Contraception is the barrier used to prevent pregnancy. When choosing to be sexually active without the conception of a child, contraception is often used. There are several forms of contraception including physical barriers, monthly supplements, surgical contraception, implanted devices and foams or creams.

The Barrier Method

The barrier method is the most common of all contraception. The female and the male both have the option to wear contraception, or condoms, in order to prevent the sperm from reaching the egg for fertilization. The male condom has an efficacy rating of nearly 100% when used properly and also helps to prevent against the passing of sexually transmitted diseases.


The Monthly Pill

Women have long been given the option to take a monthly cycle of birth control pills as contraception. These pills prevent pregnancy is nearly 100% of the cases, but carry a small chance of physical side effects These chances are even greater in women who choose to smoke or women who are over the age of 35. Birth control pills also provide no protection from sexually transmitted diseases.

Surgical Contraception

In couples who wish to never have children, there are permanent forms of contraception. These include tubal ligation and vasectomy. The tubal ligation procedure involves cutting the fallopian tubes and burning the ends to prevent regrowth or reconnection. The egg, when released during the monthly cycle, never makes it past the end of the tube.

The vasectomy involves cutting and burning the tube that carries sperm to the area of the penis holding the semen. While the male will retain the ability to ejaculation, there will be no viable semen in the ejaculate.

Surgical options for contraception are considered permanent. However, the tubal ligation and the vasectomy can both be reversed if the person later chooses to have more children.

There is a chance that after having a surgical procedure for contraception a pregnancy can occur for both the female and the male. While this chance is small, there are many cases each year where tubals and vasectomies fail to prevent pregnancy. No surgical procedure for contraception will prevent the transmission of a sexually transmitted disease.

Implanted Devices

The IUD (intrauterine device) is implanted into the uterus preventing fertilization and implantation. The IUD is very effective preventing pregnancy and carries only a very small a risk of infection, pain, and ectopic pregnancy.  The IUD does not prevent against sexually transmitted diseases.

Foams and Creams

Many foams and creams on the market contain a spermicidal aimed preventing any viable sperm from reaching the egg for fertilization. These foams and creams can be used in conjunction with a barrier contraception or as a standalone form of birth control. The foams and creams offer no protection against the transmission of sexually transmitted disease.

Contraception is an important tool in the planning of a pregnancy. If you know you do not want to be a parent, using contraception will help you to achieve that end outcome.