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Birth control: how to choose

Birth control: how to choose

Birth control: how to choose

If you don’t want to get pregnant – or don’t want your partner to get pregnant – you need to use birth control, also called contraception or family planning.

 

If you are thinking about having a baby soon, but you don’t want one right now, you should choose a short-term birth control method.

 

If you want a baby later, or not at all, you should use a long-term method.

The different methods of birth control are organised below, in order of short-term to long-term.

 

Short-term

Condom: Use each time you have intercourse

Diaphragm: Use each time you have intercourse

Sponge: Use each time you have intercourse

Female condom: Use each time you have intercourse

Withdrawal: Use each time you have intercourse

Spermicide: Use each time you have intercourse

Cervical cap: Use each time you have intercourse

Rhythm method: Use throughout sexually active period

Pill: Needs to be taken every day

Combined shot: 30 days

One-hormone shot:12 weeks

Breastfeeding: Up to six months

Long-term

Implant: 3 – 5 years

IUD: 5 – 12 years

Vasectomy: Permanent

Female sterilisation: Permanent

Other

Abstinence

Outercourse

Emergency contraception

How often do I need to take it?

Some methods of birth control need to be used every time you have sex, while others only need to be used once a day, once a month, or will work for a few years. A vasectomy or female sterilisation is permanent, and to be used only if you are sure you don’t want children at all. They are one-time procedures that are performed by a doctor.

 

Short-term

 

Condom: Use each time you have intercourse

Diaphragm: Use each time you have intercourse

Sponge: Use each time you have intercourse

Female condom: Use each time you have intercourse

Withdrawal: Use each time you have intercourse

Spermicide: Use each time you have intercourse

Cervical cap: Use each time you have intercourse

Rhythm method: Use throughout sexually active period

Pill: Needs to be taken every day, with or without a one-week break every three weeks

Patch: New patch once every week, with a patch-free week every three weeks

Combined shot: One injection every 30 days

One-hormone shot: One injection every 12 weeks

Breastfeeding: Every four hours during the daytime and every six hours at night for up to six months

Long-term

 

Implant: Inserted once, it will work for three years

IUD: Inserted once, it will work for 5 – 12 years

Vasectomy: Permanent

Female sterilisation: Permanent

Other

 

Abstinence

Outercourse

Emergency contraception

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