Artificial Birth Control sample essay

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Artificial Birth Control sample essay

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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.


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 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 spermicide in place over the cervix; spermicide kills sperm and prevents fertilization.

Diaphragms are 86-94% effective as birth control. It is cheap, the female partner is the one that takes the responsibility, there is no interruption during intercourse, there is no loss of sensation for either partner, it reduces of bacteria related STDs, couples may feel less inhibited when the woman is menstruating, and pre – malignancy and cervical malignancy are reduced. But it is uncomfortable to insert and remove from vagina, it requires a doctor to fit and check it, it requires preparation, some male partners are aware of the cap and may not like it, there is no protection against viral conditions such as herpes simplex or HIV, it sometimes cause allergy, and it cannot be fitted before first intercourse, if there is a vaginal septum or utero-vaginal prolapsed.

Cervical Cap

Cervical cap is a device inserted into the vagina that fits over the cervix to blocked the sperm from entering the uterus and prevents fertilization. After intercourse, it should be left in place for 8 hours. Cervical covers are 84-91% effective at preventing pregnancy for women who have never given birth and 68-74% effective for women who have given birth.

Cervical cap can be inserted many hours before sexual intercourse, it is easy to carry around, it is comfortable to use, it does not alter menstrual cycle and affect future fertility, and it may help the user to better know her body. But cervical cap does not protect against HIV or AIDS, it requires a fitting in a clinic, it is difficult to insert or remove, it can be dislodged during sexual intercourse, and there can be possible allergic reactions.

Birth Control Sponge

The birth control sponge is made of plastic foam that contains spermicide. It is soft, round, and about two (2) inches in diameter. It has a nylon loop attached to the bottom for removal and it is inserted deep into the vagina before sexual intercourse. The sponge avoids pregnancy by keeping sperm from joining with an egg. The sponge may cover the cervix and blocks the sperm from entering the uterus or it can continuously release a spermicide that keeps the sperm from moving.

The birth control sponge can be carried in pocket or purse, it can’t be felt by either partner, it has no effect on a woman’s natural hormones, it does not interrupt sex play, and it can be used during breastfeeding. But it may be difficult for some women to insert or remove the sponge, it may cause vaginal irritation, and it may make sex too messy or too dry because sponge requires too much liquid.

Contraceptive Pills

Most hormonal birth control methods contain the hormones estrogen and progestin, although some contain progestin only. Hormonal contraceptive pills work by preventing females from ovulating or releasing eggs from their ovaries each month, and by thinning the lining of the uterus to keep a pregnancy from implanting. Without an egg to be fertilized by sperm, pregnancy cannot occur.

Contraceptive pill is a very effective birth control but there are also side effects like significant mood swings and decreased libido.

Intra uterine Devices (IUD) – Hormonal

Hormonal uterine devices sometimes called Intra Uterine Systems were first introduced in 1990. It releases levonorgestrel, a progestogen, and may be used for five years.

Hormonal Intra Uterine Devices do not increase bleeding as inert and copper-containing IUDs do. Rather, they reduce menstrual bleeding or prevent menstruation altogether, and can be used as a treatment for menorrhagia (heavy periods). The use of Intra Uterine Systems results in much lower systemic progestogen levels than other very-low-dose progestogen-only hormonal contraceptives; they might possibly have some of the same side effects like loss of libido, possible cervical cancer, vaginal infection, anxiety and nervousness, and pain in lower abdominals.

Emergency Contraception

The emergency contraception is also known as the morning-after pill. It is a safe and effective way to prevent pregnancy after unprotected intercourse. It can be started up to five days or 120 hours after unprotected intercourse. The hormone in the morning-after pill prevents pregnancy by thickening a woman’s cervical mucus and by thinning the lining of the uterus. The mucus blocks sperm and keeps it from joining with an egg which could prevent pregnancy by keeping a fertilized egg from attaching to the uterus.


Injections are 99% effective that is scheduled every 3 months. Depo-Provera®, one of the two types that are now available, contains progesterone that is similar to what the body produces. It prevents release of the egg from the ovary and causes changes in cervical mucus and the lining of the uterus. The second one is the Lunelle® which contains two hormones like the pill, so it has the same side effects as the pill.


Spermicides can come in different form like cream, gel, foam, film, and suppositories. Most spermicides contain nonoxynol-9 which is a chemical that kills sperm. Spermicides immobilize and kill the sperm before they are able to swim into the uterus. To be effective, the spermicide must be placed deep in the vagina, close to the cervix. Creams, gels, and foams are squirted into the vagina using an applicator. But spermicides are more effective when used with another method of birth control, such as a condom or diaphragm. Spermicides are only effective for an hour, not all women can use it and some have an allergic reaction to the substances.


Sterilization is a form of birth control and all the procedures are meant to be permanent. For females (Tubal Ligation), a minor operation that blocks a woman’s fallopian tubes, the tubes that carry the egg to the uterus; female sterilization works by blocking the egg from reaching sperm. For males (Vasectomy), requires minor surgery on the scrotum to cut the vasa deferentia, the tubes that carry sperm. This operation keeps sperm from mixing into the semen when men ejaculate. Without sperm, fertilization of an egg cannot occur and pregnancy is prevented.

Sterilization provides permanent birth control, allows sexual spontaneity, requires no daily attention, does not affect pleasure, and it is also not messy. But it does not protect against sexually transmitted infections, including HIV/AIDS, it is not immediately effective, it requires minor surgery in a clinic and a possible regret if the couple wish to have one or more child.


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