How Birth Control Methods Prevent Pregnancy

Birth control methods Method How it prevents pregnancy Hormonal Prevents ovulation Thickens mucus at the cervix so sperm cannot pass through Changes the environment of the uterus and fallopian tubes to prevent fertilization and to prevent implantation if fertilization occurs Intrauterine device (IUD) There are two types…

How Birth Control Methods Prevent Pregnancy

Topic Overview

Birth control methods

Method

How it prevents pregnancy

Hormonal

  • Prevents ovulation
  • Thickens mucus at the cervix so sperm cannot pass through
  • Changes the environment of the uterus and fallopian tubes to prevent fertilization and to prevent implantation if fertilization occurs

Intrauterine device (IUD)

  • There are two types of IUDs (hormonal and copper). Both types may work by preventing:
    • Fertilization of the egg.
    • Implantation in the uterus.

Barrier methods

  • Block sperm from reaching the egg
  • Some are used with spermicides, which kill sperm.

Fertility awareness (natural family planning)

  • Identifies the time during a woman's cycle when she is most likely to become pregnant (fertile). An extra method or abstinence should be used during this time of fertility.

Permanent birth control (sterilization)

Related Information

Credits

Current as ofMay 29, 2019

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review: Sarah A. Marshall, MD - Family Medicine
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
Elizabeth T. Russo, MD - Internal Medicine
Femi Olatunbosun, MB, FRCSC, FACOG - Obstetrics and Gynecology, Reproductive Endocrinology

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