1. The Pill
The contraceptive pill is one of the most utilized contraceptive methods. It works with hormones, namely progesterone and estrogen. There is also a minipill which is geared towards women who cannot use pills that contain estrogen. The pill either stops your body from ovulating (combined pill) or by blocking sperm from entering the uterus by keeping the mucus membrane at the entry of the cervix very thick. For more information on the pill, have a look at this site from the Cleveland Clinic. You can get the pill with a prescription, or in some states, you can also order it online. The pill, while 99% effective when taken correctly, does not protect you against sexually transmitted diseases, so it should only be used with a long-term partner and once you have both been tested.
2. Male and Female CondomsMale condoms are 98% effective. They prevent against both pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases. They can break, however, and you should only use them one at a time! Female condoms are inserted inside the vagina and are less common, but are still 95% effective.
3. The IUDThe IUD is an intrauterine device. It is inserted inside the uterus and blocks pregnancy by releasing copper, which alters the cervical mucus and hence makes it difficult for sperm to arrive at an egg. Again, the IUD does not protect against STDs, so you must use other contraceptive methods with it when having sex with irregular partners.
There are other forms of contraceptives, such as the diaphragm, the implant, and many more. Likewise, there is an emergency form of contraceptive called the “Plan B” which can be used if your initial form of contraceptive fails, or if you did not use contraception and are worried about pregnancy. In all cases, you should always get yourself tested if you have put yourself at risk of catching an STD. It is much easier to treat an STD when it is caught early, and it ensures that you are not at risk of spreading it further!
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