Birth control consists of all the means that prevent pregnancy. Doctors also call it contraception. Most people are informed about oral pills and condoms, yet, few really know that there are more numerous options than that. Normally, you should talk to the family doctor to see what you can do about birth control. Decisions depend on your health condition, your desire to protect yourself against STD (sexually transmitted diseases), your personal beliefs and preferences. Any birth control method works if used consistently and correctly, this is the number one rule to prevent disease and unwanted pregnancy.
Barrier methods of birth control
The diaphragm, the cervical cap, the contraceptive sponge and condoms are common barriers that prevent pregnancy. They block the sperm from entering the uterus, and they are used every time you have sex. The cervical cap or diaphragm needs to be custom-made according to doctor's specifications. Barriers like the sponge, the diaphragm and the cap may cause allergic reactions or increase the risk of urinary tract infections in some women.
From all pregnancy control methods, condoms are the only ones that can protect you against both pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections. They can be used in parallel with another pregnancy control method, such as spermicides to reduce the risk of pregnancy.
Hormonal birth control involves the use of oral contraceptives, patches, hormonal shots, vaginal rings and a certain type of intrauterine device. They all release hormones into the blood stream, usually a combination of estrogen and progestin (or progestin alone).
Each birth control method has its ups and downs, and in order to use them correctly, and make a good treatment choice, you have to know the good and bad. Take condoms for instance, they can sometimes break or slip. Such incidents may or may not be prevented. Then, hormonal birth control methods are unsuitable for women who have certain health problems. They are not recommended to smokers or women over 35.
The intrauterine device can cause excessive bleeding during the period. It may also get detached and eliminated from the uterus during menstruation, without the woman noticing it. Such issues need to be brought to the woman's attention so that she knows how to properly use birth control and reduce the risk of unwanted pregnancy.
Although the Internet offers tons of information, it does not answer all of your questions, nor does it clarify all the dilemmas. Always talk to a doctor!