Birth control, also known as contraception, is designed to prevent pregnancy. Birth control methods work in a number of different ways including:
- Blocking sperm from getting to the eggs (condoms, spermicides, diaphragms and cervical caps work this way)
- Preventing ovaries from releasing eggs that could be fertilized
(hormonal contraceptives like birth control pills, ring, patch, and injections work this way)
- Preventing fertilized eggs from attaching to the lining of the uterus
(intrauterine devices or IUDs work this way)
- Permanently preventing a woman from getting pregnant or a man from being able to impregnate a woman (tubal sterilization for a woman and vasectomy for a man)
There are a number of factors to consider when deciding on a birth control method that's right for you, including: your health, frequency of sexual activity, number of sexual partners, and desire to have children in the future. Your health care provider can help you select the form of birth control that best suits your unique needs.