Your Family Planning Guide: Different Contraceptive Methods for Male and Female?

Your Family Planning Guide: Different Contraceptive Methods for Male and Female?

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01 December 2023 . 3 min read


Imagine standing at a crossroads with numerous paths before you, each leading to a different decision about your reproductive health. Confusing, isn’t it? It’s not surprising that both women and men find choosing the right contraception very overwhelming.

With today's medical advancements, the choices are vast and varied, tailored to fit diverse lifestyles and needs. Contraception isn't just about preventing pregnancies; it's also a doorway to autonomy, enabling everyone to take charge of their reproductive health. So, there isn't a one-size-fits-all approach. Factors like family planning goals, frequency of activity, overall health, comfort, and potential side effects should be considered.

Whether you're here for a refresher, seeking new information, or just curious about the topic, we will break it down and understand “what are contraceptives” and the methods available for both men and women.


What are the Different Methods of Contraception for Females?

There are many methods women can choose from, varying from a quick pill pop to a longer-term commitment like an IUD. Here are the most common ones:

  1. Permanent Methods: Surgically performed, irreversible methods like tubal ligation, where the fallopian tubes are tied to prevent the sperm and the egg from meeting. It is 99% effective.
  2. Temporary Methods: Short and long-term options like condoms, oral pills, and emergency contraceptives that do not involve surgery.
  3. Long-Acting Methods: Intrauterine devices (IUDs) or contraceptive implants lasting 3-10 years. These are 99% effective when used correctly.
  4. Short-Acting Methods: Methods like contraceptive pills, patches, injections, and the vaginal ring, are 99% effective when used consistently and correctly.

Here are a few commonly used methods of contraception:

  1. Female Condoms: A type of barrier contraception, 95% effective when used correctly. Other barrier methods include diaphragms, sponges, and cervical caps, with effectiveness ranging from 92% to 96% when used correctly.
  2. Contraceptive Pills: Prevents ovulation, 95% effective when taken correctly. They work successfully when taken regularly at the same time each day. The pills come in different dosing packets, from 21-day to 90-day pill packs. Usually, you take at least three weeks of pills followed by two to seven days of pill-free days when you get your periods. Some possible side effects may include breast soreness or tenderness, headaches, nausea, and mood changes.
  3. Emergency contraception, or the morning-after pill, should be taken within 72 hours (about 3 days) after sex to prevent pregnancy. Possible side effects can include nausea, vomiting and vaginal bleeding.
  4. Natural methods of contraception are based on monitoring the cycle and are usually around 76% to 99% effective.

Other Methods of Contraception include:

  1. Calendar or Rhythm Method: This method helps avoids sex before and after ovulation, which occurs around the 14th day in a 28–32-day cycle.
  2. Cervical Mucus Method: By monitoring the consistency of cervical mucus, women can determine their fertility. During ovulation, the mucus becomes clear, stretchy, and like raw egg whites. Sex is avoided during fertile periods to reduce the chance of pregnancy.
  3. Basal Body Temperature (BBT) Method: This method tracks body temperature, which rises by 0.5 to 1 degree Celsius during ovulation and remains elevated until the next period.
  4. Lactation Amenorrhea Method: Exclusive breastfeeding can act as natural contraception during the first six months after childbirth.

Methods of Contraception for Males

  • Permanent Contraceptive Method: Vasectomy: Surgical procedure cutting and sealing tubes carrying sperm, 99% effective, but irreversible.
  • Temporary Contraceptive Method: Condoms:
  • Other Methods for Men: Withdrawal or pull-out method (22% failure rate), outercourse method, and abstinence method (no risk of pregnancy but difficult to follow).


Every contraceptive method we've explored has its merits, and the right one is a personal decision, a blend of science and individual needs. Remember, it's not just about the method but understanding why and how it works best for you.

So, as you navigate this landscape, ask questions and engage in open conversations with your healthcare provider. Your health journey is unique, and your contraceptive choice should be, too.