A contraceptive is a device, medicine, or method used in attempt to prevent conception or to seek barreness, for a period of time or permanently. The use of contraceptive means to prevent pregnancy is associated with Family Planning or Birth Control.

Methods of contraception

Abstinence Based - These methods work by abstaining totally or within the time that a woman would be most likely to conveive during her cycle. The two most notable methods would be Natural Family Planning (NFP) and Fertility Awareness Method (FAM). Advocates of these methods would generally refer to them only as Family Planning and deny that they are practicing Birth Control or Contraception.

Barrier - These methods work by blocking sperm from reaching the egg. Condoms, Cervical Cap, and Diaphram.

Hormonal - Hormones that a woman takes through various forms to prevent ovulation and to prevent implantation of fertilized eggs. All methods are abortifaciant. Includes the pill, the patch, Norplant, Depo Provera, Morning After or Emergency Contraception (a high dose form of the pill used after "unprotected sex"), etc... Ovulation is never stopped 100%.

I.U.D.'s - Intraunterine Devices - Device implanted in the uterus to prevent the implantion of fertilized egg - a newly conceived child. This method is an abortifacient. Does not stop ovulation.

Spermacidel - Chemical used to kill sperm before it reaches the egg.

Surgical - Vasectomy for males or Tubal Ligation for women. Used to prevent sperm or egg from reaching each other. Considered a permanent method but may be reversed.


Abortifacients are methods of contraception which work to prevent the implantation of a fertilized egg (a newly conceived baby) into the uterus, including hormonal methods and I.U.D.'s. Both these types of methods sometimes work to irritate or change the lining of the uterus in such as fashion as to stop implantation after conception occurs, although some hormonal methods and IUD's work primarily by preventing fertilization.[1]

Other definitions

Quiverful - Describes the couple which has chosen, for scriptural reasons, to eschew the use of birth control in favor of having as many or few children as God is pleased to give them. May use birth control in certain extreme medical or financial situations. Derived from Psalm 127 where children are described as arrows in the quiver of a warrior.

Hyper-Quiverful - Describes those couples who eschew birth control in all situations including extreme medical or financial.

Onanism - Derived from Genesis 38. Generally refers to masturbation or the man spilling his sperm outside of the woman during sex.

Seed - Refers to both sperm and children.


  1. "Mechanisms of the Contraceptive Action of Hormonal Methods and Intrauterine Devices (IUDs)", Family Health International (2006). Retrieved on 2006-07-05.

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