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Contraception Dictionary: C - D

Learn about the available birth control methods one word at a time.

These are just the briefest of definitions of some of the available birth control options beginning with the letters C and D. For more detailed descriptions see the individual page for each term.

Cervical Cap
Before having sex, know your birth control options. A cervical cap is a barrier birth control device, fitted by your doctor and is used to prevent unplanned pregnancies. Similar to the diaphragm (only smaller), the cervical cap prevents sperm from reaching an egg. The Femcap and Lea Shield are two types of cervical caps.

Cervical Fluid Method
A contraceptive method that involves observing cervical mucus changes in order to determine when you may be most fertile.

Coitus Interruptus
The behavioral action where a man pulls his penis out of the vagina before he ejaculates (also known as withdrawal).

Colpotomy
A colpotomy (or culpotomy), also known as vaginotomy, is a vaginal sterilization procedure. It is considered to be minimally invasive surgery. During a colpotomy, the surgeon makes an incision in the vaginal wall. Then, the fallopian tubes will be pulled out of the incision, closed off (tied, clipped, or sealed shut), and put back into place.

Combination Birth Control Methods
Hormonal contraceptives that contain synthetic estrogen and progestin.

Combination Birth Control Pills
Birth control pills that combine estrogen and progestin.

Combined Contraceptive Injection
Combined contraceptive injections like Cyclofem and Lunelle contain a combination of estrogen and progestin and must be injected once every month.

Condoms
A thin sheath made of latex rubber, polyurethane (plastic), or animal membrane that fits over a man's erect penis during intercourse.

Condom Types
There are many condom types available. How do you pick from all the condom brands? When choosing a condom style, consider condom use: is the condom for sex play or for contraception? Learn about colored condoms, flavored condoms, and warming condoms. Plus, find out about pleasure shaped, glow-in-the-dark, and French tickler condom types.

Continuous Breastfeeding
Continuous breastfeeding, also known as the Lactational Amenorrhea Method, is an effective natural contraception method if you have given birth less than six months ago.

Contraceptive Injections
Information about available birth control shots. These are reversible methods of prescription birth control. Pregnancy protection ranges 30 days to 14 weeks depending on the type of shot. Find out more and see if these contraceptive injections are available where you live.

Copper T 380A IUD
A type of IUD, also known as ParaGard.

Culdoscopy
A culdoscopy, or transvaginal hydrolaparoscopy, is a vaginal sterilization procedure. It is considered to be minimally invasive surgery. During a culdoscopy tubal ligation, the surgeon makes an incision in the vaginal wall. Then, the fallopian tubes will be pulled out of the incision, closed off (tied, clipped, or sealed shut), and put back into place.

Cyclofem
A combined contraceptive injection that contains a combination of estrogen and progesin and must be injected once every month.

D&C (Dilation and Curettage)
D&C or dilation and curettage is a surgical procedure often used to diagnose or treat abnormal uterine bleeding. A D&C may be necessary after a vacuum aspiration abortion procedure.

D&E (Dilation and Evacuation)
D&E, also known as dilation evacuation is a surgical procedure to terminate a pregnancy. A D&E is usually performed during the second trimester of a pregnancy.

D&X (Intact Dilation and Extraction)
The late term abortion procedure, D&X (intact dilation and extraction), is performed after 21 weeks of pregnancy. The D&X late term abortion procedure results in the extraction of an intact fetus and is perhaps the most controversial of all the abortion procedures.

Dental Dams
Dental dams are a barrier method that can protect against HIV and other sexually STDs during oral sex and oral-anal sex. Dental dams are usually made from latex and consist of a small square or rectangle of material. Sometimes, dental dams can be hard to find and can be somewhat expensive. The good news though, is that you can easily make dental dams at home with a condom and a pair of scissors.

Depo Provera
An injectable contraceptive that contains the progestin medroxyprogesterone acetate (also known as the DMPA shot).

Diaphragm
A latex or silicone, dome-shaped cup with a flexible rim. It is inserted securely in the vagina and becomes a barrier which covers the cervix.

Continuous Cycle Pills
Also known as extended cycle pills, these oral contraceptives can allow women to control their monthly periods.

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