Definition of "Birth control"

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Birth control (aka contraception, fertility control) are methods/devices used to prevent pregnancy. Family planning is the planning, provision and use of birth control.

  • Hormonal contraceptives, including:
    • Oral contraceptive pill (see page)
    • [Contraceptive] patch, which is a transdermal patch applied to skin which releases synthetic estrogen and progestin hormones to prevent pregnancy. It has been shown to be as effective, if not more effective than OCP's
    • Vaginal rings, which provide controlled release of drugs for intravaginal administration, over extended periods of time. The ring is inserted into the vagina and provides contraception. Leaving the ring in for 3 weeks slowly releases estrogen and/or progestogens. These hormones stop ovulation and thicken the cervical mucus, creating a barrier preventing sperm from fertilizing an egg. Worn continously for 3 weeks on, followed by 1 week off, each vaginal ring provides 1 month of birth control. Examples include NuvaRing
    • Combined injectable contraceptive (CIC), which is a monthly injection of progestin and a synthetic estrogen to suppress fertility
  • Barriers, including:
    • Condoms, including:
      • Male condom (see page), which is put on an erect penis and physically blocks ejaculated semen from entering the body of the sexual partner. It also help prevent STI's
      • Female condom (see page), which is worn internally by the female partner and provides a physical barrier to prevent exposure to ejaculated semen. It is a thin, soft, loose-fitting sheath with a flexible ring at each end. The inner ring at the closed end of the sheath is used to insert the condom inside the vagina, and hold it in place during intercourse. The roller outer ring at the open end of the sheath remains outside the vagina and covers part of the external genitalia. It also helps prevent STI's
    • Diaphragms (see page), which are a soft latex or silicone dome with a spring molded into the rim. The spring creates a seal against the walls of the vagina
    • Spermicides, which are a contraceptive substance that destroys sperm, inserted vaginally prior to intercourse to prevent pregnancy. It is unscented, clear, unflavored, non-staining, an lubricative
    • Contraceptive sponge (see page), which combines a barrier with a spermicide. It is inserted vaginally before intercourse, and must be placed over the cervix to be effective
  • Long-acting reversible contraception, which provide contraception for an extended period without requiring user action. It includes:
  • Sterilization, the most effective method, but not usually reversible, by:
    • Vasectomy (males), which is surgical sterilization of a man, where the male vasa deferentia are severed, and then tied/sealed, so as to prevent sperm from entering into the ejaculate, thereby preventing fertilization
    • Tubal ligation (females), which is surgical sterilization of a woman, where the woman's fallopian tubes are clamped and blocked, or severed and sealed, preventing eggs from reaching the uterus for implantation. However, fertilization can still occur in the fallopian tubes
  • Behavioral
    • Sexual abstinence, but abstinence-only sex education may increase teen pregnancies if offered without contraceptive education, due to lack of compliance
    • Fertility awareness, where the infertile phases of a menstrual cycle are identified, to avoid pregnancy. It involves observing changes in fertility signs (basal body temperature, cervical mucus, cervical position), tracking menstrual length, and identifying the fertile window accordingly. Other signs may include breast tenderness or mittelschmerz (ovulation pains). It can also be determined using ovulation prediction kits, or microscopic examination of saliva or cervical fluid
    • Withdrawal by the male before ejaculation
  • Emergency, including:
    • Morning-after pill (aka emergency contraceptives), intended to disrupt or delay ovulation or fertilization
    • IUD's, sometimes
  • Dual protection

Source: ARHP birth control tool | ASHA sexual health

  • Particularly effective in reducing teen pregnancy, include long-acting reversible birth controls, including implants, IUD's, and vaginal rings
  • After delivery of a child, a woman who isn't exclusively breastfeeding may become pregnant in as soon as 4-6 weeks. Some birth control methods can be started immediately following birth, whilst others require delay of up to 6 months
  • In minors (i.e. <18yo), although parental consent is usually required, in NSW, a child 14 or over may consent to their own medical Tx. The Dr has to weigh the Pt's "best interests", balancing whether the child has "Gillick competency" (i.e. is a "mature minor", being able to give "informed consent". If the Pt is able to consent, the Dr is not allowed to tell parents. Breaches to confidentiality are permitted in serious infectious disease (e.g. HIV/AIDS), suspicion of abuse, and suspicion of potential injury to yourself or others. In children, it is in fact mandatory. There is no age preventing purchase of contraceptives at a pharmacy or seeking medical advice without parental consent. The age of consent for sex is 16yo. There is no legal defense when charges are made for engaging in sexual activities with a person <16yo. However, if you are 16-17yo, it is a crime for a position of care or authority to have sex. No member of family is allowed ot have sex with you, regardles of age
  • In women who are breastfeeding, progestin-only methods are preferred over combined oral contraceptives
  • In women who have reached menopause, it is recommended birth control be continued for 1 year after the last period

Source: LawStuff

  • Comprehensive sex education and access to birth control decreases unwanted teen pregnancies
  • Birth control use in developing countries have decreased maternal deaths by 40%, and could prevent 70% if the full demand for birth control were met
  • By lengthening the time between pregnancies, in developing countries, birth control can improve the woman's delivery outcomes, and the survival of their children
  • In developing countries, greater access to birth control increases a woman's earnings, assets, weight, and children's schooling and health
  • Birth control increases economic growth, because of fewer dependent children, more women participating in the workforce, and less consumption of scarce resources
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Definition of Birth control | Autoprac

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