Choosing the best contraceptive method

Nowadays, there is no perfect contraceptive method, as they all have advantages and disadvantages. Thus, the best contraceptive varies according to each person, as well as their needs and lifestyle. In general, there are 5 major groups of contraceptive methods.

Barrier methods

Within this group are the condom and the diaphragm, which prevent the passage of sperm into the vagina and its union with the egg. They also have the advantage of preventing sexually transmitted diseases.

This type of contraceptive does not contain hormones and must be used at every intercourse. It is a method widely used when there is not yet a stable relationship.

Hormonal methods

In this group are the pill, the vaginal ring, the patch and the hormonal IUD, which act by preventing ovulation and, consequently, pregnancy.

The route of administration of each of them is different. The contraceptive pill can be administered orally, the patch via transdermal route, the vaginal ring via vaginal route and the hormonal IUD via intrauterine route.

On the other hand, the frequency of administration also varies. The pill must be taken every day with a protection margin of 12 hours in case of forgetfulness. The patch is administered weekly with a 48-hour protection margin. The vaginal ring is administered monthly and has a protection margin of 3 hours. And the hormonal IUD has an activity of 5 years and the implant of 3 or 5 years.

  • Advantages of hormonal methods

In general, these methods are more than 99% effective in preventing pregnancy. In addition, they improve premenstrual syndrome, as well as menstrual pain, menstrual bleeding, premenstrual breast tension, polycystic ovary. They also reduce acne, regulate the cycle and have benefits, as they contribute to reduce the incidence of ovarian cancer.

  • Disadvantages
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They also have some drawbacks, but these are minor and less frequent. In this sense, sometimes there may be variations in body weight, decreased sexual desire, scanty spotting between periods. The most serious side effect is thromboembolism, but it is less frequent.

Hormonal contraceptive methods can be very suitable for young people, with a stable relationship, who do not have risk factors (smoking, obesity, hypertension, history of thromboembolism) and who, in addition, want a method with high efficacy.

Intrauterine device or non-hormonal IUD

It is a plastic device with a copper wire that, once in place, hinders the passage of sperm, preventing fertilization. It is generally placed in women who have already had children but it can also be placed in those who have not yet had any pregnancy.

This type of device does not regulate the cycle and can also increase the amount of menstruation and does not protect against STDs. It is a good method if you have a steady partner, do not want to take hormones and want long-term contraception.

Natural methods

These methods include coitus interruptus, the rhythm method, the basal temperature method and the cervical mucus method. Although they are less effective in preventing pregnancy, they may be valid for couples who are not too concerned about method failure.

Surgical methods

Surgical methods are indicated in cases where definitive contraception is desired. These include tubal ligation in women, vasectomy in men or the placement of titanium devices in the uterine tubes.

In any case, it is best to put yourself in the expert hands of a specialist in gynecology to analyze your profile, assess the risk factors and have a professional opinion to make the best decision.