Many women spend a lifetime trying to conceive a child; many spend a lifetime trying to avoid it. Learn about various methods of contraception and which is right for you. Discussions also include permanent sterilization.
Birth Control Options Over Age 40
For women over 40, there are a number of birth control options.
Choosing a Contraceptive
Choosing a method of birth control is a highly personal decision - based on individual preferences, medical history, lifestyle, and other factors.
Condoms are the oldest and most widely used contraceptive methods. Condoms provide a barrier between the sperm and the egg.
The diaphragm is a barrier method of contraception. It is a ring-shaped device that fits inside the vagina and covers the cervix.
Emergency contracetion may be used immediately after unprotected intercourse, and up to 72 hours beyond.
The female condom is one of several barrier-type contraceptive methods available for use by women.
Female sterilization is also known as a "tubal," or having your tubes tied. During female sterilization (a "tubal"), the tubes are blocked so that the egg and sperm cannot meet.
Intrauterine Device (IUD)
The intrauterine device is an implantable device that is inserted into the uterus. Small doses of a particular substance are released into the uterus, blocking the sperm from entering the fallopian tubes and thus preventing pregnancy.
Natural Family Planning
Natural family planning uses a variety of methods that seek to prevent pregnancy by either avoiding intercourse around the time of ovulation, or using knowledge of the time of ovulation to use other methods - such as condoms, diaphragms, or spermicides.
The Norplant system for contraception is the longest acting yet reversible form of birth control that is currently available in the United States.
Oral Contraceptives (Birth Control Pills)
Despite their widespread use, many people have developed a number of misconceptions about the use and safety of oral contraceptives.
Surgical sterilization is a common form of contraception chosen by many women. Worldwide, over 170 million women use this method of birth control.
Several measures can be used to determine if you are ovulating. If you have monthly menstrual cycles at regular intervals with associated breast tenderness and abdominal cramping, you most likely are ovulating.
Spermicides are chemicals that reduce the risk of pregnancy by killing the sperm before they can reach the egg.
Vaginal Tubal Sterilization
Worldwide over 170 million women use sterilization as their method of birth control. There are multiple different methods of sterilization.
Vasectomy is the most common method of male contraception in the United States.