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Contraceptive Methods


The contraceptive methods that exist are:

  • Barrier methods.
  • Birth control pills.
  • Vaginal ring.
  • Subcutaneous implant.
  • Intrauterine devices (IUDs).
  • Injectable contraception.

The best contraceptive method is the one that will be used on a regular basis, the one that creates the most confidence for the woman and her partner, and the one that does not cause bothersome side effects. 

Incorrect use is one of the most frequent causes of method failure. Less frequently, medication or device failure may also be the cause of family planning failure.

Certain options such as the intrauterine devices (IUD) and the subcutaneous implant have a lower risk of failure (pregnancy).

The reason they are safer is that they are easier to use and are used more correctly. The effectiveness of the method does not depend on the woman.

In general, the contraceptive methods that are designed to be used at the time of sex. For example, the condom and the diaphragm are generally less safe than other more planned and programmed methods of use such as the IUD and the contraceptive pill.

How to choose the best contraceptive

In addition to the comfort that individual women experience with different types of contraceptives, the most important factor to consider is their composition. The most popular contraceptives combine oestrogen and gestagen. The efficacy, i.e. the anovulation that will prevent pregnancy, depends on the gestagen, while the safety depends on the oestrogen.

Beneficial effects of contraceptives

With the combination of oestrogen and gestagen, other beneficial (non-contraceptive) results are obtained without increasing adverse effects. These include decreased menstrual bleeding, decreased dysmenorrhoea and premenstrual syndrome, decreased acne and hirsutism.

In addition, pills containing both compounds have been shown to prevent pathologies such as ovarian and endometrial (uterine) cancers y endometriosis. It has also been observed that this method of contraception is associated with a lower incidence of pelvic inflammatory disease due to changes in cervical mucus characteristics, although they do not prevent chlamydial or gonococcal infection.

Finally, the Pill also is often recommended for the treatment of polycystic ovary syndrome. o PCOS (chronic anovulation), which is associated with an irregular menstrual cycle.

Although the most popular contraceptives combine these two components, there are other forms of gestagen-only contraceptives that are highly proven to be effective, as the efficacy against pregnancy depends only on the gestagen. These include the gestagen-only pill (known as the mini-pill), subdermal implants and the levonorgestrel-releasing intrauterine device (IUD). But it should be remembered that with this composition some menstrual irregularity may occur.