A Simple Guide To Birth Control

Taking control of conception is something that women have been doing since the dawn of time. Here is a simple guide to birth control. If you want to know what they are, keep reading!

Some research was done to refresh my memory and fill in the gaps. Also, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website has illustrations of each birth control method; including some that aren’t listed here.

Common Methods

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Photo from Pixabay

Birth Control Pill

The first one is the birth control pill. This has been the go-to for many women including myself. You have to have a doctor’s prescription to use this.

There are two types of pills: the estrogen and progestin mix, and progestin-only (the mini-pill).

The trick with the pill is it has to be taken at the same time every day. If it’s taken every day as prescribed the pills are 99% effective; but if any pills are missed the pill’s effectiveness drops.

Also, some medications such as antibiotics can mess with the effectiveness of any birth control method. So if you;re on any meds, PLEASE use a backup form of birth control.

When I was on the pill, I tried to take it every day at the same time. Sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn’t. For me, the best thing about this method was it took care of my painful cramps. They were so bad, that I was on prescription pain meds.

The bad thing about this method was it caused me to be super irritable! I was so awful that my family noticed the change when I got off of it and were so happy! 

Intrauterine Device (IUD)

An IUD is a T-shaped piece of plastic that’s inserted into the uterus by a doctor or a nurse practitioner. 

There are two types: copper and progestin-only. It works similarly to the pill. This method is effective for up to 12 years and is 99% effective.

This method doesn’t protect against STIs.

Implantable Contraception

Implantable contraception is only obtained by a doctor’s prescription.  The twist is it’s implanted into your upper arm and can last up to 3-5 years. It’s 99% effective.

How it works is by leaking low amounts of progestin. This hormone does a few things.

It tells the ovaries to not release an egg for that month, to thicken the mucus around the cervix so it will be hard for sperm to get in, and to thin out the lining of the uterus so if an egg has been fertilized it won’t be able to implant in the uterus.

This method doesn’t protect against STIs.

red condoms, contraception, contraceptives-849407.jpg. Blog graphic for blog post at awomansoutlook.com
Photo from Pixabay


There are the ever-popular condoms. It’s a latex or a similiar type of material that stretches over the penis. 

When the man ejaculates (cums), the sperm ends up in the tip and doesn’t go into the vagina.  It is put on before sex and removed afterward.  It can only be used once.

If used perfectly, they’re 98% effective. To help with their effectiveness, some condoms are coated with spermicide. A liquid that kills sperm. If not used right, they’re 85%-87% effective. Because of this, it’s suggested that another type of birth control be used with condoms.

Heads up, condoms can break! If the sperm get into your uterus; you are at risk of getting pregnant.

I worked with a lady who now has a child because the condom she and her husband used broke.


It’s taking the penis out of the vagina right before ejaculating. The reason this isn’t a good method is that the penis can release a little bit of semen without the man feeling it.

It is estimated that 1 in 5 couples get pregnant using this method. If there is an egg in the fallopian tubes or uterus, and the sperm find it; you’ll get pregnant.

Also, it provides no protection against STIs.


The last common tool is abstinence, or not having sex. It’s the only 100% effective birth control method out there.

Think about it. If the sperm can’t get into the uterus, it can’t get to an egg. So there’s no risk of pregnancy.

Anyone can decide to practice abstinence. Even those who have had sex (vaginal intercourse) in the past. Also, abstinence is 100% effective against STIs. 

Black profile cut out of a couple. Touching foreheads. Blog graphic a simple guide on birth control.

The takeaway

That’s a simple guide on birth control methods. There are other methods out there, but these are some of the most common.

Before using them, please do your own research and speak with a health professional to find the one that works best for you. Also, make sure you know all the information you need to use the method you chose.

Just saying.

If I have missed any information on the ones listed here, please put it in the comment section below. As always, if you want to vent or have comments, they are welcome in the comment section too.

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