Birth control, also known as contraception and fertility control, is a method or device used to prevent pregnancy. Birth control has been used since ancient times, but effective and safe methods of birth control only became available in the 20th century. Learn how to avoid pregnancy and plan the timing of pregnancy with various birth control options. Preventing sperm from getting to the eggs. Types include condoms, diaphragms, cervical caps, and contraceptive sponges. Keeping the woman’s ovaries from releasing eggs that could be fertilized. Types include birth control pills, patches, shots, vaginal rings, and emergency contraceptive pills.