The graceful guide to contraceptives
Updated: Mar 28
Contraceptives/birth control and family planning are methods to prevent pregnancy while they’re being used/taken. There is a misconception that contraceptives may cause infertility, but this is not true. When used correctly, birth control/contraception or family planning methods are safe, preventing pregnancy from happening during the time of use. If you wish to conceive, simply stop using it - read further for more information about each specific type.
While contraception is safe, that doesn’t mean all methods are for everyone. Hopefully, this guide can help you choose the right type for you - and if you want even more personalized recommendations, please take our fertility assessment, available on the latest version of our app!
Note: If you already use any contraceptive method that was inserted by a medical professional, and are thinking about changing it, we recommend that you visit the clinic again to get it removed - do not do it yourself.
There are a few different types of “reversible” contraceptives to choose between. Some are called “long-acting”, while others are “short-acting”. There are also barrier types, like condoms and emergency types, like the day-after pill.
These contraceptive types are favoured by women who might want to get pregnant in the future but also want long-term protection. They are good options in case you are the type of person who forgets to take meds with regularity.
These methods are reversible, meaning: the moment you wish to conceive, they can be removed by a doctor or nurse, and your body should return to its usual “fertile state”. Note that each body is unique, and sometimes a woman’s ovulation returns quicker than another.
Despite popular belief, contraceptives won’t make you infertile, and as long as they are inserted and removed by a medical professional, they are completely safe and highly effective.
Long-acting contraceptive methods don’t protect against STDs/STIs (sexually transmitted diseases/infections). Be sure to use a condom in combination, to reduce your risk of infection.
Some examples of Long-Acting Contraceptives are:
Short-Acting Contraceptives are often preferred by people who are good with discipline and routines. They are effective in preventing unplanned pregnancies if taken correctly, as the method require you to be regular, for example, taking daily pills every day at the same time.
Short-acting contraceptives can be used for many years in a row and are also reversible. The moment you wish to conceive, you can stop taking them, and your body should return to its usual “fertile state”, making you able to conceive as if you had used no contraceptive at all. Note that each body is unique, and sometimes a woman’s ovulation returns quicker than another.
Short-acting contraceptive methods don’t protect against STDs/STIs (sexually transmitted diseases/infections). Be sure to use a condom in combination, to reduce your risk of infection.
Some examples of Short-Acting Contraceptives are:
Barrier methods such as male or female condoms are hormone-free and one of the most effective, cheapest and safest options available. Condoms not only prevent pregnancy from happening, but they also protect partners from contracting STDs/STIs (sexually transmitted diseases/infections).
Emergency contraceptives are a safe method for times when accidents happen. These are hormone-heavy pills that work by temporarily stopping or delaying ovulation - being most effective when taken within 12-24 hours after unprotected sex.
Its efficacy can vary, becoming less and less effective the longer you wait to take it and the more often you use it. For the best chance for it to work, you should take the emergency pill as soon as possible after having had unprotected sex.
It’s not a good idea to use the day-after pill as your regular and long-term method of birth control, since its effectiveness isn’t as high as other types like the daily pill, IUD, shot, etc. When taken frequently*, these emergency contraceptives can cause irregular periods and symptoms like nausea, among other side effects.
Emergency contraceptive methods don’t protect against STDs/STIs (sexually transmitted diseases/infections).
Wanna know more? Drop a comment and tell us: what other questions do you have about contraceptives?
Stay informed, stay in control!