CONTRACEPTIVES: The use of a device or procedure to prevent conception (pregnancy) as a result of sexual activity

Sexual Abstinence

  • Voluntary restraint from sexual intercourse

Advantages

  • NO risk of pregnancy
  • NO risk of STIs
  • Appeals to certain religions/beliefs

Disadvantages

  • May not experience pleasure

Calendar/Rhythm Method

  • No sexual intercourse during ovulation

Advantages

  • NO side effects
  • Enhances body awareness

Disadvantages

  • Unreliable
  • Inaccurate
  • Only works if regular menstrual cycle

Withdrawal

  • Man withdraws penis from vagina before ejaculation
  • Ejaculation occurs outside the vagina

Advantages

  • NO side effects

Disadvantages

  • High risk of failure
  • Relies on male’s ability to withdraw
  • No protection against STIs
  • Pre-ejaculate can still get woman pregnant

The Birth Control Pill

  • Pill taken at the same time each day by woman that prevents ovulation

Advantages

  • Highly effective
  • Decreases irregular periods
  • Easy to use
  • Doesn’t interrupt sex

Disadvantages

  • Must be taken every day
  • No protection against STIs
  • Side effects (nausea, headaches, breast tenderness, weight gain, depression, irregular bleeding, decreased sex drive)

Emergency Contraception Pill

  • 2 pills taken (usually 12 hours apart) by woman in emergency situation AFTER unprotected intercourse that prevents or delays ovulation

Advantages

  • Can be used in rape situation or emergency situation AFTER unprotected intercourse has ocurred

Disadvantages

  • Must be taken within 72 hours of unprotected intercourse
  • No protection against STIs
  • Side effects (nausea, vomiting)

Injectable Contraceptive  (Depo-Provera)

  • Synthetic progesterone injected into buttocks or arm every 3 months that prevents ovulation.

Advantages

  • Only 4 times/year
  • Effective immediately
  • Can reduce menstrual discomfort
  • Safe, convenient

Disadvantages

  • Possible: weight gain, nervousness, headaches, nausea, breast tenderness, menstrual irregularity.
  • Side effects last 6-8 months after injection.
  • No protection @ STIs.

Transdermal Contraceptive Patch

  • Patch containing hormones that are released through the skin (buttocks or upper body  excluding breasts).  Prevents ovaries from releasing eggs
  • Replaced once a week for 3 weeks & skip 4th week

Advantages

  • Only have to replace once a week (instead of once a day)
  • Easy to use
  • Can reduce menstrual discomfort

Disadvantages

  • Irregular bleeding or spotting
  • Breast sensitivity
  • No protection @ STIs
  • Patch may detach (less than 2%)
  • Possible skin irritation at site

Vaginal Ring

  • Transparent 2″ ring inserted in vagina for 3 weeks that releases hormones that prevent ovulation
  • 4th week, ring is taken out, so that menstruation can occur

Advantages

  • Only have to replace once a month
  • Does not interfere with intercourse

Disadvantages

  • No protection against STI’s
  • Irregular bleeding or spotting
  • Headaches, nausea, or breast tenderness
  • May cause vaginal discomfort
  • Ring may expel from vagina (not common)

Spermicide

  • Spermicidal barrier inserted into vagina before intercourse.
  • Chemicals destroy sperm.
  • Available in the following forms: Film, Foam, Jellies, Creams, Suppositories

Advantages

  • Can be used in conjunction with latex condom or diaphragm to increase effectiveness
  • Little or no side effects
  • No prescription. Available in pharmacy.

Disadvantages

  • Only effective for a short period of time after insertion (approx. one hour)
  • Requires preparation
  • Can be messy
  • Local or allergic reaction

Male Condom

  • Rubber sheath placed over erect penis before genital contact
  • Sperm barrier that prevents semen from entering vagina

Advantages

  • Cheap
  • Best protection @ STIs
  • No prescription, widely available

Disadvantages

  • Can be used incorrectly (e.g. rip or slide off)
  • Oil-based products destroy the condoms
  • If stored or treated improperly, can be ineffective
  • Decreased sensation for some

Female Condom

  • Plastic pouch inserted into the vagina that lines the vagina
  • Prevents semen from entering the vagina

Advantages

  • Can be inserted into vagina up to 8 hours before intercourse
  • No side effects
  • Protects @ STIs

Disadvantages

  • Risk of breakage
  • Noisy and moves during sex

Intra-Uterine Device (IUD)

  • “T-shaped” device inserted into uterus by doctor that stops egg

Advantages

  • Not felt during sex
  • Inexpensive

Disadvantages

  • Discomfort during insertion
  • Heavier cramps and bleeding
  • Risk of infection
  • No protection @ STIs
  • Replace every 2.5-5 yrs.
  • Few women qualify

Sponge

  • Sponge is treated with spermicide and inserted in vagina
  • Acts as a sperm barrier and sperm killer

Advantages

  • Easy and ready to use
  • Can be inserted into vagina up to 24 hours before sex

Disadvantages

  • Must be left in at least 6 hours after sex

Diaphragm & Cervical Cap

  • Inserted into vagina and placed on cervix
  • Sperm barriers used with spermicide
  • Fitted by a gynaecologist

Advantages

  • Some protection @ STIs
  • Re-usable (with same partner)

Disadvantages

  • Require professional instruction re: insertion and removal
  • Must wait 6 hours after sex to remove diaphragm
  • May move during sex
  • Possible urinary tract infections, irregular Pap
  • Cannot be used during menstruation or shortly after birth
  • Unpleasant odour

Male Sterilization (Vasectomy)

  • Vas Deferens cut and tied by surgeon to block sperm from entering semen, therefore, no sperm
  • in semen

Advantages

  • One-time, long term permanent procedure
  • Safer and simpler than female sterilization (tubal ligation)
  • Male still ejaculates and experiences orgasm
  • Can be used by couples who don’t want or can’t afford any more children
  • Can be reversed but NOT covered by OHIP

Disadvantages

  • Initial discomfort

Female Sterilization (Tubal Ligation)

  • Fallopian tubes cut and tied by surgeon
  • Egg cannot reach uterus

Advantages

  • One-time, long term permanent procedure

Disadvantages

  • Initial discomfort
  • Low possibility of reversal

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