Contraception (contraception) is a collective name for methods that cause a temporary and reversible loss of the ability to fertilize, thus preventing the occurrence of an unplanned pregnancy.
There are currently three basic groups of modern contraceptives on the market:
- A combined hormonal oral contraceptive that uses a combination of the female sex hormone (estrogen) and the corpus luteum hormone (progestin) to gently interfere with the feedback mechanism between the ovary and the interbrain centers that control ovulation, thus blocking the release of the egg. This includes all common pills and contraceptive patches, as well as the Nuvaring vaginal ring, the advantage of which, in addition to vaginal application, is the fact that it is inserted only once a month.
- A progestagen contraceptive that uses only the corpus luteum hormone and acts primarily on the mucus in the cervical canal, which becomes impermeable to sperm (only some methods also block ovulation). It is available in the form of tablets (so-called minipills), injections and subcutaneous bodies, hormonal vaginal bodies are in development.
- Intrauterine contraception, in which a body is inserted into the uterus that prevents sperm from reaching the egg, so that they cannot unite. The most modern types of corpuscles are hormonally active (they contain the corpus luteum hormone) and thus combine the advantages of both approaches.
Today, it seems that we will remain with these three groups for years to come. The development of the male hormonal birth control pill, male contraception that uses spermicidal (i.e. sperm-killing) substances or immunological contraception, whether male or female, however promising it seemed, has stalled with little successful clinical trials.
Reliable contraception is one of the greatest achievements of modern life. In addition to protection against conception, it also has other beneficial health effects. A modern woman and a modern couple plan a pregnancy, and this is exactly what current contraceptive methods allow them to do.