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FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions

Contraception Choices for Women  

Various methods of contraception and their effectiveness

Methods Failure Rates
Side Effects
Abstinence ?
Sexual frustration..
No cost and total freedom
Rhythm Method/Natural Family Planning 20%
Frustration during periods of abstinence.
No health risks.
Combined Oral Contraceptive (birth control pill containing estrogen and progestin) 3%
Nausea, weight gain, fluid retention, breast tenderness, headaches, missed menstrual periods, acne. Mood changes, depression, anxiety, fatigue, decreased sex drive. Circulatory diseases. Gastrointestinal disorders.
Reliable; offers protection all the time. Brings increased regularity to menstrual cycle. Tends to reduce menstrual cramping.
Minipill (progestin only) 3%
Irregular menstrual periods are a common side effect. Bleeding between menstrual periods. Appearance of ovarian cysts.
Safer for older women. Reliable; offers protection all the time. Brings increased regularity to menstrual cycle. Tends to reduce menstrual
Norplant implants 0.09%
Slight visibility of implants. Menstrual cycle irregularities. Improper insertion or difficult removal. May have risks similar to pills, but research is incomplete.
Long-term protection. Extremely reliable. Requires no attention after initial treatment.
Depo-Provera injections 0.3%
Weight gain. Excessive bleeding. Menstrual cycle irregularities. Increased depression. Decrease in sex drive. May be associated with slight increase in breast cancer risk for younger women, but research is incomplete.
3-month protection. Extremely reliable.
Cervical cap with Spermicide 18%
Possible risk of toxic shock syndrome. Allergic reaction to rubber or spermicide. Abrasions or irritation to vagina or cervix.
Can be left in place for long periods of time.
Spermicidal Foam, Cream, Jelly, Suppositories, or Film 21%
Allergic reactions to chemical. Unpleasant taste of chemical during oral-genital sex.
Available without prescription. Minimal health risks. Easy to carry and use. s, Does not require partner
Female Condom (Vaginal Pouch) 21-26%
Some reduction in sensations of intercourse. Relatively high rate of contraceptive failure.
Allows woman to choose protection from disease, along with contraception. Available without prescription.
Diaphragm 18%
Allergic reaction to the rubber Increased risk of toxic shock syndrome. Bladder infection or vaginal soreness because of pressure from rim.
Negative side effects are rare. Inexpensive.
Intrauterine Device (IUD): Progesterone T (Progestasert) Copper T 380A Levonorgestrel 2% 0.8% 0.1%
Uterine cramping, abnormal bleeding, and heavy menstrual flow. Pelvic inflammatory disease or perforation of the uterus during insertion of the IUD; also violent allergic reaction; infection of the ovaries.
Reliable Can be left in place.
Female Vasectomy 0.15%
Psychological implications of being infertile can sometimes lead to some sexual problems.
Permanent; no other preparations. Very reliable. Minimal health risks.
Copyright © 2010 Dr. Mahesh Nawal. All rights reserved.