Nine Contraception Methods & Options: Many people who are sexually active but not ready to conceive have many options for contraceptive (birth control) methods. It is important to choose the option you and/or your partner feel most comfortable with. Talk with your doctor about the different methods of contraception and their symptoms or side effects. This may help you decide what may work best for you, whether you only want a temporary or permanent solution. Each method has its own effectiveness and learning more about them can help you understand how to use them properly.
Nine Contraception Methods & Options: #1 ABSTINENCE
Abstinence is a choice to not have sex or any type of intimate sexual contact. It is 100% effective in preventing pregnancy! With abstinence, no barriers or pills are necessary because the person is not being sexually intimate with others. It also prevents the transmission of STIs!
Nine Contraception Methods & Options: #2 BIRTH CONTROL PILLS
Women have the option of two basic types of birth control pills (BCP) - combination pills that include both estrogen and progestin, or, pills that just contain progestin. BCP prevents the egg from leaving the ovaries and thickening the cervical mucus to keep the sperm from reaching the egg. Unlike abstinence, less than one percent of women who take the pill still get pregnant.
Nine Contraception Methods & Options: #3 PATCH
The birth control patch is a thin, square patch that sticks to the skin and releases progesterone and estrogen through the skin into the bloodstream to prevent pregnancy. The combination of these hormones in the patch prevents ovulation.
Nine Contraception Methods & Options: #4 RING
The birth control ring is a soft, flexible, ring that is inserted into the vagina and releases hormones through the vaginal wall into the bloodstream to prevent pregnancy.
Nine Contraception Methods & Options: #5 CONDOMS
Male and female condoms are a thin, latex barrier method of contraception. They protect against pregnancy and also against sexually transmitted infections.
Nine Contraception Methods & Options: #6 LONG-ACTING REVERSIBLE CONTRACEPTION
Long- acting reversible contraception methods are easy to use and very effective. They are only available through a doctor’s prescription. They do not require daily commitment, unlike birth control pills. This method also allows the return of fertility once you stop using the contraception. Some methods include:
- Intrauterine device (IUD) is a T-shaped piece of plastic that is placed inside the uterus to prevent pregnancy. Two types of IUDs are available — one is covered with copper, the other releases the hormone progesterone.
- Contraceptive implant slowly releases low levels of the hormone progestin to prevent ovulation. The progestin released also thickens the mucus around the cervix, which helps prevent sperm from entering the uterus.
- A contraceptive injection of progesterone primarily works by preventing ovulation.
Nine Contraception Methods & Options: #7 NATURAL FAMILY PLANNING
Natural family planning can be used to predict when a woman will ovulate and when to avoid unprotected sex, if you don't want to conceive. Withdrawal is another type of family planning in which the man withdraws his penis from the vagina before ejaculation to prevent pregnancy.
Nine Contraception Methods & Options: #8 STERILIZATION
Sterilization is a very effective method of birth control and includes:
- Vasectomy is a surgery for men in which the tubes that carry sperm into the semen are cut and sealed. After a successful vasectomy, a man is no longer able to impregnate a woman.
- Tubal ligation and Essure system permanently block the fallopian tubes in women to prevent pregnancy.
Nine Contraception Methods & Options: #9 EMERGENCY CONTRACEPTION
Emergency contraception methods help prevent pregnancies after unprotected sex. It is not to be used as a routine form of birth control, however it is a great option if you’ve had unprotected sex or another method of birth control has failed. In order for emergency contraceptives to be effective, they must be used as soon as possible after unprotected sex. Emergency contraception methods include:
- Emergency contraceptive pills, also known as the “morning-after pill,” are hormone pills that women take after having sex.
- Copper intrauterine device (IUD) prevent sperm from swimming or functioning well.
"Birth Control Birth Control Basics." Mayo Clinic. Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 16 Dec. 2014. Web. 16 July 2017.
"BIRTH CONTROL." Abstinence - Johns Hopkins All Children's Hospital. John Hopkins Health System, n.d. Web. 16 July 2017.