21 Birth Control Methods to Choose From


Birth control is an essential part of family planning, even if you are choosing to conceive at some point. And if you are engaging in sexual activities simply for the pleasurable experience of it, safe birth control or contraceptive methods are highly recommended. This is not only because of the prevention of unwanted pregnancy, but also because of your own safety. Birth control methods act in a way that prevents the sperm and eggs from meeting and fertilising, hence helping you steer clear of unwanted infections or diseases too. However, before randomly popping pills or using some device, visit your gynaecologist or any reputed sexual health clinic to know about these 21 most effective birth control methods to choose from:

Birth Control Methods: 21 Common Methods to Choose

Birth Control Methods to Choose From

Regular Birth Control Pill

This is a pill that helps control the sperms from entering the uterine area by building a thick mucus-like layer that cannot be penetrated. This pill type comes in two forms. One is that you take the pills for 21 days – completing a cycle – and then stop taking it for 7 days. During these 7 days you will experience a period-like bleeding. The other type is the one that should be taken regularly, and there is no intermittent bleeding involved. In both the cases, these pills will not only help you refrain from conceiving, but will also help regulate your menstrual cycle, if it is generally irregular. These pills are usually available over the counter.

Emergency Contraceptive Pill

This is the pill that you need to take within 72 hours after having unprotected sexual intercourse. These pills are also available over the counter, since they are meant for emergency situations. It is, however, advisable to carry some if you are planning to have some fun!

Birth Control Implant

This is about 99% effective, as doctors say. This is also called a Nexplanon, which is a tiny rod-like device that is implanted in the upper arm of women. This device releases hormones inside the body, on a regular basis, which has an adverse effect and thus prevents the sterilisation of the egg by the sperm.

Birth Control Shot

This is called a Depo shot, which is an injection that you receive at the clinic, at intervals of 3 months. This injection contains progestin, which is a hormone that prevents ovulation.


Birth Control Patch

This is a transdermal contraceptive patch that is usually worn on the belly, upper arm, back, or buttocks, by women. It is like putting on a band-aid. One patch is effective for 3 weeks from the day it is stuck on the skin. It releases hormones that goes into your body through the subcutaneous glands, and prevents the egg from getting sterilised by the sperm.

Vaginal Ring

This is called a Nuvaring, which is a flexible ring that women can wear inside their vagina. This ring creates a wall that stops the sperm uniting with an egg and sterilising, thus causing pregnancy. This is said to be more than 90% successful.

Male Condom

This is also one of the most common ways to prevent conception and STDs. A male condom is worn on the penis when it is erect, before inserting it into the vagina. The ejaculated matter thus remains inside the tube-like rubber condom and does not come in contact with the egg. This is said to be about 90% successful in preventing pregnancy.

Female Condom

Although this is something that most people haven’t heard of, they do exist! Just like a male condom, this one goes inside the vagina, like a pouch being placed in there, so that the penis enters the female condom. This way the sperms are prevented from meeting the egg, as there is a barrier created by the condom. Its effectiveness as just about the same as male condom.

Birth Control Sponge

This is a tiny plastic sponge-like device that one has to insert deep inside their vagina before having sex. This covers the cervix and prevents the sperms entering the ‘restricted area’ in order to prevent pregnancy.

Cervical Cap

This is like a tiny cap make of soft silicone, which is inserted deep into the vagina, to cover the cervical opening and the entire cervix. Since the cervix is covered, the sperm will not be able to meet the egg and thus sterilise.



If you are having regular sex during your nursing period, you can use breastfeeding as a method to stop getting pregnant again. This is because while breastfeeding, the body naturally stops ovulating.


There is a saucer-like silicone device that is bent in half and inside the vagina, to cover the cervical opening as well as the entire cervix. This stops the sperm from entering and sterilising the egg.

Fertility Awareness Methods

This is similar to the natural selection of dates, but a more technical method of going about it. You will have to visit the nurse at the sexual health clinic get a clearer picture of the method of counting days so that you know when the ovaries will release an egg each month. The days around your ovulation are the most fertile, while the days farthest from ovulation are least susceptible to getting you pregnant.

Intrauterine Device

This is a tiny plastic device that looks like the alphabet ‘T’. This is also called intrauterine contraception. This can be copper-based or hormonal. This device diverts the path of the sperms so that they cannot reach to the egg and sterilise it. For the copper based IUDs, sperms cannot stand copper, hence do not go in the direction of the device that stands between them and the egg.


This is said to be 100% effective. Outercourse is basically the opposite of intercourse, as many people would like to perceive of it. This is a situation in which you engage in sexual activities that involve everything else but penetration. This is probably not the best method to follow, although effective, if you want to enjoy your sex life. It is best to consult your doctor.


This is another method that is 100% effective. This method is somewhat similar to outercourse to some people, and is absolute retention from sexual activities of every kind to some people. However, going by the English dictionary meaning of the word, this method entails abstaining from having sex.



This is method in which a chemical is put inside the vagina before sex, which prevents the meeting of the sperm and the egg in two ways – covering the cervical entrance and stopping the sperm from moving quickly, so that it loses the intensity before even reaching the point.

Tubal Ligation

This is also called tubectomy. This is a surgery in which a woman’s fallopian tubes are blocked out, so that the egg cannot travel to the uterus for being implanted and getting sterilised. This is also highly effective, with a success rate of more than 90%. However, there are times when an unnatural growth might take place inside the woman’s body, commonly called ectopic pregnancy.


This is one of the most effective methods of birth control known to most people. It is said that vasectomy – male sterilisation – can be nearly 100% effective in preventing pregnancy. This process involves a minor operation in which the tubes present in your scrotum are blocked off so that they sperms cannot be ejaculated into the vagina.

Pull Out Method

This is also called the withdrawal method, which is nearly 80% effective. But this method does not protect you from sexually transmitted diseases. This method entails pulling out the penis from the vagina before ejaculation, so that the semen does not cannot enter. Most doctors usually recommend not using this an a means of birth control because there is no hardcore surety of not conceiving or contracting STDs.

Following the 28-day timetable

This is another method that you can follow that will not be quite safe in the medical parlance. There are certain days in the month, when your chances of getting pregnant are the highest and some days when you chances of conceiving are the lowest, depending on your menstrual cycle. You must make sure that you ask your doctor about the days that are the safest for you to engage in intercourse, and mark them on the calendar.

Of all the above methods, more than 90% of the people all over the world op for the joint usage of oral birth control pills and male condoms. They are the easiest and safe to use, apart from being readily available in the markets. However, if you feel that you would like to try out newer and safer methods, consult your doctor as soon as possible, before engaging in sexual activities.