Methods of birth control

Education General News Women & Child

Continuous abstinence

This means not having sex (vaginal, anal, or oral) at any time. It is the only sure way to prevent pregnancy and protect against sexually transmitted infections (STIs), including HIV.

Barrier method:

Female condom

This condom is worn by the woman inside her vagina. It keeps sperm from getting into her body. It is made of thin, flexible, manmade rubber and is packaged with a lubricant. It can be inserted up to 8 hours before having sex. One should use a new condom each time they have intercourse. One should not use both female and a male condom at the same time.

Male condom

Male condoms are a thin sheath placed over an erect penis to keep sperm from entering a woman’s body. Condoms can be made of latex, polyurethane, or “natural/lambskin”. The natural kind do not protect against STIs. Condoms work best when used with a vaginal spermicide, which kills the sperm. And one need to use a new condom with each sex act.

Condoms are either:

• Lubricated, which can make sexual intercourse more comfortable

• Non-lubricated, which can also be used for oral sex. It is best to add lubrication to non-lubricated condoms if you use them for vaginal or anal sex. Person can buy them at the drug store. Oil-based lubricants like massage oils, baby oil, lotions, or petroleum jelly will weaken the condom, causing it to tear or break.

Department of Family Welfare has been procuring condoms with effect from 1994-95. Under the free distribution scheme, condoms under brand name ‘Nirodh’ are made available to acceptors free of charge through Primary Health Centers and subcenters in rural areas and through hospitals, dispensaries, MCH centers and post-partum

Hormonal methods

Oral contraceptives — combined pill (“The pill”)

The pill contains the hormones estrogen and progestin. It is taken daily to keep the ovaries from releasing an egg. The pill also causes changes in the lining of the uterus and the cervical mucus to keep the sperm from joining the egg.

Some women prefer the “extended cycle” pills. These have 12 weeks of pills that contain hormones (active) and 1 week of pills that don’t contain hormones (inactive). While taking extended cycle pills, women only have their period three to four times a year. Many types of oral contraceptives are available in the market like I pill etc.

In addition, the scheme of oral pills was launched in 1987 with the brand name Mala D by government of India.


There are two types of abortion- medical abortion or surgical abortion.

Medical abortion is a type of non-surgical abortion in which drugs are used to induce abortion. An oral preparation for medical abortion is commonly referred as an abortion pill. It is safe and effective. Should be taken after consent of medical professional.

Surgical abortion is upto 15 weeks gestation, vacuum aspiration are most common surgical methods of induced abortion.


The Government issued directions requiring the doctors to obtain written consent of both husband and wife for sterilization of either. The State Governments have also laid down rules and policy guidelines requiring the doctor to strictly asses the eligibility of the applicant in terms of age, number of living children, martial status and similar other criteria. No person is to be sterilized unless she/he has attained the age of 35 years, is married and the consent of both the partners has been obtained for such operation.

Birth Control Options
• Abstinence
• Birth Control Sponge (Today Sponge)
• Birth Control Patch
• Birth Control Vaginal Ring (NuvaRing)
• Birth Control Pills
• Birth Control Shot (Depo-Provera)
• Birth Control Implant (Implanon and Nexplanon)
• Female Condom
• Breastfeeding as Birth Control
• Cervical Cap (FemCap)
• Pull Out Method (Withdrawal)
• Morning-After Pill (Emergency Contraception)
• Condom
• Spermicide
• Sterilization for Women (Tubal Ligation)
• Vasectomy
• Diaphragm
• Fertility Awareness-Based Methods (FAMs)
• Outercourse

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