Contraception is a medical answer to the question. The contraceptive pill, coil and contraceptive injection each prevent pregnancy by suppressing ovulation or preventing sperm from reaching an egg. In addition, there are several other methods of contraception available such as the condom which prevents sexual intercourse but not all births if sexual intercourse does occur. Contraceptive pills can be used for up to five years after menopause – they have been found to offer similar protection against unwanted pregnancies as before menopause but do not protect against sexually transmitted infections (STIs). There are also non-pregnancy related contraceptives including the hormonally based intrauterine system (IUS) and progestogen-only mini pill (POP), both of which work mainly through hormonal changes in the body with no effect on fertility.
The most commonly used method of birth control in Ireland is the combined oral contraceptive pill with “active hormones” that contain ethinyloestradiol and levonorgestrel. Other types include implants that release hormone into your womb over about three months, injections; patches; vaginal rings; IUDs inserted under the skin of your cervix; barrier methods like diaphragms or condoms; sponges placed inside your vagina for use during sex, spermicides like spermacide or nonoxynol 9 cream applied externally around your vagina to stop sperm entering; foams called cervical coital tourniquets that act like coils