Methods of contraception

Many women now consider contraception to be a natural way of planning their lives and reconciling their professional goals with the desire for a family. Although a wide range of different methods offer individually tailored contraception, on the other hand, women are often faced with a difficult choice. Help to find your way in the jungle of the numerous, often also new possibilities, says the gynecologist.

Mode of action of contraception

A contraceptive is commonly said to be a means of preventing pregnancy, a "contraception". Hence the foreign word contraception (against conception). The possibilities are now so varied that it makes sense to find a classification for the different methods. First, there is a difference between contraception for men and for women.

Men can currently safely prevent only by means of sterilization or condom. Furthermore, it is possible to distinguish between reversible, that is to say reversible, and irreversible possibilities of contraception. Usually one means the former, if one speaks of contraceptives. But also sterilization of a woman or man are - usually irreversible - methods to protect against pregnancy.

Another classification is the way in which contraceptives work:

  • mechanically
  • chemical
  • hormonal
  • Naturally

The different methods can be combined. An ideal method of contraception would need to be 100% safe and effective, reversible, with no side effects, easy to handle and no impact on sexuality. So far there is no such. Therefore, different factors play a role in the question of which means are used.

Not only the Pearl index, ie the safety or failure rate, must be taken into account, but also age, comorbidities, rhythm of life, costs and - last but not least - also individual preferences.

The Pearl Index

This important parameter reflects the safety of a contraceptive. The Pearl Index indicates how many of 100 women who use a given remedy for one year will become pregnant during that period.

The higher the index, the greater the failure rate, the more uncertain the means. The benchmark is the Pearl index without contraception, which is 85 (ie, 85 out of 100 women become pregnant within a year without a contraceptive).

The safest method is the contraceptive stick (Pearl Index 0.1-0.9), the most uncertain of coitus interruptus with 4-18. Above all, the other hormonal methods are very safe.

Share with friends

Leave your comment