Contraception

BODY_SYSTEMS_REPRODUCTIVE_HOMEOSTASIS_CONTRACEPTION

There are mechanical, chemical, surgical and natural contraceptive methods used to prevent a pregnancy.

Mechanical

ExampleMethod Advantage Disadvantage
Male condomA barrier that prevents sperm entering the vagina.Easily obtained. Protects against STIs (e.g. HIV).Unreliable if not used properly.
Female condomA barrier that prevents sperm passing up the female reproductive system.Easily obtained. Protects against STIs (e.g. HIV).Unreliable if not used properly.

Chemical

ExampleMethod Advantage Disadvantage
Contraceptive pillTaken regularly by the female. Prevents ovulation by changing hormone levels.Very reliable.Female needs to remember to take the pill. Side effects include weight gain, mood swings or an increased risk of blood clots. Does not protect against STIs.
Contraceptive implant A small tube placed under the skin of the upper arm. Releases hormones slowly over a long period of time. Prevents ovulation.Very reliable. Can work for up to 3 years.Does not protect against STIs. Can prevent menstruation.

Surgical

Example Method Advantage Disadvantage
Vasectomy Sperm tubes are cut preventing sperm entering the penis. Virtually 100% reliable. Difficult or impossible to reverse.
Female sterilisation Oviducts are cut preventing fertilisation. Virtually 100% reliable. Difficult or impossible to reverse.

Natural

Example Method Advantage Disadvantage
Rhythm method Sexual intercourse is avoided around the time of ovulation. No chemicals are used. Not as reliable as other methods, especially if the menstrual cycle is irregular.

The natural method is chosen by some groups opposed to contraception for religious or ethical reasons.

Move on to Video
next