Condoms are used for contraception and to prevent infection with a sexually transmitted disease (STD). In most cases, condoms are the only effective way to prevent the spread of STDs.

Methods of birth control

  • Barrier methods, such as condoms, the diaphragm, and the cervical cap, designed to prevent the sperm from reaching the egg for fertilization.
  • Intrauterine device, or IUD, is a small device that is inserted into the uterus by a health care provider. The IUD prevents a fertilized egg from implanting in the uterus. An IUD can stay in the uterus for up to 10 years until it is removed by a health care provider.
  • Hormonal birth control, such as birth control pills, injections, skin patches, and vaginal rings, release hormones into a woman's body that interfere with fertility by preventing ovulation, fertilization, or implantation.
  • Sterilization is a method that permanently prevents a woman from getting pregnant or a man from being able to get a woman pregnant. Sterilization involves surgical procedures that must be done by a health care provider and usually cannot be reversed.

The choice of birth control depends on factors such as a person's overall health, age, frequency of sexual activity, number of sexual partners, desire to have children in the future, and family history of certain diseases.

It is important to remember that although all these methods can prevent pregnancy, condoms are the only method that can protect against sexually transmitted diseases or HIV.

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