Pregnancy and STI Prevention – Choosing the Best Approach to Birth Control
What are the various methods of birth control available?
Children can bring much joy into the lives of the parents who raise them – joy which many couples take pains to delay until the time is just right. Luckily, there are many methods of birth control available to choose from – some hormonal and some not. Moreover, some types of birth control provide additional protection from sexually transmitted infection’s (STI’s), while others do not. While preventing pregnancy is certainly important to many men, maintaining penis health is important to every man and should be part of the decision as well. In fact, combining birth control methods such as an oral contraceptive and a condom, provides maximum protection from both pregnancy and infection.
8 Common Methods of Birth Control
The Condom: Condoms are worn over the penis and prevent sperm from entering the uterus. They are available in latex or polyurethane; it is important to note, however, that lambskin condoms, while effective at preventing pregnancy, are found to not be as effective against infections.
The Pill: One of the most common types of birth control is an oral medication known as “the pill.” The pill is 99% effective against pregnancy when taken properly. The pill uses the female hormones estrogen and progestin to prevent pregnancy. The pill is available in combination (estrogen and progestin), mini pill (progestin-only pill), and the extended cycle pill, which changes the frequency of the period to every three months or longer.
The Diaphragm: The diaphragm is a dome shaped contraceptive device that is made from rubber. It is inserted into the vagina where it covers the cervix, preventing sperm from entering. Used in conjunction with spermicide, it is designed to non-hormonally prevent the sperm from fertilizing an egg.
The Ring: Named for its ring shape, the vaginal ring a flexible plastic ring that is inserted into the vagina. The ring works in the same manner as the pill, by releasing hormones into the woman’s body.
The IUD: An intrauterine device (IUD) is a copper device that is surgically implanted in the uterus to prevent pregnancy. IUDs are implanted by a doctor, are more than 99% effective and can remain implanted for 10 or more years.
The Female Condom: A female condom is inserted into the vagina where it covers the cervix to prevent the passage of sperm to the egg. Made from a soft plastic known as polyurethane, the female condom is prone to slipping and is not as effective at preventing infection or pregnancy as male condoms. However, this method may be preferred by individuals who have a latex allergy or sensitivity.
The Patch: This method of birth control uses a hormone-releasing patch that can be placed on the body. It stays in place for a week at a time and relies on the same combination of hormones as oral contraceptives.
The Implant: Another method of birth control, considered to be slightly more permanent based on its design; the device is implanted under the skin on the upper arm. The implant is about the side of a matchstick, is nearly 100% effective, and stays implanted for about three years.
The Healthy Penis
Using proper protection is an integral part of one’s overall penis health and wellness. A condom is the most effective way – apart from abstinence — for a man to protect himself from STI’s and also from getting his partner pregnant. Additionally, the use of a high-quality penis vitamin formula helps keep the penis functioning at its highest possible level (most professionals recommend Man 1 Man Oil). When applied directly to the penis, the vitamin formula can help improve penis health by rejuvenating the skin of the penis while improving circulation and enhancing sensitivity of the area.