The Biology Topics of ecology involve studying the relationships between living organisms and their environment.
Birth Control and Contraception: Everything you need to Know about Birth Control
By controlling conception (pregnancy) one can regulate the number of one’s children. This process is called birth control. A temporary or permanent process can prevent pregnancy or conception which is termed as contraception. By using contraceptive birth control can be easily prevented in the following manner:
- Blocking the transport of sperm into the ovum.
- Blocking the ovulation process.
- Blocking the early embryo implantation.
Need for Birth Control
Population growth is much more than food production. So birth control helps to check population explosion by providing food, shelter, and drinking water to cells.
2. Education and Unemployment:
Birth control is required for education, medical facilities for everyone, and check unemployment.
The number of vehicles and factories is increasing due to the population explosion. So water, air, and soil are polluted day by day. Birth control can check pollution also.
4. Natural Resources:
It helps to check overcrowding as well as natural resources.
It allows the prevention of pregnancy.
Different Government-Approved Ways of Birth Control
1. Promotion of Education:
If people are educated properly, they may realize the benefit of a small family and with this, a desire to reproduce less may come into effect. In our country, education for women is much neglected and therefore, we should give enough attention to woman’s education.
2. Marriage Law:
By introducing laws if the age for marriage in male and female be increased, it may help in reducing population growth. According to the National Population Policy, the marriage of a girl below the age of 18 has been prohibited by law. Population policy was first adopted in 1976 and in this policy, the ages of males and females were fixed between 18-21 years and 15-18 years respectively.
3. Family Planning:
To control the population growth family planning gets much importance in many countries. With the adoption of family planning in China, the birth rate could be reduced from 32/1000 to 18/1000. As a result of this, when the number of children per woman was 5.7, it becomes 1.9 per woman after the implementation of family planning. In India in spite of the approval of family planning by the government from the year 1957, it could not give any effective result in achieving a target in population control. To achieve satisfactory results general public should be well aware of family planning. A person should be well concerned about the inconvenience of a large family in the background of the Indian economy. Besides, a couple should be educated on the method by which they can bear a child in a planned manner. In this regard, our media in mass communication may help substantially. In this context, the common birth control method may be noted as follows.
Birth Control Measure
The contraceptive measures of birth control are of two types.
Spacing is a temporary method that is usually used to postpone or space the birth of the child. Spacing methods are of different kinds such as Natural methods, Barrier methods, Chemical methods, Intrauterine devices, Hormonal methods, etc.
(a) Natural Methods:
Help in avoidance of sperm and ovum meet. The natural methods are of the following types:
(i) Safe Period: Fertilization occurs on 14-18 days of the menstrual cycle. During the 13-16th day of the menstruation cycle ovulation occurs. The released ovum may remain alive for 2 days. On the other hand, within the vagina, the sperm may remain alive for about 3 days. Therefore considering a few days before and after ovulation about 10-12 days appear to be risky for fertilization. The period before this time duration as well as after is known as a safe period. However, females having irregular menstruation cycles, do not maintain a definite safe period. The safe period in a female may be determined by making a consultation with the physician.
(ii) Lactational Amenorrhea Methods (LAM): During the lactation period of a woman there is the absence of a menstruation cycle which means ovulation does not occur at that time. Though this process is active only upto the six months after childbirth, so this process is helpful for a short time.
(iii) Withdrawal or Coitus Interruptus Methods: In the case of coitus interruptus, the male takes out his penis from the vagina just before the ejaculation of semen. As a result, the sperm cannot go inside the vagina to promote fertilization and conception. This method is not 100% effective because this is a painful process and a few drops of semen (sperms) may pass into the vagina before the withdrawal of the penis from the vagina.
(b) Barrier Methods:
The barrier is a mechanical device that prevents the meeting of sperm and ovum in the uterus. It’s available for both males and females. A few known barriers are-
(i) Condoms: A condom is a type of cap made of rub¬ber that remains as a cover over the penis during intercourse. In our country, the condom is known as nirodh. Copulation with the use of a condom may prevent direct ejaculation of semen in the vagina and therefore, the chance of conception gets reduced substantially. Nirodh is cheap and may be used easily.
(ii) Diaphragm: It is a cap-like rubber component (5-10 cm diameter) for placing at the cervix. Diaphragm is placed at the cervix during copulation. Spermicidal jelly is also used with the diaphragm to get a good result. Diaphragm also gives protection against a few sexually transmitted diseases.
(iii) Fern Shield: It is called a female condom. Fern shield is especially a type of polyurethane pouch. It contains two side rings the smaller one is inserted into the vagina and the bigger one is attached outside the vagina. This device not only acts as a semen barrier but also prevents STDs.
(iv) Cervical Cap: Cervical cap is one type of rubber nipple that is placed at the cervix of the uterus and prevents the entry of semen into the female uterus.
(v) Vault Cap: Vault cap is a hemispheric dome-like rubber or plastic cap with a thick rim. Fitting it over the cervix prevents the entry of semen into the uterus.
(c) Chemical Methods:
There are some chemical agents which may kill the sperm. They are known as spermicides. Spermicides are available as jelly, foam, cream, or paste, during intercourse those are inserted into the vagina to prevent the entry of sperm into the uterus. Spermicides contain lactic acid, boric acid, citric acid, zinc sulphate, and potassium permanganate. Foam tablets, Non- oxynol-9 are a type of spermicide.
(d) Intra Uterine Devices:
IUDs are made of plastic, metal, or a combination of both which are inserted by the doctors into the uterus through the vagina to prevent conception. IUDs are available as Non-medicated (Lippes loop), Copper releasing (CuT), Hormone releasing (LNG- 20, progestagen), etc. IUDs are more accepted and ideal contraceptives for females.
Copper T has ionized copper which slowly diffuses at the rate of 50 mg/day into the uterine wall. It releases toxin cytokines which bring about local antifertility effects. The toxin released by the CuT suppresses sperm motility and fertilizing capacity of the sperm. IUDs increase the phagocytosis of sperm. The hormone released by the IUDs make the uterus unstable for implantation, and the cervix hostile to the sperms.
(e) Hormonal Methods:
Hormonal methods are used by the woman who is trying to suppress ovulation. These methods are of three types
(i) Oral contraceptive pill: Oral contraceptive pills have to be taken orally for 21 days in a menstrual cycle starting from the 5th day of the cycle. It has to be repeated after a gap of 7 days. When someone misses a pill it should be taken whenever one remembers, that keeps the hormonal level required for contraception. Such pills act in four ways.
- Inhibition of ovulation;
- Changes in cervical mucus impair its ability to allow passage and transport of sperms;
- Inhibition of motility and secretory activity of the fallopian tube;
- Alteration in the uterine endometrium makes it unstable for implantation.
Oral contraceptive pills are of two types-
- Combined pills: Combined pills contain synthetic progesterone and oestrogen to check ovulation. Those pills are taken daily without a break. Mala-D and Mala-N have commonly used combined pills.
- Mini pills: Mini pills contain only progestin. Central Drug Research Institute (CDRI), Lucknow developed mini pills called “saheli” which contains a nonsteroi¬dal preparation called centchroman. Saheli has high contraceptive value with very few side effects. It has to be taken once in a week after an initial intake of twice a week dose for 3 months.
(ii) Non-oral Contraceptive: Non-oral contraceptives are of two types-
- Injectable: The progesterone derivative injection is given once every 3 months. Depot-medroxy progesterone acetate (DMPA) 150 mg every 3 months or 300 mg every 6th months, and Norethisterone enanthate (NETEN) 200 mg every two months. Those releases hormone slowly and prevents ovulation.
- Implants: It is the subcutaneous implantation of synthetic progesterone. Norplant is a progesterone made up of six matchstick-like capsules, containing the steroid inserted under the skin of the inner arm above the elbow. This capsule slowly releases the synthetic progesterone. This is a very safe, long-lasting (5 yrs), and convenient method. Implanon is a rod-like device (40 mm × 2 mm) inserted under the skin and lasts for 3 years as a contraceptive.
(iii) Emergency Contraceptive: Emergency contraceptives are used to treat sudden unprotected sexual intercourse which has a risk of pregnancy. The drugs used to treat the above reason are called morning-after pills. It presents pregnancy if taken within 72 hours. It is used only in emergency cases not for ongoing contraceptive methods.
Terminal Methods (Surgical Methods)
These methods prevent pregnancy permanently. Surgical or operative procedures prevent gamete transport which prevents fertilization. This process is also called sterilization. Sterilization in males is called vasectomy and sterilization in females is called tubectomy.
Vasectomy is the permanent sterilization process in males. A 1 cm incision is made through the skin of the scrotum with the help of a scalpel over the area of vasa deferentia. Each vas is cut and tied up. A gap of about 1-4 cm must be placed between the two ends because the reunion of the two ends can occur otherwise.
It is the permanent sterilization process in females. A portion of both the fallopian tubes is cut and ligated to block the passage of the ovum through them. The surgery is made by the modem laparoscopic method. Tubectomy is also known as tubal ligation. It is an abdominal surgery. One study found that postoperative complications from tubal ligation are more likely than with vasectomy and are more costly. Tubectomy may reduce the risk of ovarian cancer.
Differences between Vasectomy and Tubectomy:
|1. It is the permanent sterilization process in males.||1. It is the permanent sterilization process in females.|
|2. In this method, each vasa differentiae is cut and tied up.||2. In this method, each fallopian tube is cut and tied up.|
Birth Control Measures in Tabular Form: