Semantee Chattopadhyay
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Contraception is a method to prevent pregnancy. A contraceptive is an object using which a pregnancy can be prevented. Indian statistics show the onus of preventing a pregnancy largely lies with the women. So women are more aware of contraceptives while men are ignorant about them. This is not because the access or availability of resources and knowledge is less for men, but just because they feel that contraception is a female responsibility.

There are devices that a woman can use for preventing pregnancy. Female diaphragms or cervical cups: These are devices that need to be inserted into the vagina. They are cup-shaped, a little shallow or deep. They are supposed to be filled with spermicidal gel, a gel that inactivates the sperms. It has to be inserted into the vagina before sexual intercourse. This is non-hormonal. It just prevents or just acts as a barrier and prevents sperm from getting into the woman’s womb. The typical failure rate is about 17%.
Female condoms: This has to be inserted into the vagina about eight hours before the sexual intercourse. It should be discarded immediately after the act. The typical failure rate is about 14%. This only can prevent sexually transmitted infections.
Female contraceptive sponge: It is a soft, disc-shaped sponge with a spermicidal gel and it has to be inserted deep inside the vagina before the act of intercourse. It needs to be there for at least six hours after the last act of intercourse. The typical failure rate is about 14-27%.
These all are temporary methods of contraception or reversible methods of contraception. The effect of these contraceptions lies as long as it is being used. As soon as one discontinues the method, the fertility comes back to normal. The ability to get pregnant comes back to what it was before.