Couples have attempted to control conception throughout the centuries using a variety of techniques, such as eating special herbs, performing religious rituals, or timing sexual intercourse with different phases of the moon. But safe and effective methods of contraception have been available only since 1930.
There is no such thing as an ideal method of contraception, and every method has its advantages and disadvantages. When choosing which method to use, you and your partner should weigh the advantages, disadvantages, and side effects of each method, taking into account your religious and moral values as well as personal and aesthetic factors.
Although most methods of contraception can be used without medical advice, you still should have a clear understanding of the female reproductive system and the menstrual cycle. Such knowledge not only increases the chances of success with the method you choose but also can enhance your sexual satisfaction. The method you choose will not be effective unless it is used correctly and consistently. Both partners need to share responsibility for birth control.
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