All contraceptives can be divided into hormonal and non-hormonal. The first contains female sex hormones and affects the process of egg maturation, and its readiness for fertilization. Hormones are usually taken in the form of oral medications, but can also be injected into the body in the form of injections, implants, or vaginal remedies.
Non–hormonal contraceptives do not affect the ovulation cycle – they do not allow the fertilization process itself. Such means either creating a barrier between male and female germ cells (barrier methods) or changing the sperm themselves, making them unable to fertilize.
Popular types of contraceptives
To date, there are many means for protection. Let’s look at some of them.
The simplest and most affordable method of barrier contraception. It is important to note that they protect not only from unwanted pregnancy but also from sexually transmitted diseases. Condoms can be both male and female, but the female version is not so popular.
cervical caps and sponges are female barrier contraceptives. They do not affect the hormonal background, they are suitable for nursing women. The disadvantage is relatively low efficiency.
They are available in the form of vaginal creams, candles, tablets, and aerosols. The principle of action is the destruction of spermatozoa when they enter the female body. Spermicides are injected into the vagina before sexual intercourse.
Intrauterine devices (IUDs).
The spiral is inserted by the doctor into the uterine cavity. The method is recommended for women who have already given birth to a child. The IUD physically prevents the penetration of sperm into the uterus, preventing fertilization. There are hormonal, inert, copper-containing spirals.
A flexible plastic ring that, after insertion into the vagina, releases hormones that prevent pregnancy. A woman can install the ring herself, but the possibility and timing of using the ring should be determined by a doctor.
Birth control pills.
Hormonal drugs are intended for continuous use according to the scheme prescribed by a doctor. They delay the onset of ovulation, which is necessary for fertilization.
This option is similar in effect to taking pills but does not require daily monitoring. A dose of the hormone is injected into a woman’s body with an intramuscular injection. The dosage and injection regimen is prescribed by a doctor.
It can be a thin stick or capsule, which is installed under the skin on the arm for a long time and releases a hormonal drug that prevents ovulation and thickens cervical mucus.
Postcoital hormonal agents.
Emergency contraception is used after unplanned sexual intercourse. The method involves a single injection of a high dose of hormones into the body and therefore is not suitable for frequent use.
Before choosing contraceptives, it is necessary to consult with your doctor. All hormonal contraceptives have contraindications, so their use can be prescribed only after undergoing examination and tests.