How many contraceptive methods do you know?

How many contraceptive methods do you know?

Male condom

The favorite of the Spanish is not, by far, the surest not to access involuntary parenthood. “The well used condom is 98% reliable. But you have to put it on before any seminal fluid comes out, be careful not to tear it with your nails, rings or piercings , remove it when you have intercourse with your penis out of the vagina and try not to stay inside the vaginal canal. All these errors happen and reduce their real safety to 85%, “says Dr. José Mª Fernández Goya, coordinator of the Gynecology and Obstetrics service at Hospital Nisa Pardo de Aravaca . Warning: when 5 years have passed since it left the factory, the latex will lose flexibility and there is a risk of it tearing. So the condom box that has been around for centuriesin the glove compartment it is useless. This is stated by its own manufacturers.

Oral contraceptives

I mean, the pill. “It requires discipline in taking but, well used, it works at 99.7%. Its real capacity to prevent pregnancy drops to 92% because there are days that you forget to take it, it is not done at the same time, you have vomited … numerous types with different oral contraceptive hormone burden from carrying estrogen and progestogen that only carry the latter (Desogestrel). Known as minipills, they are suitable even for women with a history of thrombosis who previously had had a sudden removal ”, reveals Haimovich. “One of the advantages of oral contraceptives is that by minimally altering their intake, the arrival of the period can be advanced or delayed. In this way, the woman can avoid coinciding with a trip or with that love encounter so dreamed of, “explains Dr. Francisca Molero, gynecologist and director of the Ibero-American Institute of Sexology .

morning after pill

It should be used only as an emergency method when conventional routes have failed. Or when, in the heat of battle, you have forgotten to prevent nature from acting. Despite the controversy that surrounds it, the WHO values ​​it as “contraceptive and not as abortive.” Its action will depend on the moment of the cycle: sometimes it only prevents ovulation, others, nesting. Avoid pregnancy in 85% of cases.

Vaginal ring

A plastic ring that is inserted into the vagina and gradually releases its hormonal load. A new one must be used each cycle. The effectiveness is identical to that of the conventional pill.

Analogous to the previous one: it is a kind of square band aid of 4.5 cm on each side. It is infused with hormones that the skin absorbs little by little. “You have to apply it to very clean and cream-free skin. Otherwise, it will end up slipping away, ”says Haimovich.

Injectable progestogens

There are monthly or quarterly ones and it is the gynecologist who evaluates their convenience of use. Its reliability ranges from almost 100% in a hypothetical laboratory universe to 97% in this world.


Kind of latex or silicone plug that the woman inserts into her vagina to prevent sperm from entering the cervix. It should be used with spermicide (a substance that inhibits the activity of sperm). There are several sizes and it is the gynecologist who determines which one suits each patient. It makes sex more difficult before sleeping, since it must be withdrawn 6 to 8 hours after intercourse. In an ideal Arcadia it guarantees 94% protection. In this world, only 84%.


One of the most legends carries. But it is neither abortive nor exclusively for women who have already been mothers. “In fact it is excellent as a double contraception in adolescents. The IUD will prevent them from becoming pregnant without having to be aware of taking the pill, which, for example, during exam times is easy to forget, “says Fernández Goya. It is an intrauterine device that is placed by the gynecologist. It causes changes in that organ that prevent pregnancy. It can be copper or hormonal. “The latter has the same advantages of other hormonal means, such as making periods less abundant and less painful.” It is reliable in more than 99% of cases.


Vaginal creams or ovules with chemical substances that destroy sperm as soon as they support the flagellum in contrary territory. They are as anticlimactic as they have to be used 10 minutes before penetration, that is, in the middle of the previous ones. And they are unsafe in both cases: 18 pregnancies used perfectly for every 100 encounters and 29 in real life. The Ministry of Health and Social Policy includes it in the list of hardly recommended methods.


Synthetic contraption that is inserted into the vagina before intercourse. It requires ample doses of optimism, since its effectiveness lasts 24 hours: if one trusts that there will be a sexual encounter, she can place it many hours before and be prepared for the happy moment. It is usually impregnated with spermicide. In women who have not had children hypothetically, it is effective in 91% of cases, although, in reality, the figure must be lowered to 84% in real life, according to the experts consulted. Those who have been mothers know that the vaginal canal dilates and does not completely return to its initial dimensions after delivery. This hinders the effectiveness of the sponge: 20 pregnancies in a utopian world and up to 32 in the real world.

female condom

Lubricated polyurethane sheath that plasticizes the walls of the vagina and vulva. Uncomfortable, but very effective against STDs. Its effectiveness ranges from 5 to 21%, according to the Pearl index.

Is it really effective? If it is applied strictly and not a single fertilizer droplet of seminal fluid comes to fruition, the efficiency is 96% (only 4 pregnancies for every 100 hypothetical women). Now, put a normal male back in the nanoseconds before the orgasmic discharge and he will have just over 70% reliability (27 pregnancies). The Ministry of Health also recommends avoiding.

Ogino method

The famous Japanese gynecologist has probably done more to encourage birth than many pro-baby campaigns. Their system, also called the calendar system , is based on calculating which days are fertile and which are not. These are deducted by subtracting 18 from the shortest cycle and 11 from the longest. For example, if the shortest cycle was 24 days (24 – 18 = 6) and the longest cycle lasted 31 (31 – 11 = 20), the days with the highest probability of pregnancy will go from 6-7 to 20 of each cycle. Even taking it strictly, the Pearl index contemplates 9 pregnancies for every 100 encounters. The reasons are the competence of internal affairs: hormonal variations due to stress, trips with time changes, strenuous sport practice …

Basal temperature

It is leaving the family book in the hands of a thermometer. “It is based on the fact that, after ovulating, the body temperature rises between 0.2 and 0.5 ºC, remaining that way until the end of the cycle. That warmer period of the body also marks its supposed infertile time. Although part of a scientifically proven principle, body temperature can vary due to infection, stress, or the practice of some sports … In addition, it should always be taken at the same time, which can be difficult on vacation or a day in the that women have to get up early for work reasons, ”explains Dr. José María Fernández Goy, coordinator of the Gynecology and Obstetrics Service at the Nisa Pardo de Aravaca Hospital. In a laboratory atmosphere it is 98% reliable. In real life, Could you sign that you are going to take your temperature daily and at the same time for a year and that your body is not going to flinch for nothing? The said: more than 20% of failures. And the nuisance of not leaving the house without the happy thermometer.

Ovulation Method or Billings

It involves a curiosity bordering on the morbid: scrutinizing the texture (density, color and opacity) of cervical mucus. If it’s juicy and clear, perfect for lubricating, forget it – it’s your fertile days. In perfect conditions, it ensures 97% reliability. Now, put yourself to supervise those fluids in a hangover morning, in a hurry or at night, with a few extra drinks. And eat them to tell your partner that the reason for their refusal is that the flow is not yellow enough to be safe.

Subdermal implant

It falls within the category of the long-term comfortable according to the experts consulted. “It is a kind of rod about 4 cm with a gestagen [hormone] that is slowly released,” they explain. It is implanted in the forearm with a small incision and its carrier can already forget about being a mother in the next 3-5 years. Here it does not matter living in a utopian world that on the periphery of a large capital: its effectiveness is close to 100% (only 0.05 pregnancies).

Male and female sterilization

Tubal ligation and vasectomy are definitive alternatives but undergoing surgery. Recently, a new form of permanent disablement has appeared: the Essure, a titanium device that is inserted into the tubes through hysteroscopy (a visualization tool for the uterus). “In two or three months it causes fibrosis that forever obstructs access. It is placed in an outpatient clinic, without undergoing surgery.”

What about breastfeeding?

Well, it is a precious moment to assess mother-child attachment but it is not a contraceptive in itself. On the page , developed by Bayer, they dismantle this and other myths about contraception. “During lactation there is a real inhibitory effect on ovulation but it cannot be considered as the only way to avoid staying in a state again. It would only serve in the event that you knew for sure that you have not ovulated and that is not possible, ”explains the web. As feedings are spaced, there is a greater chance of giving the baby a brother.




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