Vaginal Contraceptives

by Charlotte Wood
(last updated March 30, 2009)

There are several kinds of contraceptives, and fortunately, in this day and age, they are easy to access and socially acceptable. There are a few different forms of male contraception, but most contraception is geared toward women. Because women are the ones in the relationship who actually get pregnant, there are naturally way more forms of birth control available for women.

Vaginal contraceptives are birth control methods that are inserted up through the woman's vagina. There are a few different kinds of vaginal contraceptives, which include vaginal contraceptive rings and chemicals like spermicide. Vaginal rings—also called NuvaRings because of the contraceptive ring brand—are inserted up into the vagina. Vaginal contraceptive rings are another form of hormonal birth control. The ring is inserted up into the vagina and releases the hormones of estrogen and progesterone to fool the woman's body into thinking that it's already pregnant. It works like the birth control pill in that it alters the lining of the uterus so that an egg can be implanted for a pregnancy. With vaginal contraceptive rings, the woman needs to get a new one implanted every month. Essentially the contraceptive ring is a form of the pill, inserted into the vagina, and it still allows the woman to menstruate every month.

Another form of vaginal contraceptives is spermicide. Spermicide is a chemical that kills the sperm in the semen before the semen enters the uterus. So, in theory, the sperm won't be able to fertilize the egg because the sperm is dead. Spermicide should be used in conjunction with other contraceptive methods for the greatest effectiveness. Using a diaphragm is another kind of vaginal contraceptive. A diaphragm is a kind of barrier inserted up into the cervix that prevents semen from entering the uterus. This is usually an effective form of contraception can often be relied on as a primary form of birth control.

Using vaginal contraceptives is usually a pretty reliable way to control pregnancy. By preventing the sperm from entering the vagina or by using hormones to control when the woman has her period, vaginal contraceptives usually work just as well as any other reliable form of contraception. If you use vaginal contraceptives, it never hurts to have additional protection (like using a condom), but additional birth control doesn't have to be necessary.

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