Types of Birth Control

Some kinds of birth control work better and are more effective than others. And different methods suit different people. Let's dive into the various types of birth control that are available to you.

Facts

Natural family planning

Natural family planning is a birth control method with a high failure rate. It means ways to avoid having sex when you are most fertile.

Spermicide

Using spermicide is a birth control method with a high failure rate. Spermicides are chemicals that kill sperm in the vagina.

Sponge

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

Diaphragm

A diaphragm has a medium failure rate. It's a soft rubber dome that fits over the cervix, blocking sperm from getting into the womb.

Sterilization

Sterilization is a birth control method with very low failure rate. Both men and women can be sterilized.

Implant

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

Shot (Injectables)

There are two types of birth control shots: the combined shot and the one-hormone shot.

IUD

An intrauterine device (IUD) is a small contraceptive device which is inserted into the uterus.

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

When withdrawing, a man pulls his penis out of a woman’s vagina before he ejaculates – so that there's no semen going into the vagina.

Abstinence: not having sex

In general, abstinence means not having sexual intercourse (when a man inserts his penis into a woman’s vagina).

Condom

A condom is a rubber sheath that fits over the penis and stops sperm from getting into the vagina.

The pill

The pill is an effective birth control method that women take every day. There are two different types of it.

Emergency contraception

E-pills, also called morning-after or emergency contraception pills, are drugs you can take when you have had unprotected sex and think that you could be pregnant.