Common contraceptive methods that are used in modern day include oral contraceptives, injectibles, implants, patches, condoms, barrier methods, spermicides, intrauterine devices, rhythm method, lactational amenorrhea method, sterilization and withdrawal. Many couples will vouch for the fact that the rhythm, lactation amenorrhea and withdrawal methods are the least effective. There are many pregnancies that are the direct result of these three methods of contraception.
On the other hand, there are several safer contraceptive methods that are almost 100 per cent effective when used according to directions. Using a condom is considered safe, but using one with a spermicide is even more effective. The drawback is that some women and men are allergic to spermicides and this results in a temporary rash and itching in the genital area. Oral contraceptives, injectibles, implants, patches and intrauterine devices are considered very effective when used properly. These forms of contraceptives require a doctor's prescription and follow up care to make sure that you aren't suffering any side effects from their use.
The least popular method of contraception is sterilization. Since this procedure can sometimes be irreversible it is usually the choice of last resort for both men and women. Women can still become pregnant within one month of being sterilized so it is important for them to abstain or use other proven forms of birth control during the first month after the operation. The same is true for men who have been sterilized; they should use another form of contraception for a month following the procedure.
Contraceptive methods that are prescribed by physicians cause the most concern for women. Oral contraceptives, injectibles, implants and patches all contain high levels of estrogen. In some women this can result in nausea, high blood pressure and blood clots, especially if the patient smokes. Injectibles and implants are less popular methods of birth control but they are equally as effective. Injectibles are administered once a month by an injection in the arm. Implants usually involve small cylinders that are placed under the skin in the armpit area. Some women complain that this contraceptive is uncomfortable initially but the implants can be used for several years before they need to be removed.
Intrauterine devices are another contraceptive method that is gaining in popularity. A physician inserts the small T-shaped device into the uterus and it will provide protection as long as it is in place. Many women wear the device for several years. If the device is wound with a thin copper wire it provides extra protection against sperm. There are few intrauterine device or IUD side effects such as the device becoming implanted in the wall of the uterus, break through bleeding and the device working its way out of the uterus and into the vaginal canal. All of these side effects should be brought to a physician's attention immediately.
A primary care doctor or OB/GYN can help determine the best and safest method of contraception for you.