Barrier methods

A barrier made of latex, rubber or silicone prevents sperm cells from reaching the egg cell:

Female condom

Hormonal methods

Hormones influence a woman’s sexual organs. The hormones have three effects: they prevent ovulation, they keep semen from entering the uterus and they prevent the mucous membrane of the uterus from preparing for a pregnancy.

Contraceptive pill
Vaginal ring
Contraceptive patch
Hormonal IUD
Contraceptive implant
Contraceptive injection

Devices that a doctor inserts into the uterus

A doctor inserts these contraceptive devices into the woman’s uterus:

Hormonal IUD
Copper IUD
Copper coil

Natural methods

  • There are various methods to identify your fertile days. Most of these methods are not very reliable. Only the sympto-thermal method is considered safe. To use this method you measure your body temperature every morning before getting up. You observe how the mucus in your vagina changes. Every day you write down what you observe. From the change in body temperature and vaginal mucus, you can determine your fertile days. For this method, you need more information and detailed instructions. Ask your doctor or health care professional. There are also cycle computers and apps that calculate the fertile days. Using them alone, though, is not safe.
  • Coitus interruptus: the man pulls his penis out of the vagina directly before orgasm / ejaculation. But – even before ejaculation, fluid often comes out of the penis. This fluid contains sperm cells. That's why the method is not safe.
  • Breast-feeding your baby: You can only use breastfeeding in the first six months after birth as a form of contraception. You must breast-feed the baby six times within 24 hours. You must breast-feed for at least 80 minutes a day. You can only feed the baby with breast milk. Breastfeeding can only prevent pregnancy as long as you have not gotten a menstrual period after the birth.
  • Abstaining from sexual intercourse: It is, however, natural for people to have sex.

The natural methods must be used very precisely. You can get pregnant, if you make even a small mistake. If you do not want children at the moment, it is better to use a different method. Ask a doctor or a health specialist for advice.

Permanent Contraception: Sterilization

A doctor performs an operation on the man or the woman. The sperm duct of the man or the fallopian tube of the woman is severed. The man's fluid during sexual intercourse will not contain semen anymore. The woman’s egg cells will no longer be able to reach the uterus. Afterwards, the man can no longer have children. Afterwards, the woman can no longer have children. Sexual desire will not be changed.

Sterilization is a very safe and definitive method of contraception. Therefore the decision has to be well thought out. Sterilization is only a good option if you do not want to have any (more) children.

An abortion is not a method of contraception.

Responsibility of both partners

Both partners carry the responsibility for using contraception. Talk to your partner about which contraceptive methods you want to use as a couple. Both should agree on the form you choose.

Couple lying in bed and talking about contraception
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