Birth Control

If you don't want to get pregnant – or want your partner to get pregnant – you need to use birth control, also called contraception or family planning. There are lots different types of birth control methods. Another way to avoid getting pregnant is abstinence.

Facts

Sponge

A sponge is a birth control method with a medium failure rate. It's a soft foam disc containing spermicide which you insert into the vagina before having sex.

Diaphragm

A diaphragm is a birth control method with a medium failure rate. It's a soft rubber dome that fits over the cervix – the neck of the womb. It blocks sperm from getting into the womb.

Sterilization

Female sterilization is a birth control method with very low failure rate. The woman’s fallopian tubes, which carry eggs from the ovaries to the womb, are blocked.

Implant

An implant is a birth control method with very low failure rate. It's a tiny rod containing a hormone, which you have injected just under the skin on your arm.

Female Condom

Female condoms aren’t just for women. In Zimbabwe, men use the word ‘tekenyenza’ to describe the gorgeous tickle he feels when his penis rubs on the inner ring of the female condom.

Withdrawal

Withdrawal is when a man pulls his penis out of a woman’s vagina before he ejaculates – the moment where semen comes out of his penis.

Condom

A rubber sheath that fits over the penis and stops sperm from getting into the vagina. It's like a very thin and stretchy tube-shaped bag, with a teat at the closed end to collect the sperm.

The pill

It’s a pill that women swallow every day. Combined birth control pills contain two hormones, estrogen and progestin. 'Mini-pills', or progestin-only pills, only contain progestin.