Birth Control Methods: Definition, Types, And Top 10 Characteristics

We explain what birth control methods are, how they are classified, and how they functions. Also, what are its characteristics and risks.

What are the birth control methods?

Birth control methods are the drugs, devices, and behaviors that both men and women can use to prevent pregnancy .

Pregnancy begins with the sexual act, so many birth control methods are applied during the act . On the other hand, some affect the reproductive system , limiting its functioning.

Each birth control method has a different effectiveness , as well as various advantages and disadvantages that are specified in each case.

The most suitable birth control method for each person should be chosen with the advice of a doctor .


Sterilization Birth Control Method
Tubal ligation prevents the eggs from reaching the uterus.

It is the most effective form of contraception . Sterilization means that the man or woman is organically incapable of procreation.

It is a surgical intervention that is usually irreversible and includes a different procedure depending on whether the patient is male or female:

  • Tubal ligation.  It is used to sterilize women and it is a short intervention, of approximately 30 minutes. The fallopian tubes are the tubes that connect the uterus to the ovaries. By cauterizing (sealing) this duct, eggs produced by the ovaries cannot reach the uterus and therefore pregnancy cannot occur.
  • Vasectomy.  It is used to sterilize men. In a similar way to what happens in the tubal ligation, in this intervention the ducts that transport the sperm produced in the testicles are closed. After the vasectomy, the man can ejaculate, but in his “semen” there are no sperm and, therefore, pregnancy cannot occur.

Intrauterine device (IUD)

Intrauterine device (IUD)
Some IUDs are covered by copper, which repels sperm in the uterus.

It is a small piece of flexible plastic in the shape of a T , which is inserted into the uterus. This procedure cannot be done at home but is done in a health center.

Some types of IUDs do not have hormones but are covered with a layer of copper . As the sperm approaches the uterus, they are repelled by copper . This device can remain in the uterus for up to 12 years without losing effectiveness.

Other IUDs have hormones that prevent the ovulation process or thicken the cervical mucus so that it blocks sperm from coming in contact with the egg.


Subdermal birth control methods are also called “contraceptive implant”, transdermal implant, subcutaneous implant or pellet.

It is a rod only a few centimeters long and a few millimeters in diameter that is inserted into the woman’s arm. This device releases hormones that prevent ovulation (and therefore pregnancy) for up to 4 years.

Although it is also a hormonal birth control method , it is classified separately since it requires minimal surgical intervention.


hormonal Birth Control Method
The birth control patch must be renewed once a week.

There are several methods that use the application of hormones in women to prevent pregnancy:

  • Pill. It is a drug that is taken daily to prevent ovulation. Its effectiveness exceeds 99%, even if you miss a dose.
  • Patch. It is a thin layer of plastic , similar to a protective wound dressing, that adheres to the skin. It must be renewed once a week. The hormones it releases prevent ovulation.
  • injections. They are applied once every twelve weeks, during which hormones prevent ovulation.
  • vaginal rings They are devices that release hormones and are placed once a month.

All hormonal birth control methods have the advantage of being more than 99% effective when used correctly. However, the more frequent the shot, the more likely it is that the method will not be applied correctly.

On the other hand, hormones cause numerous changes in the body in addition to interacting with various drugs in undesirable ways. Therefore, hormonal birth control methods should always be used under medical supervision.


The condom prevents the spread of sexually transmitted diseases.

Barrier birth control methods are those that prevent semen from entering the vagina, placing a physical barrier.

They are usually combined with the use of spermicide, which in many cases is contained in the same product.

  • Condom. Also called condoms, they are a cylindrical-shaped layer of latex that covers the penis. It is applied immediately before intercourse begins and is discarded immediately afterwards. It is the only birth control method that also prevents the spread of sexually transmitted diseases .
  • Diaphragm. Similar to the condom, it is a hollow cap, but in this case it is inserted into the vagina, blocking the entrance to the uterus, before intercourse. It must remain in place for at least six hours after intercourse. After removal, this device must be washed and can be reused for up to two years.
  • Sponge. It is inserted into the vagina up to 24 hours before intercourse and then removed. It is used only once and is discarded and the disadvantage is that its effectiveness decreases significantly (only 80% effective) in women who have already given birth.


They are chemical substances that prevent the movement of sperm and are applied before intercourse.

They can be inserted into the vagina as a suppository, cream or gel , or over barrier methods of contraception (for example, the diaphragm), at least one hour before intercourse.

They have the disadvantage of not being very effective (only 85% effective) when used alone, but they are very effective in combination with a barrier birth control methods.

Interruption of intercourse

Interruption of intercourse Birth Control Method
Ejaculating outside the vagina is not a safe birth control method.

Ejaculation outside the vagina is called coitus interruptus and involves withdrawing the penis from the vagina before ejaculating.

This birth control method is not safe (except when combined with a barrier method) since the penis during the entire sexual act secretes substances that may contain sperm.

Avoid fertile days

In a 28-day menstrual cycle, the fertile days are usually from 8 to 19 . If you don’t have intercourse during those days, in theory you shouldn’t get pregnant.

However, it should be noted that not all women have regular menstrual cycles so this method is not appropriate for all women.

Of emergency

Of emergency
The morning after pill is most effective if taken within 24 hours.

The “morning-after pill” is used when a birth control method has been forgotten during intercourse, or when it is suspected that it was not effective (for example, if a condom broke). They are also used in cases of sexual abuse.

It is a drug that must be taken within 120 hours after intercourse , but its effectiveness is greater if it is taken within 24 hours.

Sexual abstinence

Unwanted pregnancies are impossible without sexual activity. Therefore, this birth control method is 100% effective.

However, very few people are able to hold it for long periods, so it is advisable to have another method.

Check Out Our Guides To Other Popular Topics

  • The metaphor is a literary figure that exposes a relationship of similarity between two terms so that their concepts can be interchanged. Know the basic examples of metaphor.
  • Did you know that you can use Google Authenticator on your Windows PC through other means? Let’s explore the ways you can use Google Authenticator on PC.
  • Be Familiar with top 10 characteristics of digital media and journalism, its history and its impact on society. Also learn about its history, features and examples.
  • The formal and factual sciences analyze real objects in ideal environments, and ideal objects in formal settings (such as emotions in the human mind). Learn about its definition, features and characteristics with examples.
  • Philosophy is a very old discipline, from which almost all knowledge comes directly or indirectly, from the humanistic to the most objective, from mathematics to literary criticism. Learn about Top 10 Characteristics of a Philosophy, History, Definition, Features and Examples.
  • The letters can be formal or informal according to their function and the relationship that exists between the sender and the receiver. Know about the top 10 characteristics of formal and informal letter, its differences, elements, and features.
  • There are different types of journalistic texts, among which notes, interviews, opinion columns, chronicles , reviews and reports stand out , and deal with various topics in areas such as politics, economy, society, culture, tourism, among others. Learn more about them.
  • Jesus (also known as Jesus of Nazareth or Jesus Christ) is one of the most influential figures in Western culture and a central axis of Christianity. Learn about Top 10 Characteristics of Jesus, his miracles, preaching, love and more.
  • Computer viruses are programs or software intended to execute actions on our computers without our authorization. Know about Top 10 Characteristics of Computer Virus, types, elements, and features.
  • We explain and summarize the history of television and how it evolved. Also, what are its characteristics and its golden age.
  • Be aware of what basic needs are and how they are classified. Also, what are its characteristics and Maslow’s Pyramid.
  • Know in detail what Buddhism is and how this religion originated. Also, what are its characteristics, philosophical principles and symbols.
  • Know everything about England, how is its climate and the flora and fauna of this country.
  • Know in detail what is Google Docs and what this service is for. Also, how to create a document in Google Docs and differences with Google Drive.
  • A detailed overview on the federal government, its advantages and disadvantages. Also, its general characteristics and features.
  • See in detail What is Hurricane Patricia, how long it lasted and the areas affected. Its general characteristics and types.
  • Be familiar with Jewish culture, know how it was originated and what its characteristics are. Also, their customs, prohibitions and more.

The above content published at Collaborative Research Group is for informational and educational purposes only and has been developed by referring to reliable sources and recommendations from technology experts. We do not have any contact with official entities nor do we intend to replace the information that they emit.

Related Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.