What is contraception? List four different methods. State four reasons for adopting contraceptive methods.
Contraception includes methods or ways to prevent fertilization and pregnancy in a fertile female as a result of successful copulation between a fertile male and female.
Following are the four methods of contraception used by humans:
(i) Natural method: It involves avoiding the chances of a meeting of the sperm and the ovum. In this method, the sexual act is avoided from day 10th to day 17th of the menstrual cycle because, during this period, ovulation is expected; therefore, the chances of fertilization are very high.
(ii) Barrier method: In this method, fertilization of the ovum and sperm is prevented with the help of barriers. Barriers are available for both males and females. Condoms, which are made of thin rubber, are used to cover the penis in males and the vagina in females.
(iii) Oral contraceptives: In this method, tablets or drugs are taken orally. These contain small doses of hormones that prevent the release of eggs, thus preventing fertilization.
(iv) Implants and surgical methods: Contraceptive devices such as the loop or copper-T are placed in the uterus to prevent pregnancy. Some surgical methods can also be used to block the gamete transfer. In vasectomy (males), the vas deferens is blocked to prevent the transfer of sperms. Similarly, in tubectomy, the fallopian tubes of the female can be blocked so that the egg does not reach the uterus.
The reasons for adopting contraceptive methods include are:
(i) They help in preventing unwanted pregnancies.
(ii) They prevent the chances of frequent pregnancies, which otherwise affect the health of females.
(iii) They help in family planning by controlling the number of children in a family, thus reducing the chances of poverty.
(iv) They also reduce the chances of transmission of sexually transmitted diseases such as AIDS.