Birth Control Methods

Birth Control Methods

Vaginal intercourse is a wonderful and stimulating experience for both the man and the woman, if performed properly. Sex may be performed as a means to an end - in order to procreate (have children) - or, simply as an end in itself (just for the fun of it). However, an unwanted pregnancy (or catching an STD) can be an absolutely devastating experience.

It is very wise to consider with your partner the various forms of contraceptive available and to ensure that you jointly choose a method that will protect you both. NEVER assume that birth control is being taken care of by your partner – this is the responsibility of BOTH partners!

Half of all unplanned pregnancies happen because a couple does not use any birth control - and the other half because the couple uses it incorrectly!!

We at Sexual Information 101 would like to remind you that we have done our best to provide you with accurate and the most current information, but we are not doctors. We urge you to use our information to get a basic understanding, then to follow up with your medical or family planning practitioner.

(Note: percentages given in these articles regarding the effectiveness of various methods of birth control are estimates only.)

pregnancy odds
How Pregnancy Odds Work

So you think you know how easy it is - or isn't - to get caught? You might be surprised! Here are the facts about your chances...

abstinence method
Abstinence Method

A lot easier said than done! But if you have lots of will-power or strong religious beliefs then this might be the one for you!

The Birth Control Patch
Birth Control Patch

Stick it on and you're done for the week! The Patch is easy to use and up to 99% effective against preventing pregnancy.

birth control pill
Birth Control Pill

VERY effective if taken as directed. Also prescribed to relieve severe periods & also has other medical benefits, but some serious side-effects possible.

Birth Control Shot
Birth Control Shot

Basically the Pill, but injected once a month; therefore has the same benefits and drawbacks, except harder to forget taking.

The Birth Control Patch
Cervical Cap

This thimble-shaped barrier device can be left in place up to 48 hours, but has many factors to consider before using.

female condom
Condom - Female

Just what it sounds like - except it goes inside the female instead of over the male. Very effective against pregnancy and STDs if used correctly.

Condom - Male

Effective only if instructions followed correctly, so follow them! Best used with Spermicide for extra protection. Also, great for protection from STDs.


Internal vaginal barrier that is more effective in theory than practice as it is relatively easy to mis-apply or dis-lodge. Not an STD protector.


Very long-lasting and highly effective device to stop fertilization. Must be professionally inserted into the female. Looks more ominous than it is.

Male Contraceptive Pill
Male Contraceptive Pill

Implants, patches and pills. Could the male version of 'The Pill' be just around the corner - or still over the mountain?

morning after pill
Morning After Pill

Should be reserved for when normal methods have failed. Requires swift intervention to be effective and should only be taken under medical supervision.

progestin implants
Progestin Implants

Very effective long-term contraception based on the science of the Pill. Requires minor medical precedure so must be professionally administered.

Rythm Method
Rhythm Method

A viable option only for women with regular periods & the iron will to calenderize and abstain at certain times of the month. Not typically recommended!


Chemical warfare on sperm! Only effective if instructions followed carefully & best used in conjunction with other methods (such as condom or diaphragm).


Not the most effective method of birth-control and not recommended if pregnancy would be a disaster! Can be fiddly to use - and not inexpensive.

Sympto-Thermal Method

'Natural' method based on Temperature & Ovulation. Effective if practiced diligently, requires time & effort. Abstinence or condom also required.

Tubal Ligation

“Getting your tubes tied” is a permanent and highly effective form of contraception, but there are a lot of factors to consider...