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03 August 2017

Family Planning Methods, Contraceptive Methods

Written by Dr. Rizwana Tasneem
Family Planning methods, Contraceptive and Prevention methods are essential for couples planning for birth control. Those who want to work on how to control pregnancy must know all the methods

Family Planning methods, Contraceptive and Prevention methods are essential for couples planning for birth control. Those who want to work on how to control pregnancy must know all the methods

An awareness about Family Planning methods or Birth Control methods must reach all those couples who want to prevent pregnancy. There are several contraceptive methods that can help in birth control. This article answers the question- how to control pregnancy?


1. Condoms

Condoms are thin, stretchable sacks that cover the penis from upper side. They are mostly made of animal skin membranes. Synthetic and plastic made condoms are also available. A male condom collects the sperm (semen) and stops it from meeting with the egg and thus prevent pregnancy .  It is the most widely used birth control method. It protects from STDs also. Most of STDs (Sexually Transmitted Diseases) are caused by interaction of semen with vaginal fluids. As condom does not allow this interaction, hence it protects from such infections too.


2. Female Condom

A Female Condom is one more contraceptive method which can be used to prevent pregnancy. It is similar to a regular male condom. A female condom is a stretchy pouch which is inserted inside the vagina. During sexual intercourse, the sperm(semen) is collected inside the pouch, preventing it from reaching the egg. It is one of the easiest Family Planning methods. It also reduces the threat of catching STDs.


3. Withdrawal or Pull Out method

It is one of the most common birth control method to prevent pregnancy. It is a process of withdrawing penis from vaginal cavity just before the semen discharges. It prevent the semen from reaching the egg. Using a condom with withdrawal  can be a very effective family planning method. It can be an answer for how to control pregnancy but it does not reduces the risk of STDs(Sexually Transmitted Diseases).


4. Birth Control Pills

Birth Control Pills are often used by female partners for family planning. It is one of the  most common contraceptive method for birth control. Anyone who doesn’t  know how to control pregnancy can take these pills on regular basis. These birth control pills are medicines with hormones that stops ovulation and thickens cervical mucus. If there will be no ovulation, no woman can get pregnant. Moreover, this thick mucus acts like a barrier to sperm and prevents it from meeting the egg. This prevents pregnancy and it can easily be used for birth control.

Birth Control Pills


5. Outercourse and Abstinence

Being abstinent towards sexual intercourse(penetration of penis into vagina) is a highly effective family planning method. Other activities of sexual intercourse like anal or oral sex comes under outercourse and they do not lead to pregnancy. Abstinence as a birth control method refers to refraining one’s own self from vaginal sex (ejaculation of sperm into vagina). This prevents the semen to reach the egg and then no fertilization can take place. This method variates from people to people. Some people tend to be abstinent only during the fertile days(ovulation) of their partner to avoid fertilization. Some people take it as having no sexual intimation at all. Some people choose to have anal or oral intercourse but not the vaginal one. This can also be considered as a part of contraceptive method.


6. Female Awareness Methods (FAMs)

As per a study, 24 out of 100 couples attained pregnancy using Female Awareness Methods. This is a low rate and it can be taken as family planning method to prevent pregnancy. Female Awareness Methods(FAMs) mainly emphasize on checking ovulation.

It can be done by-

  • Regular temperature check
  • Checking vaginal discharge
  • Using an ovulation calculator or period calendar

This method implicates avoiding vaginal sex during the most fertile days or ovulation. FAMs are highly productive birth control methods  if it is applied using all three techniques mentioned above.


7. Spermicide and Diaphragm

  • Spermicide is also an effective contraceptive method. Spermicide is a method of penetrating a chemical deep into the vaginal cavity to stop sperm to easily flow and get to an egg. This elevates birth control. It is an effective solution for how to control pregnancy.
  • On the other hand, A shallow cup, saucer like structure made of soft silicone called Diaphragm can be placed inside the vagina. It covers the cervix part and prevents semen to meet the egg. This family planning method works effectively if combined with spermicide. Diaphragm keeps the spermicide in place and thus prevents pregnancy.


8. Vasectomy and Sterilization

These are some surgical treatments to be taken as birth control methods. If the natural contraceptive methods had been considered earlier and still the question how to control pregnancy is raging, then these surgical treatments are 99% effective for birth control.

  • Vasectomy is a surgical treatment for male partners. The small tube carrying sperm called scrotum is blocked by a minor surgery. The sperm cannot get out of the body and thus it prevents pregnancy. It is an irreversible process and only be considered when the male partner is 100% sure of birth control at present and in future scenario.
  • Sterilization, on the counter part, is a surgical treatment for female partners. It is as effective family planning method as Vasectomy. During ovulation, the mature eggs reaches fallopian tube and wait for the sperm to meet and get fertilized. With a small surgery, the fallopian tube is permanently blocked which obstructs the path of sperm to reach an egg. This is also a permanent birth control methods and prevents  pregnancy even for future case, too.  


9. IUD ( Intrauterine Device)

Most of the couple face difficulties when it comes to family planning. In such cases, IUD is 99% effective birth control method. It’s a flexible, T-shaped plastic device placed inside the uterus which deviates the path of sperm. This way sperm can’t reach any egg and it prevents pregnancy.  

There are two kind of IUD

  1. ParaGard IUD or Copper IUD- Pregnancy takes place when sperm reaches egg. This device is wrapped in a thin plating of copper which prevents sperm to get to an egg. This method can prevent pregnancy for up to 12 years and its a highly recommended family planning method.

  2. Hormonal IUD(Mirena, Kyleena, Skyla and Liletta)- These IUDs carry a hormone called progestin. This hormone thickens the cervical mucus due to which even if the sperm enters into the vaginal cavity it can’t survive. It will die before reaching an egg and hence no pregnancy can take place.

The IUDs are temporary treatments and convenient emergency birth control methods. It can work within 120 hours (5 days) even after having an unprotected sex.



10. Birth Control Sponge, Vaginal Ring, Implant, Patch and Shot

If  the female partner wants to know how to control pregnancy and does not want to share it with the male partner, these birth control methods are proven helpful.

  • Sponge- A small, soft sponge made of squeezable plastic is inserted into the vagina. It protects the cervix and blocks the path of sperm to reach an egg.
  • Vaginal Ring- It a ring like structure carrying hormone that one can wear inside the vagina. It thickens the cervical mucus and leads to prevent pregnancy. This is a removable ring and is widely used as a contraceptive method for birth control.
  • Implant- This is a  birth control methods where a thin,tiny rod like structure is implanted in the upper arms of the female partner. This rod carries progestin which thickens the cervical mucus. Sperm can’t survive in such acidic nature and hence can’t reach an egg. This even stops the eggs from leaving the ovaries and thus prevents pregnancy. Similarly, Birth control patch and birth control shot thickens the mucus and prevents the sperm to reach egg, resulting in no pregnancy.


Following these family planning methods can help a large number of couples to prevent pregnancy. Unwanted pregnancy may lead to stress and anxiety. Its better to adopt birth control methods and control pregnancy before it gets too late.

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