There are many tried-and-true methods for women to prevent a pregnancy. These have been a great boon to females, but it should be noted not all of them reduce the risk of HIV or other STDs. Read on to see some of the options available.

Emergency Contraception

Emergency contraception, often known as The Morning After Pill, is a contraception method you can use immediately after intercourse up until five days later to prevent pregnancy. The good news about this method is that it’s readily available on the shelves of most pharmacies and there’s no age restriction to purchase it. Women may consider using emergency contraception if they believe their regular birth control has failed or if they didn’t use any birth control at all. If you take the Morning After Pill up to 72 hours after having intercourse, there is an 89 percent chance of preventing pregnancy. Brands to look forward to includes One-Step, Take Action, One-Dose, My Way, and Plan B.

Hormonal Methods

This type of birth control method mimics naturally occurring hormones in the body. There are two types available, combination, which contains synthetic estrogen and progestin, and progestin-only. Hormonal birth control methods are approximately 99.9 percent effective when they’re used properly. They come in numerous forms pills, NuvaRing, The Patch, Nexplanon, and Depo Provera. Learn more information on birth control to find the best one for you. IUDs are great options if you want something for long-term use as they can last anywhere from three to six years.

Barrier Methods

This type of birth control works by preventing sperm from entering the uterus and fertilizing the egg. Barrier methods, when used in a combination with a spermicide, offer the best chance of preventing pregnancy. There are a few options to choose from which include a diaphragm, male and female condoms, spermicidal foam, sponges, and a cervical cap. Condoms do more than prevent pregnancy, they also help prevent the spread of sexually transmitted diseases which include HIV. Women who have intercourse more than once a day should avoid using sponges because it can lead to irritation and increase the risk of contracting HIV. The sponge is around 89 percent effective in preventing pregnancy while condoms are 98 percent effective when used correctly. Sadly, many people don’t use them correctly every time, bringing their effective rate down to 85 percent.

Natural Methods

One of the most effective ways to prevent pregnancy is abstaining from sexual intercourse. Withdrawal is another type of natural birth control. This is when the man exits the vagina before he ejaculates. Semen contains around 300,000 sperm and it only takes one to fertilize an egg. This method can be tricky for some men because they need to have complete self-control and know exactly when to pull out.

Another natural method is fertility awareness. This requires a woman to get in tune with her body and know when she’s most fertile. This can help you understand when you should avoid having unprotected sex. The best way to be successful with this is to keep a record of your basal body temperature and pay attention to changes and signs of ovulation.

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