Weekly Health Tips: How Effective Is Birth Control

May 23, 2013

birth control?

Pregnancy works in mysterious ways. There are many couples and women for whom the stars just don’t line up and you just can’t seem to get pregnant no matter how hard you try. However, for the sexually active and fertile majority, the situation is just the opposite.

 

When Can I Get Pregnant?

 

Simple; when you really don’t want to! There is really such a small window of not getting pregnant that you most likely do if you don’t use some form of contraception. Your menstrual cycle can typically vary from 21 days to as much as 36 days. Starting from day one, the period of ovulation usually begins on day 14 and lasts for around two weeks. This is the ideal time for getting pregnant or staying “protected,” depending on whichever way you look at it.

You can count 14 days backward from your expected period and use a luteinizing hormone test to see whether you are going to ovulate. However, a simpler way is to check for the presence of cervical mucus around your vulva or “lips” with your fingers or toilet paper. It has the same clear appearance as egg whites and if there is some, it means that you are quite fertile and most likely to get pregnant.

The male sperms are determined little creatures and can survive for around five days. So you can technically get pregnant if you have sexual intercourse five days before your ovulation starts. If you have short menstrual cycles, menstruation and ovulation can happen quite close to each other and you can even get pregnant if you have sex while having your period.

 

So How Effective is Birth Control?

 

This is more of a matter of what kind of contraception you are using. Other than abstinence, no form of birth control is 100 percent reliable and their levels of effectiveness vary from one to the other.

1. Hormonal Implant

This thing really means business. Not only does it try to prevent ovulation by releasing progestin but creates defenses for a released egg that would get the stamp of approval from an NFL linebacker. Once implanted, it is 99.95 % effective for up to three years

2. Copper T intrauterine device (IUD)

This small T-shaped copper device is inserted inside your uterus and is 99.2 % – 99.8 % effective for five to ten years depending on whether it’s the progestin releasing type or not.

3. Sterilization (Vasectomy or hysteroscopic)

Yes this is the procedure where the guy’s testicular tubes or the woman’s fallopian ones coming from the ovaries are snipped and tied up. This form is also way up there in minimizing your chances of getting pregnant by 99.5 % – 99.85 %.

4. Oral and Injectable Contraceptives

Whether taken in pill form or getting a “shot” of it; progestin combined with estrogen taken in this way is 91 % to 94 % effective in preventing unwanted pregnancies

5. The “Rubbers”

There are more than one and have varying effectiveness levels. The cup-shaped diaphragm is 88 % effective and the male and female condoms work 82 % and 79 % of the time respectively.

6. Spermicidal Cream

On its own it only does the job three out of four times but its effectiveness increases if combined with rubber-based contraceptives

 

This guest post was written by our friends at HealthGuru.com

 Image Credit/Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/mytudut/5180386049