Birth Control

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Choosing a contraceptive can be overwhelming. At the Women’s Medicine Collaborative, we know there are dozens of contraceptives to choose from, and it can be difficult to identify which method works best for you. We provide personalized care to help you make the best contraceptive choice for you.

Birth control comes in many forms, and each method may work differently to suit each woman’s needs. The hormones released from contraceptives regulate the functioning of the body’s reproductive organs. All the currently available options for birth control (excluding vasectomy for men) are offered, including the following. Expand a selection below to learn more.

The Pill and Alternatives

Contraception is available in different forms, including a pill, mini-pill (progesterone-only pill), patch, vaginal ring, injection, intrauterine device (IUD), and implantable rod. There is a nonhormonal IUD available called the Paragard or copper IUD—the remainder of these options are hormonal.

Estrogen and Progesterone Methods

The Birth Control Pill

  • Taken daily
  • Depending on the pill used, your period may come monthly, once every three months, or can be skipped completely
  • There are many different brands of birth control pills, including generics
  • Prescription required
  • 91%-99% effective

Ortho Evra patch

  • Delivers the same hormones as the birth control pill but does so through your skin
  • Changed weekly
  • Prescription required
  • 91%-99% effective

Nuva Ring 

  • Delivers the same hormones as the birth control pill but through the vaginal wall
  • Left in place for three weeks and taken out the fourth week, during which you get your period
  • You also have the option of continuously cycling the ring so that you skip the monthly withdrawal bleeding
  • Prescription required
  • 91%-99% effective

Progesterone-only Methods

Progesterone-only forms of birth control include the Depo-Provera injection, the Nexplanon rod, the mini-pill, and the hormonal IUDs. These methods can be given to breastfeeding mothers and women who have certain medical conditions in which estrogen may not be advised.

Injection (DepoProvera)

  • Given every 3 months by a nurse or doctor
  • Lighter menstrual cycles or none at all
  • Prescription required
  • 94%-99% effective

IUDs (Kyleena and Mirena)

  • Placed in your uterus during a quick office procedure 
  • Kyleena and Mirena last 5 years
  • They each have different hormonal doses that can affect how likely you are to get a period
  • Kyleena is smaller and may be more comfortable for women who have never been pregnant
  • 99% effective

Implant (Nexplanon)

  • A thin, flexible rod implanted under the skin of your inner, upper arm
  • Provides birth control for 3 years
  • Placed by a doctor, nurse practitioner or midwife
  • 99% effective​

Daily Progesterone-only Methods

  • The mini-pill or progesterone-only pill is taken once daily

Copper IUD

The Paragard IUD

  • an intrauterine copper-releasing device placed in your uterus, providing birth control for up to 10 years without hormones
  • 99% effective

All forms of birth control have different risks and benefits. Effectiveness also varies—the long-acting methods (IUDs and Nexplanon) are the most effective. It is important to choose a method of birth control based on your medical history. Please contact your provider to discuss your options and choose the best method for you. 

Bedsider.org, a medically accurate resource, can help you review your options.

Barrier Methods

Barrier methods decrease the risk of pregnancy by blocking sperm from reaching the uterus.

Types of barriers are:

Diaphragm

  • A flexible silicone cup that you insert to cover the cervix and stop sperm from reaching an egg
  • Prescription required
  • 88%-94% effective

Cervical Cap

  • Works the same way as a diaphragm but has a different shape and size
  • Prescription required
  • 71%-86% effective

Contraceptive Sponge

  • A small, squishy sponge that you insert before sex to prevent pregnancy
  • May be used with the male condom
  • No prescription necessary
  • 76%-91% effective

Male Condom

  • Collects sperm and stops it from reaching the cervix
  • No prescription necessary
  • Prevents sexually transmitted infections (STIs)
  • 82%-98% effective

Female Condom

  • Alternative to male condoms, but perform the same function
  • Soft plastic pouches that are inserted into the vagina before sex
  • Helps prevent STIs
  • 79%-94% effective

The use of spermicide with some of these methods is recommended. Male condoms are the best defense against sexually transmitted infections.

Sterilization

Permanent sterilization includes tubal ligation, tubal occlusion, and vasectomy. In women, we commonly call this "having your tubes tied." These options are for women who do not want children. We offer sterilization for women, including laparoscopic tubal ligation, and postpartum tubal ligation.

  • A laparoscopic tubal ligation is done in the operating room under anesthesia. The tubes are blocked by bands placed through small incisions in your abdomen. This is usually an outpatient surgery.
  • A postpartum tubal ligation is usually done the day after a regular delivery through an incision beneath the belly button. This is done under spinal anesthesia. Tubes can also be tied during a Cesarean section.
  • We are happy to provide referrals to male partners who are interested in vasectomy. For more information please visit www.vasectomy.com.

If you think permanent sterilization might be right for you, please contact your provider to discuss the risks and benefits and review your medical history.

Learn more about obstetrics and gynecology services at Lifespan