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Birth Control ComparisonContraception Methods

Although both men and women share equal roles in procreation, and should therefore be equally responsible to take proper contraception, this responsibility often falls on the woman's shoulders. This is probably because she is the one who has the most at stake and it is she who ultimately must bring a child into the world if birth control is not used.

There are many forms of birth control currently on the market, some methods having been used for decades, while others are relatively new. While this article does not provide detailed information about each method of birth control, its purpose is to compare the basic facts regarding the various methods, including pros and cons of the different contraceptives available. The purpose of this article is to help inform women who may wish to have children sometime in the future, but do not want them at the moment. Therefore, we will be only reviewing non-permanent, reliable methods of birth control, eliminating such methods as sterilization, withdrawal method, rhythm douching and breast-feeding. These birth control methods will be reviewed separately.

Method: The Birth Control Pill (The Pill)
What is it?: A pill that contains synthetic estrogen and progestogen
How does it work?: The pill comes in packages using cycles of 21 or 28 days that must be taken daily. The hormones in the pill prevent your body from ovulating, which means that an egg is not released each month and pregnancy will not result.
Effectiveness: 97-99% effective
Advantages: Easy to use, regular and lighter menstrual cycles, reduced cramping, link to reduced rates of uterine and ovarian cancer, may clear up acne, allows for spontaneous sexual activity.
Disadvantages: Possible weight gain, must remember to take pill every day, less effective when taken with antibiotics, does not protect against STD's, and requires a prescription, possible side effects.

Method: Depo-provera
What is it?: An injection containing progestin.
How does it work?: An injection is given every 12 weeks, which stops the body from producing estrogen and progesterone. As a result, ovulation does not occur, as no egg has matured for release and the uterus lining is not able to receive a fertilized egg.
Effectiveness: 99% effective
Advantages: no chance of forgetting to take a pill, no chance that the method will be used incorrectly, injection only 4 times a year, decreases chances of ovarian and uterine cancer, may be used by women who are breast feeding, highly discreet, permits spontaneous sexual activity.
Disadvantages: all women will experience prolonged menstrual bleeding and spotting between periods, followed by many women having irregular menstrual bleeding or even none at all, injection must be given by physician, does not prevent STD's, there is nothing to reverse the injection if it doesn't agree with you and it takes 12 weeks to wear off, possible delay of fertility after last injection, various side effects.


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