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A contraceptive refers to measures taken to prevent pregnancy or conception. Contraceptive methods include any planned methods of preventing pregnancy or fertility control. Planned contraceptive methods are also refered to as family planning.
Contraceptives are available in a wide variety of forms. The most common two types of birth control include oral contraceptives, like the pill, and condoms. Female specific types of birth control include diaphragms, female condoms, birth control patch, birth control injection, vaginal sponge, vaginal ring, cervical cap, and IUDs. More invasive types contraceptive methods include surgeries to sterilize men and women. These procedures are typically having tubes tied in women and male vasectomy. Any form of consciously trying to prevent pregnancy is considered a contraceptive method. Some of these practices include fertility awareness based methods and the pull out method. It is important to note that all methods still carry various risks of pregnancy. Many methods do not protect against STDs.