Contraception

This is one of a number of techniques that allow you to have sex without producing a pregnancy.  Obviously, that is only a concern if the type of sex you are having involves both a penis and a vagina (if you need more info on how this works see Where do babies come from?).

Note, though, that it doesn’t have to involve penetrative sex or sexual intercourse – it only requires a sperm from the penis to make its way inside the vagina. If, for example, there is semen / sperm on someone’s fingers, and they are then put inside a vagina, that can still cause the egg to be fertilized and the female to become pregnant.

It’s also worth knowing that the penis can release some sperm before ejaculation, so just because that hasn’t happened, doesn’t mean there isn’t sperm around. So be a little bit careful!

There are a number of different forms of contraception:

  • Condoms – a condom is a latex cover (a bit like a balloon) that rolls over the penis  and prevents the sperm from reaching the vagina.
  • Contraceptive pill – this is usually a tablet that the female / vagina owner takes every day, and it regulates the menstrual cycle, ensuring that a period is triggered every month, and therefore even if an egg has been fertilized and implanted in the uterus, it will be flushed out before it grows.There is also a male contraceptive pill, which prevents the production of sperm.  This is not so widely used, but this is more for historic reasons than anything else as it is effective and is reported to have little or no side effects.
  • Intra Uterine Device (IUD) – this is sometimes called “the coil” as it is a coil of fine wire that is placed inside the uterus.  It prevents any eggs that are fertilized from being implanted and therefore growing, and the lining is then released as part of the normal menstrual cycle.

It’s worth knowing that none of these methods are 100% guaranteed to prevent pregnancy.  So, if you are having sex that might result in pregnancy, you need to be prepared for that eventuality even though, if you use contraception correctly, it should be very unlikely.

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