A woman's choice – Women have many choices when it comes to avoiding pregnancy, but men have only two. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 99% of sexually active women used at least one contraceptive method at some point between 2006 and 2010. Here's a look at a variety of birth control methods and how they each work.
A male condom is a thin covering worn on the penis during intercourse. It can prevent sexually transmitted diseases, and is about 82% effective at preventing pregnancy.
During a vasectomy, a surgeon cuts the vas deferens, the tubes that carry sperm from the testicles. It has a failure rate of about 0.15% and can be reversed, but the procedure is complicated.
IUD – An intrauterine device, or IUD, is a flexible T-shaped device that's inserted by a doctor into a woman's uterus. The devices block sperm and change the lining of the uterus, which may keep a fertilized egg from attaching. Pregnancy is prevented from three to 12 years, depending on the type.
The pill – Approved in 1960 by the Food and Drug Administration, oral contraceptives involve taking a daily pill with a combination of estrogen and a progestin. The hormones prevent ovulation and thicken a woman's cervical mucus, blocking sperm from fertilizing an egg.