Artificial Birth Control

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Artificial Birth Control

Artificial birth control methods have been used for thousands of years. The hieroglyphics of ancient Egyptians show a figure of an Egyptian male wearing a device around the penis to help prevent pregnancy during intercourse. And there are other cultures which use condoms made of linen or animal intestines. Until now, historians and researchers are still debating on whether the condoms are for ritual purposes or not.

"Artificial Birth Control" is most commonly heard in relation to religious teachings on family planning. Many sectors especially religion encourage the use of natural family planning as opposed to artificial birth control because they believe that using artificial contraception is opposite to God's will. But there are also non-religious people who preferred not to use artificial birth control for personal, ethical or medical reasons.

Artificial birth control can be defined as any product, procedure or practice that uses artificial or unnatural means to prevent pregnancy. Barrier methods such as condoms, Intra uterine Devices (copper), diaphragms, cervical cap, and sponge, hormonal methods such as the pill, IUDs (hormonal), and emergency contraception. There are also injections, spermicides, and surgical sterilization procedures such as tubal ligation and vasectomy which are all considered to be artificial birth control methods.

This paper includes the different types and examples of artificial birth control and their advantages and disadvantages.

Condoms

A condom is a device made of fine rubber (latex). It avoids unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), including AIDS and HIV. The use of condoms is one of the easiest, most reliable and effective methods. But one should take few precautionary measures before using it; they must ensure that it is not torn or ruptured and that they are using it before the expiry date.

For a male condom, the man covers his penis with a condom during sexual intercourse in order to prevent the sperm from entering the vagina. A female condom is also made if fine rubber (latex) that when used it must be entirely aligned to vagina. The two types of female condom are the FC or FC2 female condom and the VA w.o.w. Condom Feminine.

The FC female condom is a 17 cm (6.5 inches) in length. There is a flexible ring at each end. At the closed end of the sheath, the flexible ring is inserted into the vagina to anchor the condom in place. While at the open end, the ring stays outside the vulva at the entrance to the vagina. The VA w.o.w. Condom Feminine when not stretched is around 9 cm (3.5 inches) – though it is very elastic. It has a rounded triangular frame at the open end and a sponge inside the closed end, which helps to hold the condom inside the vagina.

Condoms are easily obtained, cheap, very effective, it protects against sexually transmitted disease, and it possibly reduces risk of cervical cancer. But it interrupts the foreplay, it reduces sensitivity for both or either partner, it requires great care, and it sometimes causes allergy.

Intra uterine Devices (IUD) – Copper

IUD is a birth control device made of soft plastic and has the shape of the English letter T and is placed in the uterus. It is a long-term method that prevents pregnancy for 3-5 years. Copper is wound on the lower part and on the tip of the T are the two threads. With the help of the threads, women can check if it is inserted properly.

Copper T does not create any problems during copulation and it can be used immediately after childbirth. But unlike condoms, it does not protect the user from AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases.

Diaphragm

Diaphragm is a thin rubber dome with an elastic and flexible rim. It is inserted into the vagina and fits over the cervix that is hold in place by vaginal muscles. The diaphragm holds...
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