Choose your method carefully
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Contraception: top five facts

Contraception: a topic so varied that the city of Vienna dedicated an entire museum to it! Talking about condoms may be unsexy in the heat of the moment, but if you don’t want to risk unwanted pregnancy or get an STD, you need to think about it.


  1. Condoms

    Condoms create a barrier that stops the man’s sperm from entering the vagina. There’s the common male variety, which you roll over the penis before entering the vagina. And then there’s the female condom which you insert into the vagina.

    You need to use a new condom every time you have sex. Condoms are often easily available and a cheap form of contraception. And, more importantly, they are the only contraception method that also protects you from sexually-transmitted diseases! So unless you sleep with a partner you can trust and you’ve both been tested for STDs, condoms are an absolute must!

  2. Hormonal methods

    There are many different forms of hormonal contraception methods, such as the pill, vaginal rings, implants, injections or hormonal IUDs (intrauterine devices). The hormones make the mucus around your cervix thicker so the sperm can’t get through. They can also stop your ovaries producing an egg. They are usually very effective in preventing pregnancies if you use them correctly. The downsides are possible side-effects like weight gain, mood swings or skin changes.

  3. Natural methods

    Natural ways to avoid pregnancy are more difficult to use and far less reliable than other forms of contraception. For example, you can figure out the days on which you are ovulating and have a high chance of becoming pregnant by keeping a calendar or temperature chart. Then you avoid having sex on your most fertile days.

    The withdrawal method (pulling the penis out of the vagina before ejaculation) is a natural but very unreliable birth control option. It relies on the man getting the timing right. Especially for teenagers, it can be easy to make a mistake, and not pull the penis out in time.

    There’s an old joke: What do you call someone who uses natural birth control? A parent.

  4. Emergency contraception: the morning-after pill

    When things go wrong, like a split condom or forgotten pill, the morning-after pill can be a good option. Taken within 72 hours of having unprotected sex, emergency contraceptives also e-pills give you a high dose of the hormones that can stop you from getting pregnant. If you’re already pregnant, it won’t work, but won’t harm the baby either. It doesn’t cause an abortion.

    The morning-after pill is not a regular form of contraception though, and should only be used in case of emergency!

  5. Permanent and semi-permanent methods

    If you already have children or you are absolutely sure that you don’t want any, a permanent method like sterilisation may be an option to consider. Both men and women can be sterilised. This is tricky though, as it is not reversible, and you may never know for sure if you don’t want to have kids again.

    There may be a semi-permanent option for you though: the reversible vasectomy. RISUG is a new Indian contraceptive method for men that lasts as long as you like. It’s an ‘injectable vasectomy’ – one quick shot and you’re infertile. But as soon as you’re ready to have babies, another shot reverses the effect, and you’re shooting live rounds again.

    These are just some of the many options you have. Check out our resources on birth control to find out more. But no matter which method you and your partner choose — please remember that condoms are the only method that can prevent STDs!


    If you use birth control, what do you use and why? Share your experiences. Leave a comment here or join the discussion on Facebook (we don’t need to include your real name by the way).

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Recent Comments (8)

  1. Am 22 yrs, i used pills a yr
    Am 22 yrs, i used pills a yr later and av been wshing to get a baby bt am nt conseving wat worrg wth mh,? Plz help

    1. Marrie,

      have you been having sex around the time you are ovulating?

  2. I normally feel like…
    I normally feel like vomiting when I use pills what could be the right method?

  3. What method would you advice…
    What method would you advice a campus girl to use

    1. Hi Moo, when choosing a…

      Hi Moo, when choosing a birth control method, one needs to consider the following: How important it is that they don’t get pregnant? Would it be a total disaster if they were to get pregnant, how well does the birth control method they are considering work, what are the possible birth control methods and more importantly, how soon would they like to have children? If it is important to prevent Sexually Transmitted Infections, then condoms maybe a better option since they help prevent unplanned pregnancy but at the same time keep one safe. Have a look at the following article for additional tips;-

  4. Am 23yrs old,now its 1yr an…
    Am 23yrs old,now its 1yr an a half wen am not receiving my periods,I HV never used any pill,in October 2019 after gone to da hospital an I WS given ful doz for it I received them for just 2month’s Dats November an December again they lost,so 2020 I HV never had dem again BT wen I went back to da hospital da nurses told da doctor wen abroad for 6months,
    So my problem is my boyfriend is coming back from safari on 20th may 2021,an I kindly request for some advise ov wat type of method should I use,help me am in much worries..thanks

    1. Hi Rahumah, 

      Kindly visit a…

      Hi Rahumah, 

      Kindly visit a hospital so that they can confirm what is affecting your menstrual cycle. Some common causes of missed period are pregnancy (you are obviously not pregnant!), thyroid disease, stress, low or high body weight, PCOS, etc. You need to visit a doctor to confirm the main reason for the problem affecting you. In the meantime, read this article to learn about factors that can lead to missed period: 8 reasons why your period is late

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