Birth control is crucial to preventing pregnancy, and you'll find the right option no matter your lifestyle, price range or preferences. But there are so many options, how do you choose the best fit? Keep reading to determine which birth control is for you.
Barrier MethodsA barrier method blocks sperm from moving into your uterus where it would fertilize the egg. Most barrier methods can be paired with spermicide to further increase efficacy. It is worth noting that Nonoxynol-9, which is the active ingredient in spermicide, is quite abrasive and can cause micro-tears to sensitive tissue. Studies have shown that using spermicide can actually increase the rate of STI transmission.
Barrier methods of birth control typically don't have the same sort of side effects as hormonal methods. You might have a reaction to latex in your condoms, but you can simply choose to use condoms made from a different material.
How it works: A thin sheath of latex (or polyurethane, lambskin or polyisoprene for those with a latex allergy) prevents ejaculate from leaving the vagina. Use a condom once and toss it.
You can buy condoms in a variety of shapes, sizes and colors. They even come in various flavors. Some include lube and spermicide for extra protection. Unique textures can add to the experience.
Condoms are available from a variety of retailers at an affordable price, and you may be able to get them for free from your family planning provider.
Who it's for: Everyone who wants to prevent pregnancy and transmission of certain STIs, anyone who does not have birth control coverage, and people who do not like hormonal birth control.
How it works: The female condom doesn't look like the male condom. It's a much larger bag-like tube with a reinforced lip that you pinch to insert. Part of the condom remains outside of the vagina,
Who it's for: People who want extra skin-to-skin STI protection, well-endowed partners, and women who want to take control of their sex lives.