Contraception – Methods

The following are different methods of contraception

Methods That Prevents Ovulation.
The egg is usually produced in the ovary. Ovulation can be prevented by using hormones or combinations of hormones. The oral contraceptive pill (“The Pill”) and the contraceptive injections work in this way.

Methods that prevent the egg from getting into the tube or from travelling along the tube to the uterus.
The egg gets into the tube and travels towards the uterus. Female sterilization methods prevent this by cutting or blocking the tubes by applying rings or clips.

Methods that prevent the semen from getting into the neck of the womb.

Barrier methods
We described how the semen is deposited by the man in the upper vagina.

The barrier methods of contraception prevent the semen (which contains the sperms) from getting there.
The condom covers the penis and when the man “ejaculates” the semen collects in the little space at the tip of the condom. The sperms cannot get in to start their big swim.

A recent development is the female condom e.g. Femidom, which works in the same way.
These methods of contraception are fairly effective but won’t work unless they are correctly carried out.

Interrupting sex.
The sperms can also be denied access by not putting them there in the first place. Coitus interrupts is the Latin name for interrupted intercourse. The man “pulls out” when he feels that he is about to come, and avoids letting his semen get into his partner. As an emergency method this method is fairly effective (even though the doctors pooh-pooh it). Do remember though, that the fluid that oozes out of the penis just before the orgasm may contain some sperms so a timely withdrawal is essential!.

Chemicals that kill the sperms.
The sperms can also be denied access to the cervix by killing them in the vagina as soon as they arrive there. This is achieved by putting spermicidal (sperm-killing) chemicals into the vagina before intercourse.
There are many of these available as tablets, foaming tablets, foaming creams, sponges impregnated with chemicals and the likes.

These must be put in just before sex (not too long before) and must be renewed for every sexual encounter.
Methods that make the mucus in the neck of the womb hostile to the sperm.

We described previously how the mucus in the neck of the womb plays an important part in fertility. We can interfere with that mucus and make it hostile to the sperms.

The Pill and the injection actually also work in this way (beside their other better known effects). Some of the newer pills, which contain only minute doses of the necessary hormones, were actually designed to work mainly on the cervical mucus.

Methods that interfere with implantations of the fertilized egg.

Making the inner lining of the womb unfavorable may prevent implantation of the egg and therefore prevent pregnancy.

As you recall, this lining becomes thick and juicy each month in preparation for a possible “little visitor”. Pregnancy can be prevented by preventing the little visitor from implanting itself into this lining.
A number of the different methods of contraception do interfere with this lining. The Pill prevents ovulation and also therefore prevents the preparation of the lining. Some of the Pills work mainly by interfering with the lining even though they are not strong enough to cause an ovulation.

The injections have the same effect. The Intrauterine Contraceptive devices (IUCDs) also exert their effect in this way. An IUCD is a foreign body in the womb. It causes a mild inflammation in the endometrium and inhibits implantation of a fertilized egg.

So, the IUCD does not prevent fertilization of the egg, it rather prevents implantation of a fertilized egg into lining of the inside of the womb.


Contraception has become a science in its own right. A woman can tailor her contraception to her unique needs. Discuss this with your doctor or your gynaecologist.

There is no need for any woman to fall pregnant ‘accidentally’. Protection is in your hands, see your doctor or go to a clinic.