When it comes to contraception, there are many options to choose from and each have their pluses and minuses. While you likely already know about birth control pills and condoms, there are other options you might not know as much about that could be good choices for you.
Our physicians can counsel you on the pros and cons of each option, taking into consideration your overall health, your lifestyle and habits, and other factors.
Variety of Options Available
Prior to your appointment at our center, you may want to learn the basics about the range of choices available to you. Below are descriptions of types of contraception you may want to consider:
Hormonal Contraception Options
Hormonal methods prevent pregnancy by preventing ovulation.
- Birth Control Pill: An oral contraceptive that is taken every day
- Contraceptive Patch: A thin, flexible patch that you adhere to on your upper outer arm, buttocks, stomach or back every three weeks
- Vaginal Contraceptive Ring: A thin, flexible ring that is inserted into your vagina and left for three weeks
- Hormone Shots: A hormone shot that is typically injected in your arm every three months
- Hormone Implant: A thin, flexible piece of plastic that is inserted into your upper arm. One implant prevents pregnancy for up to 3 years, but your doctor can remove the implant at any time.
- Intrauterine Device (IUD): A small, T-shaped device with a string attached. The IUD is placed the uterus during a visit to our office and remains there until we remove it.
Barrier Contraception Options
Barrier methods work by blocking sperm from the uterus.
- Spermicide: A substance that stops sperm from moving
- Diaphragm: A dome-shaped cup that fits over the opening of the uterus and is used with spermicide. Your physician will determine the correct size and fit for you.
- Cervical Cap: A silicone cup that is inserted into the vagina and fits over the cervix. Your physician will determine which size you need.
- Contraceptive Sponge: A small foam sponge that contains spermicide. It is inserted into the vagina and covers the cervix. You do not need a prescription for the sponge.
- Condoms: A latex sheath that fits over a man’s penis and traps semen. It is safest when used with other methods of birth control, such as a spermicide.
- Female condoms: A pouch made of thin rubber that includes a ring on each end. It is inserted into the vagina before sexual activity.
Other Contraception Options
- Sterilization: Surgery to permanently prevent pregnancy by closing off the fallopian tubes so eggs can't travel through them to reach the uterus
- Natural Family Planning: Requires a couple to learn when a woman can get pregnant during her cycle and avoid intercourse during those days
- Emergency Contraception: Birth control, informally known as "the morning after pill,” that prevents pregnancy after sexual intercourse