A Mom’s Guide to Birth Control

Natural family planning
Natural family planning may be an appealing birth control option if you can’t or choose not to use other contraceptives.

Popular types of natural family planning include the rhythm method, the cervical mucus method and the basal body temperature method. You can use these types of natural family planning to predict when you’ll ovulate — and when you need to avoid unprotected sex, if you don’t want to conceive. Another type of natural family planning is withdrawal, in which the man withdraws his penis from the vagina before ejaculation to prevent pregnancy.

Natural family planning requires motivation, diligence and self-control. Natural family planning isn’t as effective as other types of birth control, but it’s inexpensive and doesn’t have any side effects.

Spermicide Alone
What is it?
• A foam, cream, jelly, film, or tablet that kills sperm.

How do I use it?
• Instructions can be different for each type of spermicide.
  Read the label before you use it.
• You need to put spermicide into the vagina between 5
  and 90 minutes before you have sex. 
• You usually need to leave it in place at least 6 to 8 hours
  after; do not douche or rinse the vagina for at least
  6 hours after sex.

How do I get it?
• You do not need a prescription.
• You can buy it over-the-counter.

Possibility of getting pregnant
(Number of pregnancies expected per 100 women who use this method for one year)
• Out of 100 women who use this method, about 30 may get pregnant.
• Different studies show different rates of effectiveness.

Some Risks
• Irritation.
• Allergic reactions.
• Urinary tract infection.
• If you are also using a medicine for a vaginal yeast infection, the spermicide
  might not work as well.

Does it protect me from sexually transmitted infections (STIs)? - No

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