We can start with definition of term contraception. It is a regiment of actions, devices or medications followed in order to deliberately prevent or reduce likelihood of a woman giving birth or becoming pregnant. Modern medicine has developed ways to control human fertility both to prevent it and aid it. The fact that woman can produce large number of children over 30 or 40 fertile years and the need to give each child a long period of parental care has led to search for methods of contraception to control the number of births and lenght beetwen them.
History of contraception
Probably the oldest method of contraception is coitus interruptus. In this method man completely removes his penis from the woman“s vagina before he ejaculates. Also various herbal aborfacients have been used throughout human history. Some of them were effective, some were not. Woman have drunk solutions containing mercury, arsenic or other toxic substances for example herbs tansy and pennyroyal, but these also poisoned the woman. Chemicals dameged the liver, kidneys and the others organs. However in those times where risk of mathernal death from postpartum complications was high, the risk and side effects of toxic medicines may have seemed less onerous. Another of the earliest attempts at contraception centred on the use of physical barriers that stopped sperm from reaching the ovum. There are historic records of egyptian woman using pessary made from crocodile dung. Asian woman have used oiled paper as cervical cap and europeans may have used beeswax for this purpose. The condom appeared sometimes in 17th century. It was made of a lenght of animal intestine. Their widespread availability today both as a contraceptive and a barrier to sexual transmitted diseases was first pioneered by Margaret Sanger in America and Marie Stopes in Britain. They both overcame strong social and religious opposition to make contraception freely available so that woman could choose whan they want to be pregnant.
Today available methods
More sophisticated methods of contraception based on treatment which interfere with the processes of ovum production and fertilisation became available in the second half of the 20th century. I will talk about 6 groups methods of contraception:1.The first are barrier methods. This group contains: male and female condom, diapraghm, cervical cap, and contraceptive sponge. They prevent sperm from gaining access to the female upper reproductive tract and prevent microorganism from passing from one parter to another. Male condom is good known device, usually made of latex or polyurethane. It is used during sexual intercourse to reduce the risk of pregnancy and some sexually transmitted diseases such as gonorrhea, syphilis and HIV. Condoms are also often used to cover medical ultrasound imaging transducers.2.Chemical methods involve progestin only contraceptives and combined estrogen-progestin contaceptives. They both work by thickening cervical mucus, changing endometrium and reduce sperm transport.
•Combined also suppress ovulation. They contain the hormones estrogen and progestin. And can be in injectable form, which are applied once a month or pills which are taken daily. Another kind is a emergency contraception also called morning after pill – it is high dose of combined pills which prevent implantation.
•Progestin only pills or injectables contraceptives contain hormone progestin. In this group are also implants – it is system of 6 small capsules which are filled with syntetic progestin. Capsules are inserted just under skin on inner side of woman“s upper arm using a minor surgical procedure. Are effective for 5 years.3.Intrauterine devices are devices implanted into uterus which prevent pregnancy by interfering with: sprerm movement or implantation.4.Natural methods
•Lactational amenorrhea method is the use of breastfeeding as a contraceptive method. It based on the physiologic effect of suckling to suppress ovulation. To use breastfeeding effectively mother have to feed baby almost 6 times during the day and night and the baby must by less than 6 months old and the mother“s menses cannot have returned.
•Natural family planning. Couple voluntarily avoids sexual intercourse during the fertile hase of the woman cycle. It use calendar method, basal body temperature, cervical mucus and symptothermal method.5.Surgical sterilisation
•Tubal occlusion is a voluntary sugical procedure for pernametly terminating woman“s fertility. It blocks the fallopian tubes and sperm are prevented from reaching ova and causing fertilization.
•Vasectomy for blocks the vas deferens so that sperm are not presented in the ejaculate.6.Alternative methods: a, sexual abstinenceb, non-vaginal sex such a s sex without penetration, or anal and oral sexc, coitus interruptus
Birth control is controversial political and ethical issue in many cultures and religions and although it is less controversial than abortion, it is still opposed by many people. There are various degrees of opposition, including those who oppose all forms of borth control, those who allowes natural family planning ant those who support most forms that prevent fertilisation, but opose any method which prevents a fertilised embryo to initiate a pregnancy. Your choice of birth control can affect rest of your life. Contraception is a responsibility for both in the relationship!
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