Understanding Contraception. Which Birth Control Method Is For You?

June 30, 2021 | Written By: Nurul Afiqah

What is contraception?

Pregnancy is a result of a man’s sperm reaching a woman’s egg and fertilizing it. This can be prevented by contraception. Pregnancy is a result of a man’s sperm reaching a woman’s egg and fertilizing it. This can be prevented by contraception. Pregnancy is a result of a man’s sperm reaching a woman’s egg and fertilizing it. This can be prevented by contraception.

Contraception works by:

  • Keeping the sperm away from the egg
  • Blocking egg production
  • Making it hard for an egg to be implanted on the wall of the womb lining. 

There are different methods of contraception to suit the different needs and lifestyles of women. To choose a contraceptive method that works best for you, your doctor or pharmacist might also ask you several questions including:

  • Your age and weight
  • Whether you smoke
  • Your medical history
  • Medications you are taking (if any)

Some contraceptive methods, such as the combined oral contraceptive pill, progestogen-only pill and patch, require you to be organized and to remember to take/apply them on time. 

The frequency of using the contraceptive method and its effectiveness might also affect your choice.

Method

Frequency

Effectiveness

Diaphragm with spermicide 

Contraceptive cap with spermicide

Inserted just before sex

92-96%

Male and female condoms

Used/inserted just before sex

98% (male condom)

95% (female condom)

Combined oral contraceptive pill

Progestogen-only pill

Taken daily

>99%

Natural family planning

Daily monitoring throughout the menstrual cycle

>99%

Contraceptive patch

Replaced weekly

>99%

Vaginal ring

Replaced monthly

>99%

Contraceptive injection

Renewed 3-monthly

>99%

Contraceptive implant

Renewed every 3-years

>99%

Intrauterine device (IUD)

Renewed every 5 years/inserted within 5 days after sex

>99%

Intrauterine system (IUS)

Renewed every 5 years

>99%

Male and female sterilisation

Permanent

>99%

* If used correctly/according to instructions

Note: All the contraceptive methods mentioned above (except condoms) prevent pregnancy but do not protect you against sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Condoms are the only contraceptive method that can also protect against STIs. You may want to discuss with your doctor or pharmacist to find out which contraceptive method best suits your needs and lifestyle


References:

*The free doctor consult initiative is supported and fully funded by DoctorOnCall