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Birth Control

What is Birth Control?

Birth control is the control or prevention of the birth of children who may or may not already be conceived.

Some methods of birth control are barrier methods which actually prevent sperm from entering the female reproductive system and therefore cannot fertilize the egg if it has been released. Intrauterine devices (IUD) are also barriers, but are barriers to the implantation of the developing embryo in the uterus, and therefore, they are abortifacient (cause abortions) by their nature.

Methods of chemical birth control can either have no effect because ovulation has not yet occurred, prevent ovulation, thicken cervical mucus to prevent sperm from fertilizing the egg, or prevent the implantation of the developing embryo in the uterus 6-10 days after fertilization.

Barrier and chemical methods of birth control are discussed in detail in this section, as are the adverse effects and potential consequences of their use. Many women and couples intend to avoid conception; most do not realize the abortifacient potential of many chemical birth control methods, or of IUDs.

Also included in this section are history and types of birth control, legal action, present-day research on natural, ecologically-approved methods, and permanent birth control – sterilization.