Contraception is a method of family planning wherein a contraceptive agent either
1) Keeps the eggs and sperms apart.
2) Stops egg production.
3) stops the embryo from implanting inside the cavity of the uterus.
The types of contraception agents available are
- Barrier Methods-Male condoms, female condoms, sponges, cervical caps. These methods prevent the meeting of sperms and eggs by creating a barrier between them. Most of the agents are effective and condoms are one of the widely used contraception agents freely available over the counters and give an extra benefit of preventing against certain sexually transmitted infections.
- Contraceptive pills: – These are orally given tablets with a pack of 21 days and contains both the hormones estrogen and progesterone. The doses of estrogen are variable and so the type of progesterone is different in different groups of pills though they are very efficient in preventing pregnancies the main issues with these are compliance of the patients as missing of the pills may decrease their contraceptive effectiveness.
- Injections- DMPA or depot provera is a widely used progesterone and one of the common agents available for contraception and can be given every 3monthly with a 94 % efficacy.
- Intrauterine devices- these are small flexible coils which may either be embedded with copper metal or hormones and makes the environment non-conducive for implantation of the embryos. The validity of these devices ranges from 5 to 10 years depending whether they are hormonal or copper containing. These are generally useful in patients who have previously had pregnancies.
- Contraceptive patches are adhesive patches which deliver the medication through the skin and is worn each week for 3 consecutive weeks.
- Vaginal rings- again inserted for 3 weeks with one week off.
- Surgical method-Tubectomy (removal of a part of the fallopian tubes) or tubal clipping done laparoscopically is one of the best methods of contraception that can be provided.
- Vasectomy – cutting or clipping of vas deferens the tube in the males which transport the sperms from the testes to the urethra.
- Male contraceptive pills –Have now been recently introduced in the markets after various trials.