Although birth control methods and abstinence are widely acknowledged and practiced, it is necessary to consider their pros and cons.
Every female holds the right to decide if and at what time she wants to become pregnant. For couples who are planning for pregnancy, the use of birth control methods until they are prepared facilitates them in making sure that the mother and the newborn will be as healthy as possible. If an individual is sexually active, the single means to prevent pregnancy is to opt for a helpful birth control method and to make use of it in the correct and consistent fashion ("Birth Control: What's Right for You?").
According to Columbia Encyclopedia, birth control can be defined as the "practice of contraception for the purpose of limiting reproduction" ("Birth Control"). The research that has been conducted till date has not been able to identify the best method of birth control as all the methods have their pros and cons. Every man and woman can have control over the time they become parents. However, it is not easy to make choices about birth control or contraceptive methods. A lot of things are to be thought of and considered including the overall health, the frequency of having sexual intercourse, the number of sex partners, the desire to have children, possible side effects and the comfort level while using the contraceptive methods. However, this is necessary to remember that even the most effective birth control methods can be unsuccessful ("Birth Control Methods").
Abstinence, on the other hand, can be simply described as not having sex by any means i.e. vaginal, anal or oral. In other words, when an individual makes up his/her mind to practice sexual abstinence, it means that he/she has made a decision to not have sex. Abstinence is said to be the simplest type of birth control which doesn't require one to use any method. It just means that if a couple has decided not to have sexual intercourse, there would be no possibility of a sperm to fertilize an egg and thus, there would be no pregnancy as a consequence. The birth control methods of other forms such as condoms are dependent on barriers that put off the sperm from getting the egg or obstruct with the menstrual cycle as done by birth control pills. However, there is no necessity of any barrier or pill by means of abstinence.
Birth Control Methods
The methods of birth control for males include pulling out of the male before ejaculation. This is said to be the oldest technique for contraception. Another method is the use of the condom which is a rubber covering used to cover the penis. Due to its use as a protection against sexually transmitted diseases, the condom is the most frequently device for birth control ("Birth Control").
On the other hand, the contraceptive methods for females include the rhythm method i.e. restraining from sexual intercourse around the most possible time of ovulation. Moreover, in order to control birth, women also employ precoital insertion of substances including spermicidal-chemicals-contained creams, foams, jellies, or suppositories into their vaginas. Diaphragm is another cup-shaped device made of rubber used for insertion before intercourse and helps in the prevention of sperm from reaching the uterine cervix. The best results are obtained when it used along with a spermicide. Contraceptive sponges infused with a spermicide are also used to insert into the vagina before having sexual interaction. It also principally works to put a stop to the fertilization of female egg by the male sperm. Intrauterine devices, also known as IUDs, are small objects of various shapes that a doctor inserts into the uterus. Their main purpose is to create a uterine environment that is unreceptive either to sperm or to the fertilized egg ("Birth Control").
The birth control pill is in fact an oral contraceptive. The intake of these pills "involves a hormonal method in which estrogen and progestins (progesterone like substances) are taken cyclically for 21 or 84 days, followed by 7 days of inactive or no pills" ("Birth Control"). The production of the pituitary hormones i.e. luteinizing hormone and follicle-stimulating hormone that usually cause ovulation is suppressed by the elevated hormonal levels in the blood. There is also another kind of an oral contraceptive formulation in which no inactive pills are utilized. It is taken every day and is helpful in the complete suppression of menstruation. Moreover, the weekly use of a contraceptive skin patch is also helpful in the deliverance of estrogen and progestins. A flexible plastic ring, popularly known as the vaginal ring, can also be used for a whole month for the slow release of estrogen and progestins into the body via the vaginal tract ("Birth Control").
During a Cesarean section or soon after child birth, sterilization of the female is often performed in which the Fallopian tubes i.e. The vessels carrying the egg cells from the ovaries to the uterus are either cut or tied. In the process of vasectomy, i.e. The male sterilization, the surgeons interrupt the tubes that transmit sperm from the testes to the penis. In the majority of cases, sterilization is irreversible. However, the libido or capacity for sex is not lost as a consequence ("Birth Control").
The birth control shot, renowned as Depo-Provera, is another method for birth control. In this method, the women get injections or shots of the hormone progestin in their buttocks or arm every three months. Its purpose is to prevent the release of eggs from the ovaries. It is also a cause of changes in the cervix by which the sperms are stopped from joining the egg. The implantable rod is a matchstick-size, stretchy rod. It is put under the skin of the upper arm to hold back the sperm from joining an egg as it releases a progestin that causes changes in the inside layer of the uterus and the cervical mucus. However, it is only useful for a period of five years ("Birth Control Methods").
It is exceedingly important to mention here that there is still no contraceptive formulated that is at the same time trouble-free, good enough, protected, helpful, and reversible. For instance, the diaphragm, condom, and chemical and rhythm methods necessitate high stimulus by users. Similarly, the pill that is taken on a daily basis often provokes negative side effects including unsettled stomach, headache, weight increase, and superior propensity of blood clots development. While the intrauterine devices do not need any personal effort or motivation, they are often intolerable, are expelled. In case they are not properly designed, they can also become the cause of uterine infection, septic abortion, and similar problems ("Birth Control").
In case of the non-usage or failure of birth control, a number of large dosages of certain oral contraceptives may be prescribed by the doctors as "morning after" pills. As a consequence, the establishment of pregnancy even after the occurrence of can be inhibited by the high hormonal level ("Birth Control"). All birth control methods work the best only if they are used in the correct way. It is also important to use them every time a couple has sex. It is also important to know the right way to use those ("Birth Control Methods").
However, as already mentioned, all the birth control methods have several side effects that cannot be ignored. For instance, some side effects and risks of sterilization surgery for women include pain, bleeding, complications from surgery and ectopic pregnancy. The sterilization surgery for men also causes the same side effects excluding the ectopic pregnancy. The implantable rod method does not work for obese and overweight women. Other women have high risks of developing acne, weight gain, ovarian cysts, mood swings, gloominess, hair loss, headache, nausea, wooziness, and sore breasts, changes in menstrual cycle and disinterest in having sex ("Birth Control Methods"). Intrauterine devices sometimes become the cause of "cramps, bleeding between periods, pelvic inflammatory disease, infertility or tear or hole in the uterus" ("Birth Control Methods").
Shot/Injection can cause bleeding between periods, increase in weight, tenderness in breasts and headaches. If used for a long period of time, they can also cause loss of bones. The side effects of using oral contraceptives include faintness, nausea, and changes in menstrual cycle, stroke, mood swings, weight gain, and high blood pressure, coagulation of blood, heart attack, and vision problems. The vaginal ring causes vagina to swell and vaginal discharge along with irritation. When diaphragm is used with spermicide, it causes pain, allergic reactions, urinary tract infection and in case of longer use, toxic shocks. Due to their several side effects, oral contraceptives, vaginal ring, diaphragm, shot/injection, and IUDs must be only used after taking the prescription from a doctor. Condoms, spermicides and emergency contraceptive pills can, however, be bought over the counter ("Birth Control Methods").
As far as abstinence is concerned, it is claimed that it is the only and most effective form of birth control that…