas deferens and is called vasectomy. In females, it is where the oviducts are cut and tied or burnt and is called tubal ligation.