Birth control incorporates any method of contraception used to prevent unwanted pregnancy. Statistics have shown that nearly 30 percent of all pregnancies are not planned. In the majority of cases, this situation, unfortunately, ends in abortion – the procedure which is disturbing physically as it is mentally.
On the other hand, contraception is simple and non-invasive. It reduces the chances of an undesired pregnancy significantly.
Types of birth control
Depending on its effects, birth control may be reversible or permanent.
The first type is the one which enables a woman to conceive after she stops with the therapy. The methods used in reversible birth control include hormone therapy, intrauterine method, and mechanical methods of preventing the spermatozoids reach the inner genital tract.
Hormone therapy means that hormones other than those already existing in the body regulate the ovulation. During pregnancy, the levels of estrogen and progesterone are rather high. Usually taken orally, contraceptive pills contain additional hormones which trick the brain into believing a pregnancy already exists. Hence, a female body sends a false signal and skips ovulation. The combined pill inhibits the pituitary gland through combining estrogen and progestogen. This reaction impedes the ovulation and has proved to be the least invasive method with the minimal side effects.
On the other hand, the minipill contains only progestin and has proved to be a less reliable method. Their effect is aimed at cervical mucus which becomes a hostile environment to spermatozoids thus preventing fertilization.
Postcoital pill usually called the “morning-after pill”, contains extremely high levels of estrogen and progesterone. For this reason, it should be taken only when absolutely necessary.
The intrauterine method incorporates methods of implementing a physical object (usually a piece of plastic or metal) in the uterus. This contraceptive coil stops the sperm from getting to the ovaries and may stay inside for 5 – 10 years. It has been proved effective in 90 percent of cases.
Permanent contraception is an irreversible method of birth control. This medical procedure is done surgically in the process called tubal ligation procedure. The egg is prevented from reaching the uterus because the tubes are blocked or tied. Just like any other contraception, it doesn’t provide protection against sexually transmitted infection nor is it performed unless the patient is fully aware of the risks and implications.
Risks and Side effects
Under no circumstances should contraceptive pills be taken without consulting a medical professional. Women with the history of heart or liver disease, thrombosis, stroke, or a migraine as well as cancer-recovered patients have to run additional tests.
The side effects of hormonal contraception such as dizziness and nausea, weight fluctuation, breast sensitivity, mood swings may occur. Severe symptoms of stomachache, chest ache, blurry vision or the swelling of extremities require that you contact the doctor immediately.
Although the controversial issue of contraception has been a subject of heated debate, each couple has the right to preserve their physical and mental wellbeing and do what is in their best interest.