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see birth controlbirth control,
practice of contraception for the purpose of limiting reproduction. Methods of Birth Control

Male birth control methods include withdrawal of the male before ejaculation (the oldest contraceptive technique) and use of the condom, a rubber sheath
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methods and agents for preventing pregnancy; contraception may be physiological or artificial.

There are days of “physiological sterility” during each menstrual cycle: in a 21-day cycle these are days one and 15–21; in a 28-day cycle, days one to six and 22–28; and so on for other cycles. However, contraception based on these physiological characteristics is not entirely dependable, since the periods of ovulation may vary. Temporary sterility (inability to conceive) also occurs in many women during breast-feeding, particularly during the first postpartum months.

Artificial contraception includes the use of mechanical, chemical, biological, or surgical agents and methods or a combination of them. Contraception has a great social impact as a principal method for the prophylaxis of abortion, for family planning, and for regulation of population growth in individual countries.


Prevention of impregnation.
References in periodicals archive ?
1974), "The Hormonal and Peripheral Effects of D-norgestrel in Postcoital Contraception," Contraception 10: 411-24.
Although progestins were among the first drugs used in postcoital contraception, few studies of the emergency levonorgestrel regimen have controlled for cycle day of unprotected intercourse.
1993; American Medical Women's Association, "Resolution on Postcoital Contraception," Alexandria, Va.
Clinicians providing family planning services may prescribe an appropriate dosage of oral contraceptive pills as safe and effective emergency postcoital contraception.
Postcoital contraception was first developed in China in the 1970s, primarily for use by married couples living at a distance from one another.
Kaplan, "Endometrial Suction in Luteal Phase as a Method of Late Postcoital Contraception," Contraception, 47:469-474, 1993.
The use of two tablets containing ethinyl estradiol and levonorgestrel combined with an antiemetic followed by a second identical dose 12 hours later has been shown to be an effective method of emergency postcoital contraception or pregnancy interception.
Molla, "Hormonal Postcoital Contraception with an Ethinylestradiol-Norgestrel Combination and Two Danazol Ragimens," European Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology and Reproductive Biology, 37:253-260,1990.
Without FDA approval, manufacturers cannot market combined oral contraceptives or IUDs for postcoital contraception.
Mifepristone (RU 486) Compared with High-Dose Estrogen and Progestogen for Emergency Postcoital Contraception," New England Journal of Medicine, 327:1041,1992.
12) in the Program Guidelines for Project Grants for Family Planning Services issued by HHS [not dated] states that "projects must comply with FDA recommendations for the administration of drugs or devices for postcoital contraception.