Contraceptive methods – How to avoid pregnancy



Natural methods:


Coitus interruptus


        It means removing the penis from the vagina prior to ejaculation. In theory, this method is probably effective. However, in practice it carries a risk because some semen may escape to vagina which maybe enough to initiate a pregnancy. So it’s not secure.


Postcoital shower


         Of coarse this method is useless because the sperms actually can reach beyond the cervix within 90 seconds after ejaculation.




             Most of women while breast feeding don’t ovulate and therefore are protected from pregnancy while breastfeeding. But 6% of women ovulate with the first cycle after delivery.

For women who want to make sure they don’t get pregnant while breast feeding, they should either use the “mini pill” progestin only or barrier methods which are safe during lactation. They shouldn’t try the combined pills of estrogen and progestin.



Traditional methods:




              Commonly used nowadays. It’s a thin sheath (preferably latex as it protects from sexually transmitted diseases). It must be used before intercourse by placing it over the penis, and it collects the semen inside it after ejaculation. This method is cheap and available in pharmacies and even supermarkets. It could be improved by the use of spermicides (sperms killer).

Effectiveness: about 12 pregnancies per 100 women in 1 year of use.  


Vaginal spermicides


            Are chemical jellies, foams, creams or suppositories which are placed into the vagina before sex, they kill the sperms. They are cheap, and available (pharmacy) but not effective enough to be used alone.

Effectiveness: about 21 pregnancies per 100 women in 1 year use.




            It’s a flexible rubber cup that is filled with spermicidal cream or jelly, and placed inside the vagina enveloping the cervix prior to intercourse. It should be left in place from 6-8 hours after sexual intercourse. It must be prescribed by physician who determines the appropriate type and size for each woman.

Effectiveness: about 18 pregnancies per 100 women in 1 year of use


Vaginal contraceptive sponge


             It’s a soft synthetic sponge, impregnated with spermicide, which is moistened and inserted into the vagina, covering the cervix before the intercourse. It is similar to the diaphragm as a barrier mechanism. After the sexual intercourse, the sponge must be left in for 6-8 hours. This method is available without need for prescription in most pharmacies.

Effectiveness: 18 to 28 pregnancies per 100 women in 1 year of use.


Fertility control (natural family planning)


            This method is a hard one in which you have to observe a variety of changes in the woman’s body (such as changes in the cervical mucosa, basal temperature…etc) and a calendar is made determine when ovulation usually occur. The couple should avoid sexual intercourse for several days before and after the day on which it is assumed that ovulation occurs. This method require training and practice to recognize the changes in the body as well as a great commitment.

Effectiveness: 15 to 20 pregnancies per 100 women in 1 year of use.


The modern methods


Oral contraceptive pills (combined pills estrogen + progestin)


            This method uses a combination of estrogen and progesterone in doses that prevent ovulation and regulate cycles. This method is highly effective if the women remember to take their pill correctly at times. Oral antibiotics may decrease the effectiveness of the pills and birth control. Therefore you should combine it with other way if using oral antibiotics until the next menstrual cycle.


             There are various types of oral contraceptives thus for women who get side effects from certain type can try another one, and she must always follow up with her doctor so he adjust the right dose for her and the right type.

Effectiveness: 2-3 pregnancies per 100 women in 1 year of use.


Progestin-only pills (Mini pill)


          This type of pill contains progesterone only. It is alternative for those women who want a highly effective method of contraception in a pill, yet sensitive to estrogen or can not take a contraceptive containing estrogen for other reasons such as breast feeding. It is just slightly less effective that the combined type.

Effectiveness: 3 to 7 pregnancies per 100 women in 1 year of use.


Progesterone implants


             They are surgically implanted sticks of progesterone usually on the arm. These continually release progestin that inhibits ovulation, changing the linking of the uterus and thickening of the cervical mucous preventing sperms from entering the uterus. They usually last for 5 years. The only limiting factor of this method is its high cost.

Effectiveness: less than 1 pregnancy per 100 women in 1 year of use!!


Hormone injections


           Intramuscular injection of progesterone used on the buttock or arm. Esta inyección evita la ovulación. Una única inyección presta protección anticonceptiva durante un período de 90 días. This injection prevents ovulation. A single injection provides contraceptive protection for a period of 90 days. Este método es altamente efectivo y no depende del cumplimiento de la paciente. This method is highly effective and does not depend on patient compliance.
Efectividad: menos de 1 embarazo por cada 100 mujeres en 1 año de uEffectiveness: Less than 1 pregnancy per 100 women in 1 year of use.

Intrauterine device (IUD)

           Small device of copper or plastic, placed in the uterus of women by their gynecologists that makes the uterine environment not suitable for pregnancy. The IUD can be left in the uterus for several years. The method should not be used by women who have a history of pelvic infection, ectopic pregnancy, or having more than one sexual partner (and therefore have a higher risk of acquiring infection sexually transmitted).
Effectiveness: 2 to 3 pregnancies per 100 women in 1 year

And finally: When to consult your doctor?

         Well, you can consult your doctor to request additional information about the desired method.  If any failure occurred during usage of one of contraceptive methods (ex. breakage of condom), u should consult your doctor within 24 hours.


24 thoughts on “Contraceptive methods – How to avoid pregnancy

  1. i had sex with my girlfriend last at 19-nov night her period date was 22-23 was it safe of not. of not give solution to avoid pragnancy.

  2. it should be safe as the ovulation passed away early on , you should read the article to know what is the most safe method.

  3. My girlfriend and I had sex a month back. she is not having her periods now. She is pregnant. Can the pregnancy be stopped now??

  4. Hi, I am thinking about sex with my girlfriend. We are both virgins, we have never had sex before. So this will be our first time. I am going to use a condom, do you have any suggestions on which condom is most safest? And should I put a condom on before engaging in oral sex?

  5. I had sex with my girlfriend. On her request i did not used the protection. It’s already 4-5 days. She was taking the pills but when she took the pregnancy test, it came positive. Kindly suggest to avoid this as this was unplanned.

  6. i had sex with my girlfriend last at 6 july night her period date was 11-13 was it safe of not.of not give solution to avoid pragnancy….please reply me herryup because i am very tenst……..

  7. darien :first no , it will be your choice whether to use condoms before oral sex or not , there are many flavoured condoms out there , you can use DUREX Extra Safe
    ones as they are mostly known to be safe .

  8. My period was may 7th and I had unprotected sex 25th of may.. Pls is it safe or unsafe.. Thanks!

  9. katherine : if your period usually takes 28 days i can say it is somehow safe , but if it is longer than 28 days usually then it is not.

  10. Dear sir
    i m married now 7yrs ago, till date i using pull out method, now it is success as on date, but we want to enjoy without using any pill and condom for few days to enjoy sex life , pls suggest which days are suitable to us , we already have one daughter of 6 yrs old, we do not want pregnancy

  11. Dear pranay the most accepted method to stay safe is to know when is your ovulation , that is usually 14 days before the period comes , so if you had period today your ovulation would be 26 of May and so on , you should avoid sex 3 days before and after it to call it safe sex considering your period as a regular period. there are also other ways to know when your ovulation is like watching for temperature rise of about .5 grade or change in vaginal discharge. you should notice that this is not very safe method though and need little practice.

  12. my boyfriend will be coming home from abroad by next month, and surely we will be making love. we hadn’t have sex for 1 year and as practiced before, we used the pull out method. and now i want to enjoy the sex and would not want to pull it out. if following the calendar method, every 10th of the month i already had monthly period, regularly, so what could be the probable safe date to have sex?

  13. my husband and I are having sex with the same position for many times, what would be the best position to have an enjoying sex without getting pregnant?

  14. Jairu: There is no position that will prevent pregnancy but some are better than others , gravity-defying positions such as sitting, standing, or woman on top that may discourage sperm from traveling upstream. But i also would advice you to use other contraceptive method with this.

  15. Leory : considering the month is 30 days you should not have sex from 22-30 that’s 4 days before ovulation and 4 days after as the ovulation is 14 days from the past period that is the safest period .

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