1. Now, more than ever before, as ambitious couples race to pursue their education and career goals, many choose to postpone -- or delay indefinitely -- having children. They want to wait for the right moment before adding kids to the mix. On the other side of the coin are those millions of men and women of reproductive age who face infertility problems. According to the National Women's Health Information Center, infertility is equally prevalent in women as in men, and these couples must use alternative procedures to conceive. Fortunately, artificial family planning methods cater both to those couples seeking to avoid unwanted pregnancies, and to those who cannot conceive through natural means.
2. IUI is an artificial insemination method in which the use of a catheter is involved to inject semen into the uterus. While reproductive endocrinologists typically handle this procedure, many women choose to do it themselves at home, using home insemination kits purchased online. Success rates vary but can reach approximately 60 percent if done through fertility centers. Costs for this procedure are usually between $300 and $800, as of 2010.
IUD Birth Control
3. Also known as the "Copper T," the IUD is a small device made of plastic, metal, or copper that is inserted into the uterus to prevent fertilization. Currently, the IUD is the most commonly used form of female birth control on the market. Although costs can fall between $500 to $1,000, depending on insurance plans and details, the IUD is effective for up to 12 years. It can be removed if and when pregnancy is desired.
In Vitro Fertilization
4. Since the 1980s, more than 250,000 babies have been born via IVF. This procedure involves combining male sperm cells with female ovarian eggs in a laboratory. Once fertilization occurs, the embryo is placed in the uterus where it begins to develop naturally. Less than 5 percent of infertile couples use this method, however, IVS remains one of the only options to offer infertile couples the opportunity to produce children biologically related to both parties. This procedure typically costs around $12,400, as of 2010.
5. Condoms are the most common male contraceptive method on the market. They act as a barrier between the sperm cells and the inside of the vagina, thereby preventing the fertilization process. Ideally, condoms are about 97 percent effective in preventing pregnancy, but the more realistic statistics cite a range of 80 percent to 90 percent as being more accurate. Condoms are convenient in that they are inexpensive and can be found in most drugstores.