Birth Control Methods to Avoid

Bad Birth Control

There are many ways couples seek to avoid pregnancy which have little or no merit. Ineffective methods of contraception include:

  • douching (to wash the sperm out of the vagina)
  • make-shift condoms (for example, sandwich bags)
  • sitting up after intercourse (so that the sperm will drain out)
  • having the man take a hot bath beforehand (to kill the sperm in the testicles with the hot water)
  • hope (this also includes furious prayers)

If you are using an ineffective method, consider switching to one that works.

To douche or not to douche?

Vaginal douche remains a popular method of supposed pregnancy prevention. Douching, however, is unreliable and should not be used as a form of birth control. In fact, it may actually push sperm deeper into the uterus. Regular douching has been associated with an increase in pelvic inflammatory disease and ectopic pregnancy. Douching for personal hygiene is unnecessary since the female reproductive system is self-cleaning.

Birth Control "Done Wrong"

There are many effective methods of birth control which can become ineffective when used improperly. Listed below are the most popular offenses:

Read the birth control information at this site, the directions on the label, and the FDA labeling before using birth control. Proper use is very important to prevent an accidental pregnancy.

No Contraception

Average Pregnancy Rate: 85%

Some sexually active women choose not to use any contraception. This is not necessarily because they want to get pregnant, but for a variety of reasons including personal convictions, religious beliefs, or even medical considerations. Couples who thoughtfully choose not to contracept must be open to the possibility of children. This does not mean that they will have dozens of children; many non-contracepting women end up with only two or three children by the time they reach menopause, though some may have ten and some may have none. A woman's choice not to use birth control should be respected. Usually she has given the matter much consideration and is trusting that she and her partner will be able to provide for however many children are given to them. If you are sexually active and decide not to use contraception, understand that pregnancy is likely.

Chances of Pregnancy by Day of Intercourse (day zero is ovulation)
-5 -4 -3 -2 -1 0 1 2 3
0% 11% 15% 20% 26% 15% 9% 5% 0%

Related Articles

Withdrawal (a.k.a. the "pull-out method")

Learn about Fertility & Infertility

Natural Birth Control

Contraceptives For Men


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