Birth Control Contraception Methods

Birth Control

Each of the many birth control options available to you as a woman today has its advantages and disadvantages. We look forward to helping you choose the best contraception method for your life and your body.

CONTRACEPTION COMPARISON

Reversible Contraception

For women who desire children in the future. Some reversible contraceptives use hormones (estrogen and/or progestin, a synthetic progesterone), while others do not.

No Hormones

Intrauterine Device (IUD) – 99% Effective

Copper IUD prevents sperm from reaching egg, or egg from implanting in uterus.
Advantages

  • Works for up to 10 years, but can be removed any time
  • Once in place, requires no further planning for sex
  • Good for women who think they are done having children, or who want to wait a few years before getting pregnant

Disadvantages

  • Must be placed and removed in the doctor’s office
  • Does not protect against STDs
  • Periods may be heavier or longer

Contraceptive Sponge – 85% Effective

Prevents live sperm from reaching the egg.
Advantages

  • Over the counter
  • Can be placed hours before sex

Disadvantages

  • Can cause skin irritation
  • Does not protect against STDs

Male Condom – 85% Effective

Barrier between sperm & egg.
Advantages

  • Over the counter
  • Protects against many STDs

Disadvantages

  • Can cause skin irritation
  • Water-based lubricants only

Diaphragm – 84% Effective

Barrier between sperm & egg.
Advantages

  • Can be placed up to 6 hours before sex
  • Protects against some STDs

Disadvantages

  • Must be used with spermicide
  • Prescription only
  • Can cause skin irritation
  • Water-based lubricants only

Female Condom – 79% Effective

Barrier between sperm & egg.
Advantages

  • Over the counter
  • Protects against many STDs
  • Can be placed up to 8 hours before sex
  • Can use oil or water-based lubricants

Disadvantages

  • More challenging to use correctly than the male condom

Spermicide – 71% Effective

Destroys sperm before reaching the egg.
Advantages

  • Over the counter
  • Easy to use

Disadvantages

  • Can cause skin irritation
  • Does not protect from STDs

Hormones

Progestin IUD – 99.8% Effective

  • Thickens cervical mucous so the sperm cannot reach the egg
  • Thins uterine lining

Hormones
Progestin in a plastic device that is inserted into the uterus
Advantages

  • Works for up to 5 years, but can be removed any time to become pregnant
  • Requires no further preparation before sex
  • Periods are lighter or stop altogether
  • Good for women who think they are done having children, or who want to wait a few years before getting pregnant
  • Decreases the risk of uterine cancer

Disadvantages

  • Must be placed and removed in the doctor’s office
  • Can have irregular bleeding for 6-9 months
  • Can cause headaches and acne
  • Does not protect from STDs

Implant in Arm – 99.5% Effective

  • Prevents ovulation
  • Thickens cervical mucous
  • Thins uterine lining

Hormones
Progestin in a silicon rod that is inserted under the skin of the arm
Advantages

  • Effective for 3 years
  • Can become pregnant immediately after the device is removed

Disadvantages

  • Must be placed and removed in the doctor’s office
  • Can have irregular bleeding for 6-9 months
  • May cause headaches or weight gain
  • Does not protect from STDs

Oral Contraceptive Pills (OCP) – 99% Effective

  • Prevents ovulation
  • Thickens cervical mucous
  • Thins uterine lining

Hormones
Estrogen and Progestin in small tablet that is taken daily
Advantages

  • Lighter periods with less cramping
  • Decreased risk of ovarian cysts, ovarian cancer and uterine cancer
  • Decreased acne

Disadvantages

  • Requires prescription
  • Must remember to take daily
  • Can cause headaches, breast tenderness, nausea
  • Does not protect from STDs

Patch – 98% Effective

  • Prevents ovulation
  • Thickens cervical mucous
  • Thins uterine lining

Hormones
Estrogen & Progestin in a 1¾ inch patch worn on the skin
Advantages

  • Only need to replace once per week
  • Lighter periods with less cramping
  • Decreased risk of ovarian and uterine cancer

Disadvantages

  • Requires prescription
  • May cause irregular bleeding, nausea, headaches, breast tenderness, or weight gain
  • May cause skin irritation
  • Does not protect from STDs

Vaginal Ring – 98% Effective

  • Prevents ovulation
  • Thickens cervical mucous
  • Thins uterine lining

Hormones
Estrogen & progestin in a plastic ring worn in the vagina
Advantages

  • Only need to remove and replace once per month
  • Lighter periods with less cramping
  • Reduces the risk of ovarian and uterine cancer

Disadvantages

  • Requires prescription
  • Can cause headaches, nausea, breast tenderness
  • Can cause vaginal discharge or irritation
  • Does not protect from STDs

Injection (shot) – 97% Effective

  • Prevents ovulation
  • Thickens cervical mucous
  • Thins uterine lining

Hormones
Progestin that is injected every three months
Advantages

  • Only 4 injections per year
  • Easy to remember
  • Periods are light or stop altogether
  • Decreased risk of uterine cancer
  • Decreased pain with periods

Disadvantages

  • Can take up to 1 year to become pregnant after stopping
  • Possible weight gain, irregular bleeding, headaches
  • Must be given by a doctor or nurse
  • Does not protect from STDs

Progestin OCP – 96% Effective

  • Prevents ovulation
  • Thickens cervical mucous
  • Thins uterine lining

Hormones
Progestin in a small tablet that is taken daily
Advantages

  • Effective birth control for women who are breastfeeding or who cannot take estrogen

Disadvantages

  • Requires prescription
  • Must take daily, at the same time every day
  • Does not protect from STDs

Permanent Contraception

For women who have finished their childbearing and are absolutely certain they desire no more pregnancies. These birth control options are not reversible.

Tubal Occlusion (block)   >99% Effective

Metal coils are placed in the fallopian tubes causing scarring which prevents the sperm from reaching the egg.
Advantages

  • Permanent
  • Can be done in the office or in the operating room, depending on the individual
  • No incisions on the belly

Disadvantages

  • Cannot be done immediately postpartum
  • Must use alternative contraception for three months after the procedure
  • Does not protect from STDs

Tubal Ligation (tie/cut)   >98% Effective

Fallopian tubes are divided or removed entirely so the sperm cannot reach the egg.
Advantages

  • Permanent
  • Can be done immediately postpartum or any other time
  • Immediately effective

Disadvantages

  • Requires anesthesia in the operating room
  • Has risks associated with surgery in the belly
  • Does not protect from STDs

2017-10-09T18:05:18+00:00