There are so many types of birth control pills and methods out there that if you are even just thinking to start practicing one you may be overwhelmed by the number of options you have. Since 1972, when birth control methods were made legal to couples outside of marriage, science has made much advancement on pregnancy prevention. Women today can choose from a handful of different oral birth control methods and can even choose to opt out of having a period every month if they want.
"It is safe to say that we can offer women a lot more options than in the past, including not only the ability to control when and how often she wants to get pregnant, but also many aspects of the reproductive cycle, including bleeding patterns, menstrual pain, and even PMS," says Randy A. Fink, MD in a WebMD article. Fink is a gynecologist in Miami who has advised the FDA on many of the latest birth control methods. Since there are so many options out there for women it can be very difficult to choose which option is healthiest and best for you. College News hopes to smooth out a few of the kinks for you and give you information on the latest birth control methods for women, and some for men too.
Recently, the wonders of science have introduced Plan B. While it is a form of pregnancy prevention, before it is discussed it is very important to note that Plan B is not to be used as a regular birth control method. Plan B is a birth control method only to be used if your primary birth control method fails, according to WebMD. It works by stopping the release of an egg from an ovary and may also prevent the fertilization of an egg by sperm or the attachment of an embryo to the uterus. If used within 72 hours (three days) of unprotected sex it can prevent pregnancy. Plan B is approved by the FDA and is available to women over-the-counter without a prescription.
While Plan B has become very popular among young women who employ pregnancy prevention methods, it still leaves the responsibility on the woman. Perhaps the most exciting latest birth control method is the Pill for men. Though it’s not available to the public yet, and according to Epigee won’t be for another five to 10 years, it is the first form of oral birth control that lifts the responsibility of pregnancy prevention from the woman to the man. As Epigee reports, the male Pill is similar to the females in that it uses synthetic hormones to lower a man’s sperm count. The male Pill is said to have some of the side effects similar to those that women on the Pill experience. According to Epigee, doctors are also working on creating patches, gels, implants and injections for men as well to lower their sperm count and prevent pregnancy in women.
Many women are familiar with the calendar method, where you calculate what days you are most fertile and abstain from sex on those days. The latest birth control method for this is called a fertility computer. According to contracept.org, the fertility computer is an electronic device that tells you when you are fertile. It works by reading a woman’s temperature, which increases after ovulation. If you are fertile, there is a light on the computer that turns red, allowing you to know when to abstain from sex. When you are infertile, it turns green. According to the article in Contracept.com manufacturers claim a failure rate of less than one percent for perfect users and four percent for typical users. Fertility computers are very popular overseas in Europe and are slowly making there way to the United States. The biggest advantage to fertility computers is the lack of chemicals needed for it to work. A disadvantage is that it is currently only being recommended for women whose cycles are between 23 and 35 days leaving out women with irregular periods.
Ultimately, the birth control you choose has to be the right one for you. Thankfully, today there are many different forms of contraception and birth control and if one doesn’t work for you, you can try another one. Most importantly, do not forget to discuss the latest birth control options with your doctor.