This calls for the personal involvement of the sexually active males and females to take the appropriate decisions keeping in mind the above stated factors. Further considerations become imperative when the contraception methods are implemented or long term. The issues like whether a couple intends to have children in future are of prime importance before opting for any specific method. Almost all the birth control methods are reversible. With the discontinued usage of the birth control technique men and women will be fertile to their normalcy and will still be able to reproduce. However in the case of surgical methods it becomes comparatively difficult to reverse the situation back to normalcy; which means that once the surgery is carried out, there are less chances for that male or female to reproduce.
It is generally believed that no birth control method is 100 percent effective in the prevention of pregnancy; however it is found that some methods are found more effective then the rest. The pregnancy rates for birth control methods are known as failure rates and are generally expressed in percentage that represents the number of pregnancies expected in a group of 100 fertile women using the sole method for a period of one year. Researchers use two basic types of pregnancy rates while describing the effectiveness of a birth control method. Method effectiveness, or perfect use, is the chance of becoming pregnant when a particular method is used correctly and consistently with each act of sexual intercourse. User effectiveness, or typical use, is the percentage of pregnancies that result from average use of the method, which accounts for improper or inconsistent use. This paper provides an overview of birth control methods and provides typical use statistics.
Barrier methods generally provide a physical barrier which help avoiding the sperms from entering the uterus. These methods generally include the male and the female condoms, the cervical cap and the diaphragm. The male condom, scientifically known as prophylactic, is made of thin sheath of latex or less commonly animal membrane that fits over an erect penis. The condom is easy to use and requires no medical prescription and has no known side effects. Further, it is inexpensive hence making it one of the most popular reversible techniques of contraception worldwide. In typical use, male condoms are 84 percent effective in preventing unwanted pregnancy.
The female condom, a later invention to the male condom, is an elongated polyurethane sac with rings at each of its ends. One ring is inserted in the vagina while the other remains on the outside partially covering the female genital organs. The polyurethane sheath completely lines the interior vaginal mucosa and prevents the passage of sperms into the vagina. After the act of sexual intercourse it can be removed and discarded immediately. It has proved to be 79 percent effective in preventing pregnancy. In both the cases, male and female condoms are available without prescription and are meant for single use only.
Another method is the use of diaphragm. It is a shallow molded cup made of thin rubber with a flexible rim. Before intercourse, the woman inserts the diaphragm into the vagina after applying spermicides in the insides of the cup and the rim. It is