Birth Control Information
A Guide to Birth Control Pills
From oral contraceptives to surgical procedures, there is a lot to know about birth control. Make an informed decision with facts about different birth control methods and tips on where to find birth control information.
Birth Control Facts
There is plenty of birth control information floating about, and since some claims seem to contradict others, it can be difficult to separate the facts from the myths. To begin, no birth control method will absolutely guarantee protection against STDs like herpes or HIV AIDS, except for abstinence. And while a method may provide some protection against STDs and pregnancy, it must be used correctly; there are as many unplanned pregnancies resulting from the improper use of birth control as from no birth control use at all.
Birth control can be classified in a number of ways. A permanent method will typically involve surgery and will result in sterility, and reversible birth control means that stopping birth control will restore fertility immediately or in the future. The method can also be classified according to its approach: a barrier method will physically block the sperm, a mechanical method will prevent the implantation of the egg and a hormonal method will affect the production of hormones that increase fertility. There is also the "natural" method, which relies on paying close attention to the menstrual cycle to track ovulation.
The best place to go with birth control questions is your doctor or gynecologist, but you may wish to contact the birth control brands directly for more information. You can also search online for advice on contraceptive effectiveness from professionals, experts and peers. If you do decide to seek answers online, pay attention to the source; look for footnotes and references in the document to ensure the information is accurate, and compare websites to find consistent claims.
Comparing Birth Control
The best method of birth control for you will depend on when and if you want to become pregnant, your willingness to put up with birth control side effects and your personal medical history. Chances of pregnancy while on birth control will vary considerably, but there are many affordable methods that will provide a very high success rate when used properly.
While condoms are the most popular method of barrier birth control, the birth control pill is the most popular form of hormonal contraception. If you're starting birth control pills, you will find that there are several popular brands, some of which only use one hormone (progestin) while others use a combination of progestin and estrogen. These pills will release daily doses of hormones to prevent ovulation and thin the lining of the uterus. Detailed information about birth control pills can be found online—the levels of each hormone will determine the side effects you can expect from each pill.
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