Sterilization & Contraception
Sterilization: This method is a stable solution and is meant for men and women who do not mean to have children in the future. Male sterilization engages vasectomy, a surgical blocking of the vas deferens, the tubes through which sperm pass into the semen. Female sterilization involves a tubal ligation, a surgical process that blocks the fallopian tubes which carry the eggs from the ovaries to the uterus. The choice of a particular process of contraceptive also depends on individual’s age, health, incidence of sexual activity, future pregnancy, future plan of pregnancy and certain medical situation. Therefore always talk about with your doctor about the choice of birth control method. It is necessary to know that most birth control methods stop pregnancy; however no method of birth control offers security against sexually transmitted illness.
Contraception, also known as birth control practice is prevention of pregnancy by interfering with the whole process of conception and implantation. In the current scenario, numerous methods of contraception are in practice and include barrier or hormonal method, withdrawal, natural family planning, abstinence and sterilization (surgery). Some of these methods are confined for women and others for men; and some of the methods are reversible while some are permanent methods.
Abstinence: Abstinence means not having sexual intercourse. It is the only birth control method that is 100% effective in preventing pregnancy as well as sexually transmitted diseases.
Natural family planning method: Natural family planning (NFP) or fertility awareness does not require medication, physical devices, or surgery to prevent pregnancy. This method relies on the woman’s body physiology to know the time of ovulation. This method involves monitoring different body changes such as basal body temperature or cervical mucus variations. The woman then abstains from unprotected sex for approximately 7 to 10 days when she may have ovulated.
Barrier methods: It is one of the most common methods of contraception. The devices used form a physical barrier to obstruct the sperm from entering a woman’s uterus. Barrier methods include use of male condom, female condom, spermicides, diaphragm, cervical cap and contraceptive sponge. The male condom is a thin covering made of latex or polyurethane that is rolled over an erect penis before sexual intercourse to prevent the sperm from entering a woman’s vagina. The female condom is a polyurethane (plastic) tube that has a flexible ring at each end and is inserted into the vagina before sexual intercourse. Spermicides are chemicals that inactivate or kill sperm and are available as foams, suppositories and jellies. A diaphragm is a flexible dome that covers the cervix inside the vagina. The cervical cap is smaller cup made of latex rubber or plastic. They should be used in conjunction with a spermicidal gel and are placed in the vagina before sexual intercourse. The sponge is a soft, round barrier device made of polyurethane foam.
Hormonal methods: In this method synthetic hormonal preparation containing oestrogen and progesterone will be taken orally, implanted into body tissue, and injected under the skin, absorbed from a patch on the skin or placed in the vagina. These methods work by preventing ovaries from releasing an egg for fertilization.