The Pros and Cons of Different Types of Birth Control Methods


A vital component of family planning and reproductive health is birth control. Giving people and couples the ability to make well-informed decisions on when to start or grow a family gives them more control over their life decisions. With so many birth control options available, it’s critical to weigh the benefits and drawbacks of each strategy in order to make an informed decision that suits your particular requirements and preferences.

The goal of this article is to present a thorough analysis of the many birth control options now on the market, including a list of benefits and drawbacks. We wish to provide you with clarity and confidence as you navigate the world of birth control by exploring the nuances of various approaches.

Barrier Methods

Barrier methods are a straightforward yet very efficient type of contraception that physically prohibit sperm from reaching an egg. These techniques are popular alternatives for many couples since they are often simple to apply and easily available. They do, however, have a unique mix of benefits and drawbacks.

A. Condoms

Probably the most popular and extensively utilised barrier method of contraception is the usage of condoms. These are primarily used by men, although they are also available as condoms for women. They come in a variety of forms, including as latex and non-latex choices. These are the benefits and drawbacks of condom use:


Protection against sexually transmitted infections (STIs): Condoms are an important tool for safer sex since they not only prevent pregnancy but also function as a barrier to lower the chance of getting or spreading STIs.

1. Generally accessible: Condoms are available without a prescription at most pharmacies, supermarkets, and even health clinics, where they are given away for free.

2. No adverse effects on hormones: In contrast to several alternative techniques, condoms do not inject hormones into the body, making them appropriate for people who wish to prevent hormonal fluctuations.


1. Might lessen sensitivity: Condoms have been said by some users to lessen sensitivity during sexual activity, which may have an impact on sexual enjoyment.

2. Must always be used correctly: Condoms need to be used appropriately and regularly in order to be successful. Application errors, such wrong storage or use, might result in contraceptive failure.

B. Diaphragms and Cervical Caps

Barrier techniques such as cervical caps and diaphragms are placed within the vagina to cover the cervix and keep sperm from accessing the uterus. The following are the benefits and drawbacks of cervical caps and diaphragms:


1. Non-hormonal: Since these techniques don’t use hormones, they are appropriate for people who want to stay away from hormonal contraception.

2. Insertion time: Unlike treatments that need to be used right away, cervical caps and diaphragms can be placed several hours before to sexual activity, offering a higher degree of spontaneity.


1. Requires a healthcare provider’s fitting: The efficiency of cervical caps and diaphragms depends on their proper fitting and size, which calls for a trip to the doctor.

2. Not as successful as some other techniques: Comparing these techniques to hormonal and long-acting contraceptive alternatives, their typical-use success rate is lower. If not used appropriately, this might lead to an increased chance of conception.

Comprehending the advantages and disadvantages of barrier techniques such as cervical caps, diaphragms, and condoms is crucial for making informed decisions about birth control. Even while each has some benefits, you need compare them to their drawbacks in order to decide which choice best suits your requirements and tastes. We shall examine many kinds of birth control options, each having pros and cons of its own, in the sections that follow.

Hormonal Methods

Hormonal birth control is one of the most widely used and successful ways of contraception. They function by controlling the body’s hormone levels to prevent ovulation, thicken cervical mucus to stop sperm from moving, and change the uterine lining to make it less amenable to implantation. Though they provide good protection against contraception, these techniques have drawbacks of their own. Let’s examine the benefits and drawbacks of a few popular hormonal techniques:

A. Birth Control Pills

Oral contraceptives, commonly referred to as birth control pills, are prescription drugs that are used daily to prevent pregnancy. These drugs typically contain progestin and estrogen. Using birth control tablets has the following benefits and drawbacks:


1. Very effective when used as directed: With a failure rate of fewer than 1%, birth control tablets are incredibly dependable in preventing pregnancy when used regularly and at the same time every day.

2. Non-contraceptive health benefits: Other health advantages of birth control tablets include the ability to manage menstrual cycles, lessen cramping during the period, and treat acne.


1. Needs daily commitment: It might be difficult for some people to take birth control pills every day without missing a dosage in order for them to be effective.

2. Possible adverse effects: Weight gain, mood swings, nausea, and breast soreness are common adverse effects of birth control tablets, however these might vary depending on the formulation.

B. Patch for birth control

One transdermal type of contraception that delivers hormones via the skin is the birth control patch. Once a week, it is applied to the skin. The birth control patch has the following benefits and drawbacks:


1. Weekly application: The birth control patch only has to be applied once a week, which might be more convenient for certain people than taking tablets every day.

2. Effective when used appropriately: When used as instructed, the patch offers effective birth control.


1. People with certain medical issues have fewer alternatives: Seeking advice from a healthcare expert is necessary since the patch may not be as effective for some people due to specific medical issues or risk factors.

2. Potential skin irritation: At the application site, some people may get skin irritation.

C. Birth Control Shot (Depo-Provera)

The injectable birth control injection, sometimes referred to as Depo-Provera, is given by a medical professional every three months. Using the birth control injection has the following benefits and drawbacks:


1. Requires just a quarterly injection: This technique offers long-lasting contraception without requiring daily or weekly monitoring. It only has to be administered every three months.

2. Highly Effective: One of the most successful hormonal treatments is Depo-Provera, which has a less than 1% failure rate.


1. May result in transient infertility upon withdrawal: Some people may suffer a delay in their ability to become fertile again following the discontinuation of Depo-Provera. This might be concerning for those who intend to become pregnant soon.

2. Possible adverse effects: 

Although not everyone experiences it, weight gain is a possible negative effect of the birth control injection.

For those looking for an effective kind of birth control, hormonal techniques provide a variety of options. To choose the approach that best suits your lifestyle and health requirements, you must be aware of both of its advantages and disadvantages. Other sorts of birth control techniques, such as natural methods and long-acting reversible contraceptives (LARCs), will be discussed in the following sections.

Long-Acting Reversible Contraceptives (LARCs)

Extended protection against pregnancy is offered by Long-Acting Reversible Contraceptives (LARCs), a very effective birth control option that doesn’t require daily or frequent intervention. These techniques are well-known for being efficient and convenient, yet they have advantages and disadvantages just like any other birth control methods. Let’s examine two prevalent forms of birth control implants and intrauterine devices (LARCs).

A. Intrauterine devices (IUDs)

IUDs, or intrauterine devices, are tiny, T-shaped devices that a medical professional inserts into the uterus. There are two main kinds of them: non-hormonal (copper) and hormonal. These are the benefits and drawbacks of IUD use:


1. Exceptionally efficient: IUDs have a failure rate of less than 1%, making them one of the most efficient birth control methods.

2. Long-lasting protection: IUDs can reduce the need for routine care by providing contraception for up to 3 to 10 years, depending on the kind.


1. Requires the insertion by a healthcare professional: The IUD must be inserted by a medical practitioner, which occasionally causes pain or cramping.

2. May occasionally result in heavier periods: While many users of hormonal IUDs report reduced menstrual flow, others may initially suffer heavier or longer periods.

B. Implants for birth control

Little, flexible rods known as birth control implants are placed beneath the skin of the upper arm to emit a steady stream of hormones. This implant provides continuous contraception. Using birth control implants has the following benefits and drawbacks:


1. Extremely effective: When used appropriately, birth control implants have a failure rate of less than 1%.

2. Durable protection: Implants are a low-maintenance method of contraception since they usually last up to three years.


1. Needs medical professional insertion: Implants need to be installed and removed by a medical professional, which can put off some prospective users.

2. Unpredictable bleeding patterns: Some people who use birth control implants may have unpredictable menstrual flow or spotting.

Because they provide a practical and very successful method of preventing pregnancy, long-term contraceptive users often choose long-acting contraceptives (LARCs). In order to choose the approach that best suits your tastes and reproductive health objectives, it is crucial to consider both the advantages and possible disadvantages of each.

The subsequent parts will go into the topic of natural methods of contraception, and emergency contraception, and offer a thorough summary of the main ideas covered in this article.

Natural Techniques

In order to identify a person’s fertile and infertile phases, natural methods of contraception—also referred to as fertility awareness-based techniques—rely on tracking and comprehending the menstrual cycle. Although these techniques don’t employ gadgets or hormones, they do call for precise tracking, self-control, and a high degree of awareness. Pros and drawbacks of natural approaches are as follows:

A. Fertility Awareness-Based Methods

In order to detect fertile and non-fertile days, fertility awareness-based procedures monitor changes in cervical mucus, basal body temperature, and the menstrual cycle. Pros and downsides of utilizing these techniques are as follows:


1. No gadgets or hormones needed: Fertility awareness-based techniques are natural and non-invasive because they don’t require the use of hormones or tangible tools.

2. Administerable as a contraceptive or family planning tool: These techniques offer versatility in that some people use them for both planning and preventing pregnancies.


1. Demands close monitoring and compliance: For these techniques to work, accurate tracking of multiple fertility markers is necessary, which might be difficult for some people.

2. Not as successful as alternative approaches: Compared to hormonal and barrier procedures, fertility awareness-based techniques have a greater typical-use failure rate, which renders them less dependable for some users.

B. Method of Withdrawal

In order to stop sperm from entering the cervix, the male partner uses the withdrawal procedure, sometimes referred to as “pulling out,” in which they remove their penis from the vagina prior to ejaculating. The following are the pros and cons of the withdrawal method:


1. No expense or equipment needed: The withdrawal technique is an economical choice because it doesn’t require the use of contraceptives or other devices.

2. Hormonal side effects: Some people may find it intriguing that it doesn’t add hormones to the body.


1. High pregnancy risk if it’s done incorrectly: The male partner’s ability to withdraw promptly and without unintentionally exposing sperm is crucial to the withdrawal method’s efficacy, making improper application of the technique dangerous.

2. Demands communication and self-control: Excellent communication and self-control between sexual partners are necessary for the withdrawal method to be used successfully, which can be difficult for some couples.

Also Read:

Understanding Your Menstrual Cycle: A Comprehensive Guide

From Conception to Delivery: Understanding the Stages of Pregnancy


In summary, selecting the best birth control technique is a very personal choice that is influenced by a range of factors, such as personal objectives for reproduction, lifestyle, and health. Every form of birth control method has a unique mix of benefits and drawbacks, so it’s important to carefully consider all sides.

Contraceptive measures like as condoms offer protection against STDs and pregnancy, but their proper and regular use is necessary. Hormonal methods of contraception, such birth control pills and patches, are quite effective but might have unintended adverse effects. Implants and IUDs are examples of Long-Acting Reversible Contraceptives (LARCs), which offer prolonged protection with little maintenance but need to be inserted by a specialist. Hormone-free alternatives include the withdrawal technique and natural approaches, although these need rigorous self-control and surveillance. As a fallback option, emergency contraception helps avoid pregnancy following unprotected sexual activity.

The birth control technique that best suits your individual circumstances, tastes, and health needs is ultimately the most effective one. Seeking advice from a healthcare professional who can offer tailored direction and support in making an educated decision is crucial.

Recall that there is always a little chance of contraceptive failure and that no birth control technique is foolproof. To ensure that your family planning objectives and reproductive health are satisfied, you can make necessary modifications to your contraceptive regimen and navigate your path with your partner and healthcare professional on a frequent basis.

Written by

Dr Hoorain

Hoorain Batul is a passionate and experienced writer specializing in gynecology, obstetrics, fashion, and women's wellness. Hailing from Pakistan, she holds an MBBS degree, having completed her studies in 2011, and has furthered her expertise with FCPS Part 1 and 2. With a deep understanding of women's health and a keen eye for fashion, Hoorain brings a unique perspective to her content, providing valuable insights and empowering women with knowledge to lead healthier and more fashionable lives. Her content is a hub of informative and engaging articles, catering to the diverse needs of women worldwide.