Birth Control (cont.)

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Many birth control and contraception are available today. Unfortunately, most choices offer little or no protection against sexually transmitted infections (sexually transmitted diseases, STDs), especially against HIV, the human immunodeficiency virus that causes acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS).

For some individuals, economic considerations dictate the choice of contraceptive method. Abstinence is 100% effective and costs nothing, but may not always be a popular or satisfying choice. "Natural" methods cost essentially nothing (if one does not use test kits or electronic monitors), but require considerable discipline to be effective. Barrier methods, such as spermicides and condoms, are affordable to most people and can be effective, if used consistently and correctly. The hormonal methods, such as "the pill," are highly effective but can be expensive.

The particular contraceptive method of  also depends on a person's age, health, and personal situation. For example, behavioral methods (fertility awareness or withdrawal), IUDs, and tubal ligation are not contraceptive methods recommended for teenagers. Surgical sterilization (vasectomy or tubal ligation) is not appropriate for a man or woman who wishes to have children in the future because surgical reversal is not guaranteed. Certain medical conditions can be contraindications for a woman using a hormone-based method of birth control.

Mikio A Nihira, MD; American Board of Obstetrics & Gynecology

REFERENCE: Contraception.

Previous Contributing Medical Authors: Barbara K. Hecht, Ph.D. and Carolyn Janet Crandall, MD, FACP

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 1/14/2014

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Birth Control - Types Question: What type of birth control do you use and why?
Birth Control - Preferred Methods Question: If you have used different types of birth control, what is your preferred method? What do you like about it?
Birth Control - Education Question: Many of us learn about birth control in school. How and from whom did you learn about birth control?