Birth Control Guide

Birth control has been around, in some form, for thousands of years. In this section you'll find detailed information about all of the common forms of birth control used today as well as in depth information on responsible sexual choices, and even birth control technology of the future.

Welcome to the site where you can learn everything you need to know about choosing birth control, types of birth control like the Mini-Pill and combined oral contraceptive pills, fertility awareness, emergency contraception, and about family planning and new birth control methods.

Barrier Methods for Women: Barrier methods are some of the oldest methods of birth control. Women in ancient Egypt used vaginal suppositories to prevent pregnancy. However, unlike the sponges of today and modern spermicides, Egyptian women concocted their vaginal suppositories out of crocodile dung and honey. Modern devices include the traditional diaphragm as well as its smaller counterparts, the FemCap cervical cap and Lea's Shield. For protection against many sexually transmitted diseases, the female condom is now a reality.

Natural Methods: These methods are also termed "periodic abstinence" because a women abstains from sex on days that she is fertile. Natural methods require no drugs or internal devices. These include methods that use charts, such as the symptothermal method and the ovulation mucus method, as well as calendar-based methods, such as the antiquated rhythm method and its successor, the new standard days method (also known as CycleBeads).

Hormonal Contraceptives: Hormonal methods include all contraceptives that use synthetic female hormones as birth control. The oldest of these is The Pill, which includes combined oral contraceptive pills and the newer estrogen-free mini-pill. These same hormones are used in the OrthoEvra patch and the Nuva vaginal ring. Lunelle is one type of birth control shot available along with Depo-provera, an estrogen-free three-month birth control injection. Read about the controversy surrounding the mechanisms of all hormonal contraceptives.

Long Term Birth Control: For women who are interested in worry-free birth control that lasts a year or more, the IUD is often recommended by doctors. Norplant implants last up to five years but are no longer available in the U.S., although women elsewhere may be able to obtain them. Similar to Norplant, Implanon has recently been approved for use in the U.S. Women who want no more children may opt for a tubal ligation, but keep in mind this is permanent and not easily reversed.

Methods for Men: When it comes to reversible methods for men, condoms are the only option. Condoms are popular because they are easy to use and inexpensive. Made of latex, plastic, or natural animal tissues, condoms can prevent both pregnancy and sexually transmitted disease. For men who are sure they want no more children, a vasectomy is a surgical option. While this birth control should be seen as permanent, it is possible to get a vasectomy reversal.

Birth Control Issues: See our chart on birth control comparisons to educate yourself about effective methods of birth control and ineffective methods, like withdrawal (the pull-out method). Learn about safe versus safer sex and what to do when contraception fails. See our important facts about hormonal-based emergency contraceptives and elective abortion. Some contraceptive methods may increase your risk of dangerous blood clots. If you use the birth control patch, or are considering it, take a look at Problems with the Patch to learn more. And if you've found that your libido seems to have waned since starting the pill, then you'll want to read Birth Control Controlling Your Sex Drive?

Responsible Sex: Making good choices about sex is often easier said than done. Read our article about responsible sexual choices and you to understand the issues related to your choice to become sexually active. Abstinence is the best way to prevent unplanned pregnancy and sexually transmitted disease, but there are many reasons why waiting is hard, especially when it seems like sex is everywhere. A beauty queen tells us why she is choosing to save sex until her wedding night.

The Future of Birth Control: As technology continues to advance, the science of contraception advances as well. Fertility monitors are small computers widely used in Europe to predict when it is safe to have sex, without any drugs or devices. A new birth control pill was just developed that offers freedom from menstruation. Also read about other new methods under development.

Religious Views: For many people, their choices surrounding family planning revolve around their religious beliefs. But do all religions have the same viewpoint when it comes to procreation as well as sex both inside and outside of the institution of marriage? Here we look at common religions, including Catholicism, Judaism, and Islam, and their values when it comes to sex, birth control, and abortion.


Get the answers to all of your birth control questions in our birth control forum.


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After sex can we use pills it means after 3days to control pregnant in future
7 years ago
I must have a very sensitive body, I've tried all contrideptions: the pill=allergic to all forms, the coil=I miscarried and got an infection, the rod=my periods lasted 23 days amonth. So on the old condoms now, fingers crossed these work till were ready for babies, I'm not gonna even try the rhythm or pull out methods, that's just asking for trouble!
9 years ago
The 5 year iud has been a nightmare! Lost 90% of my hair,cyst in left breast,cyst on right ovary,panic attacks,anxiety,been told I have pancreatitis 3 times, swollen liver, can not be around other people due to mood swings , hands and ankles swell really bad,arthritis my figures,swollen Abdomon , lost 25 pounds due to anxiety and my belly being so swollen . This is a very bad birth-control. I am going back to depo shot. Even it depletes my bone mass! Thank you all for all your info! I would of never put 2&2 together of all the side affects!
9 years ago
This is the 21st century. Hopefully, many faith based christians understand that birth controll is a needed and necessary part of sexuality. To deny this fact is to deny human frailty. Abstinance without a viable prescription birth control DOES NOT do the trick . I am a Roman Catholic...62 years old with one child because that is all we could afford to raise. I practised birth controll in the 70's and 80's because I had a brain! We could not support more than one child. Period.
10 years ago