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Natural Family Planning Methods Abstinence: One of the most effective ways of natural family planning is abstinence.

Couples who do not want to have a baby and want to avoid taking artificial contraceptives, should keep away from sexual intercourse during the fertile days of the woman. For this method to work out, the women should keep track of their menstrual cycles to know the timing of their ovulation and the period during when there is high risk of getting pregnant. Withdrawal: Withdrawal is another method of natural pregnancy prevention. In this method, the man withdraws his penis from the vagina before ejaculation while having sex. However, this is not a full proof method of birth control, as the fluid which is secreted before ejaculation also contains sperms and are sufficient to fertilize an ovum. Natural family planning is normally chosen by people owing to certain religious reasons or because they are not able to take contraceptives due to health reasons. The best thing about natural methods of avoiding pregnancy is that they do not have any negative effects; however, to follow this method couples have to be determined and disciplined. Artificial Family Planning Methods Condoms: Condoms are the most commonly used male contraceptive to escape pregnancy. Using condoms during sexual intercourse acts like a barrier for sperms to enter the vagina, thus restricting their contact with the egg. In recent times, even female condoms are available in the market. Along with birth control, a condom also helps in the prevention of sexually transmitted diseases. There have been cases where condoms have failed to avoid pregnancy, but this is mostly due to defective condoms or incorrect use of the condom. Birth Control and Emergency Pills: Another method of artificial family planning is the use of birth control pills by women. Birth control pills also known as oral contraceptives, stop the development of the egg and also helps in the thickening of the cervical mucus in the uterus, thus restricting the passage of the sperms to the egg. This can be an effective method if the pills are taken regularly and in the correct manner. If contraceptives do not work out, another way of precluding pregnancy is to take emergency contraceptive pills. If a couple has indulged in unsafe sex, the woman can take emergency pills to reduce the chances of getting pregnant. Intrauterine device (IUD): The IUD or Copper T as it is commonly known is a very convenient, safe and reversible method of family planning which does not require a daily routine. It is a small device made of metal, copper or plastic that is inserted into the uterus of a woman of reproductive age, for as long as she does not want a pregnancy. Normally once it is inserted, it stays in place for 5 to 10 years and inhibits the entry of sperms into the inner recesses of the vagina and also prevents fertilization. It is the most popular and widely used female contraceptive method . The IUD should be inserted and removed (when pregnancy is desired) by a qualified medical practitioner, to avoid complications. Sterilization: refers to permanent contraception by surgical procedures, to avoid future pregnancies. It is a method of birth control suited for couples who do not want to have any more children or couples who don't want to have even a single child. Vasectomy is the procedure for men and tubectomy or tubal ligation for women. It is by far the safest and most effective method of pregnancy control, though irreversible. Sterilizing is done permanently and is a full proof method. Artificial family planning methods, like IUDs or contraceptives to postpone or avoid a pregnancy are effective, if used in the correct manner. However, these methods can cause certain side effects, especially oral contraceptives. Women who take birth control pills may experience nausea, weight gain, vomiting, ectopic pregnancy, etc. Regular use of contraceptive pills may also make conception difficult, if couples want to have a baby later. Sometimes over use of birth control pills can lead to infertility in women. One of the problems with condoms is that they are made of

latex and people who have latex allergy are not able to use them. Any method of family planning, be it natural or artificial, does not affect the sex life of the couple. However, no method is full proof and there have been rare cases where women have become pregnant even after using contraception. So, the best way would be consult one's gynecologist for the appropriate family planning method to stay away from a pregnancy that is undesirable. 1. Natural o Natural family planning is also called the rhythm method. It involves tracking the woman's ovulation and avoiding sex when she is fertile. Natural family planning has a success rate ranging from 78 to 88 percent. Barrier o Barrier methods include the condom, which is placed over the man's penis, and the diaphragm, which the woman inserts in her vagina. The diaphragm covers the entrance to the uterus, thereby blocking the sperm's access. The cervical cap does the same thing, but can be left in longer. The condom holds the sperm inside it. In general, barrier methods have an effectiveness rating of 71 percent to 85 percent, but using a spermicide along with a barrier increases its effectiveness.

Oral/Topical o Some women take pills or wear a patch to control their hormones. If used correctly, these drugs prevent pregnancy. If the woman wants to become pregnant, she can simply stop taking the pill or remove the patch. The effectiveness of these methods is rated at 92 percent.

Injection o Depo-Provera is an injection given to women as birth control. Women must get the shot four times per year, and it has an effectiveness rating of 97 percent to 99 percent.

Internal o IUD stands for internal uterine device. An IUD is inserted into a woman's uterus by a doctor to prevent pregnancy. When the woman is ready to become pregnant, her doctor removes the device. The effectiveness is rated at 97 percent to 99 percent.

Sterilization o A vasectomy is a form of outpatient surgery given to men. In a vasectomy, the tubes that carry sperm from the testes to the urethra, or vas deferens, are cut, so that sperm never enter the man's ejaculate. Women can be sterilized by cutting the tubes that connect the ovaries to the uterus. This, however, requires hospitalization and recovery. Effectiveness for sterilization for both men and women is rated at 99 percent or more, but not 100 percent due to extremely rare medical flukes.