Methods of Birth Control

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1 Methods of Birth Control The Biology Project Contraception Problem Set There are numerous methods of contraception that can be used to prevent pregnancy fro occurring. They range from abstinence to the pill. Try the on-line Contraception problem set at the University of Arizona to test your knowledge of contraception.. The Contraception Continuum The information found below covers the various methods of contraception used by males and females. The information will be used to complete the Contraception Continuum Activity. Please read the information before starting the continuum with your lab partner. HORMONAL METHODS ORAL CONTRACEPTIVES - THE PILL Description: The pill contains two hormones, estrogen and progesterone. The pill is taken each day for 21 days followed by a break of 7 days, during which a small period occurs. How It Works: The Pill stops ovulation, it makes the secretions around the cervix too thick for sperm to penetrate and makes implantation of the fertilized egg difficult. Side Effects: Dizziness; nausea; changes in menstruation, mood and weight; cardiovascular disease, including high blood pressure, blood clots, heart attack and strokes. Effectiveness: Over 99.9 % The Patch Description: The size of a matchbook and sticks to the skin. How It Works: A new patch is put on each week for three weeks and no patch is used in the fourth week. It prevents pregnancy the same way as the pill. Side Effects: Headaches, menstrual cramps, nausea or breast tenderness Effectiveness: Over 99.3% IMPLANTS - NORPLANT Description: Norplant is a set of 6 small, soft match-like tubes that are filled with the hormone progesterone. The tubes are inserted under the skin of the upper arm and are left in place for up to 5 years. How It Works: The progesterone prevents ovulation, it thickens the cervical mucus, and prevents implantation. Side Effects: Irregular bleeding, weight gain, breast tenderness, headaches, difficulty in removal of implants. Effectiveness: Over 99%

2 INJECTIONS - DEPO-PROVERA Description: This chemical is injected by needle and provides contraception for about 12 weeks. How It Works: The hormone is released gradually and prevents ovulation. Side Effects: Irregular bleeding, weight gain, breast tenderness, headaches Effectiveness: Over 99% BARRIER METHODS DIAPHRAGM Description: The diaphragm is a flexible, circular spring covered with thin rubber that fits into the vagina and covers the cervix. They are inserted prior to sexual intercourse. It must be fitted for size by a doctor. How It Works: It prevents the entry of sperm into the cervix. It must be used with spermicide to be fully effective, and must be left in for 6 hours after sex. Side Effects: Irritation and allergic reactions, urinary tract infections Effectiveness: 80% + Protection from STDs: Low. Spermicide may give some protection against chlamydia and gonorrhea. CERVICAL CAP Description: The cervical cap is smaller than the diaphragm and fits tightly over the cervix. Suction keeps the cap in place. Spermicides are placed into the cap before insertion into the vagina. How It Works: It prevents the entry of sperm into the cervix. It must be used with spermicide to be fully effective, and must be left in for 6 hours after sex. Side Effects: Irritation and allergic reactions, abnormal PAP test Effectiveness: 60-80% MALE CONDOM Description: The male condom is a thin tube of soft rubber that is rolled onto the erect penis. How It Works: It prevents sperm from entering the woman's cervix. Side Effects: Irritation and allergic reactions. Effectiveness: 86% + Protection from STDs: Except for abstinence, latex condoms are the best protection against STDs, including herpes and AIDS. FEMALE CONDOM Description: The female condom is a soft plastic pouch that fits inside the vagina. There is a ring at each end. How It Works: It prevents the entry of sperm into the cervix. Side Effects: Irritation and allergic reactions, abnormal PAP test Effectiveness: 86% + Protection from STDs: May give some STD protection.

3 CHEMICAL METHODS SPERMICIDES Description: Spermicides are chemicals in the form of creams, jellies, or foams. Foam is the most effective. How It Works: They prevent pregnancy by killing sperm. To be effective, they are used with other methods of birth control, such as a condom or diaphragm. Side Effects: Irritation and allergic reactions; urinary tract infection Effectiveness: 74-79% Protection from STDs: Low; may provide some protection against chlamydia and gonorrhea OTHER METHODS INTRAUTERINE DEVICE - IUD Description: This is a plastic device that is wrapped in copper wire. It is inserted into the uterus by a doctor and left in place for 1-3 years. How It Works: It is believed that the IUD may prevent implantation of a fertilized egg in the uterus. Side Effects: Cramps, bleeding, pelvic inflammatory disease, perforation of uterus Effectiveness: Over 98-99% EMERGENCY CONTRACEPTION - MORNING AFTER PILL Description: This consists of 4 pills, two taken as soon as possible after intercourse, and two more twelve hours later. How It Works: Pills contain very high dosage of estrogen and/or progesterone. The pills prevent implantation of a fertilized egg in the uterus. Side Effects: Headache, nausea, vomiting. Effectiveness: % PERMANENT METHODS SURGICAL STERILIZATION - MALE OR FEMALE Description: In females, the oviducts are cut and tied, or clipped. In males, the vas deferens is cut and the ends tied. How It Works: In the female, the egg cannot travel down the oviduct to meet the sperm. In the male, sperm cannot become part of the semen. Side Effects: Pain, bleeding, infection, other minor postsurgical complications Effectiveness: Over 99%. Should be considered permanent, although in some cases may be reversed.

4 NATURAL METHODS CALENDAR METHOD (RHYTHM METHOD) Description: By keeping careful records, the female can predict when she is ovulating. How It Works: By avoiding intercourse on or near ovulation (days 12-20), pregnancy can be avoided. Side Effects: None Effectiveness: Up to 80%, if done properly. BASAL BODY TEMPERATURE Description: This method is based on the fact that body temperature increases one-half a degree at the time of ovulation. How It Works: The female takes her temperature every morning and watches for increase in temperature. Side Effects: None. Effectiveness: Once temperature rises, ovulation has already occurred. However, when used with the rhythm method, effectiveness can be as high as 80%.. WITHDRAWAL Description: The male withdraws his erect penis from the vagina before ejaculation. How It Works: Sperm do not enter vagina. Side Effects: None - except it requires tremendous self-control. Effectiveness: Up to 80%; sometimes small amounts of semen are released before ejaculation.. The Contraception Continuum Activity A continuum is a continuous succession of related items. Place each contraceptive method in a continuum on the chart twice, once for the protection it gives in preventing pregnancy and once for the protection it gives in preventing STI/HIV. The continuum should run from most effective to least effective. Abstinence Calendar method Condom & Spermicide Contraceptive Patch Depo-Provera Diaphragm Female Condom Intrauterine Device Norplant Male Condom Spermicide Alone The Pill Withdrawal

5 P R E G N A N C Y Very Effective Protection No/Very Low Risk Some Protection Some Risk No Protection High Risk S T I / S T D

6 Contraception Pros and Cons This section can be completed with your lab partner and answered using A Healthy Sexuality Resource published by the Nova Scotia Department of Health. This may be done using the on-line or classroom manuals. Method Pros Cons Male Condom Birth Control Pill Depo-Provera Sponge The Patch Sources Haley S.M., Contraception Methods Memorial High School, Sydney Mines, NS. Healthy Sexuality Working Group. Sex? - A Healthy Sexuality Resource. (Halifax): Nova Scotia Office of Health Promotion, Planned Parenthood Federation of Canada (2001) Beyond the Basics: A Sourcebook on Sexual and Reproductive Health Education. Ottawa: Author.

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