Encyclopedia of Behavioral Medicine

Living Edition
| Editors: Marc Gellman


  • Linda C. BaumannEmail author
  • Alyssa Ylinen
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-6439-6_98-2


Birth control; Family planning

Contraception is any method or action used to prevent pregnancy.


Contraception, or birth control, is any method, action, device, or medication used to prevent pregnancy. Various methods of contraception include blockage of the sperm from reaching the egg, killing or damaging sperm, preventing the release of an egg from the ovaries, or changing the uterine lining so a fertilized egg will not attach. Many factors can help couples choose the most appropriate contraception based on frequency of sex, plans for pregnancy, age and overall health, side effects, number of sexual partners, protection against sexually transmitted infections (STIs), and contraceptive failure rates. Contraceptive failure rates are most often reported as two numbers, the theoretical failure rate or the rate of contraceptive failure when the method is used correctly during every act of intercourse. The actual failure rate takes into account the actual variation in...


Emergency Contraception Female Condom Barrier Method Cervical Mucus Male Condom 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.
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References and Further Readings

  1. Callahan, T. L., & Caughey, A. B. (2007). Contraception and sterilization. In N. A. Duffy & K. Horvath (Eds.), Obstetrics & gynecology (pp. 248–266). Baltimore: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.Google Scholar
  2. Jones, J., Mosher, W. D., & Daniels, K. (2012). Current contraceptive use in the United States, 2006–2010, and change in patterns of use since 1995. National Center for Health Statistics (pp. 2012–1250). Hyattsville: US Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. DHHS publication.Google Scholar
  3. Medline Plus. (2010). Birth control. Retrieved 31 Oct 2016, from http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/birthcontrol.html
  4. Rowlands, S. (2009). New technologies in contraception. BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics & Gynaecology, 116(2), 230–239.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Wong, D., Hockenberry, M., Wilson, D., Perry, S., & Lowdermilk, D. (2006). Maternal child nursing care (3rd ed.). St. Louis: Mosby Elsevier.Google Scholar
  6. World Health Organization, Department of Reproductive Health and Research (WHO/RHR), & John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health/Center for Communication Programs (CCP). (2008). Family planning: A global handbook for providers. Baltimore/Geneva: CCP and WHO.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media LLC 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of NursingUniversity of Wisconsin-MadisonMadisonUSA
  2. 2.Allina Health SystemSt. PaulUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Marc D. Gellman
    • 1
  1. 1.Behavioral Medicine Research Center, Department of PsychologyUniversity of MiamiMiamiUSA