Types Of Birth Control
Basic information about some of the more common methods of birth control can be found below. Some are methods that are readily available to and effective for youth. Other types listed may be are ones theyve heard of or are interested in.
For detailed information on birth control methods, see:
Natural methods of birth control use behavior, not medication or devices, to prevent pregnancy.
Effectiveness of these methods requires willingness to consistently engage in the behavior and specific understanding of ones body, fertility and the method.
Abstinence means not doing something. To prevent pregnancy, abstinence is not doing anything where a penis or semen come in direct contact with the vaginal area . To lower STI risk, people abstain from a broader range of activities. For more on abstinence as STI prevention, clickhere.
Withdrawal is when the penis is pulled out of the vagina before ejaculation. There are live sperm in pre-ejaculatory fluid at the tip of the penis throughout an erection, so, withdrawal is about 78% effective.4
Fertility Awareness Based methods are about having sex when a person is least likely to be fertile. The most effective FAB methods are taught by experts and rely on a variety of fertility indicators like temperature, cervical mucous and menstrual cycle charts.
For more information about natural methods:
Short Acting Hormonal Contraception
Good to know
Good to know
Whats The Best Birth Control
The best birth control is the one that most effectively prevents pregnancy and fits with your lifestyle. Generally, a male condom plus another form of birth control is the most effective way to prevent pregnancy.
What’s “best” among birth control methods differs from person to person. What’s right for you may not be right for everyone. And your needs may change over time.
Hereâs what to think about when choosing a kind of birth control:
- How fail-proof do you need your protection plan to be?
- How much does the cost matter?
- How important is your privacy?
- Do you have a regular partner whose needs you care about?
- Do you need to protect against sexually transmitted diseases ?
- How much effort do you want to make to prevent a pregnancy?
- If you’re a woman, does it matter if your period is affected?
- Will you someday want to have a child?
What Are The Types Of Hormonal Contraceptives
Oral contraceptives are hormonal pills for women. Dosage is one pill a day at the same time every day, starting on the first day of the period or the first Sunday after the period starts. Oral contraceptives are of two primary types:
Progestin-only oral contraceptive
Mini-pills do not contain estrogen and are not widely used in the United States. Progestin-only pills are suitable for women who are breastfeeding or cannot take estrogen for any reason.
- Efficacy: Failure rate with typical use is 7% in the first year of use.
- Decreases menstrual cramps, blood loss and premenstrual symptoms.
Combination oral contraceptives
Combination oral contraceptives contain progestin and ethinyl estradiol, a form of estrogen. Several formulations of combination contraceptives are available which come in packs of:
Current available formulations have lower dosages of estrogen than when hormonal birth control first entered the market. This made oral contraception safer and reduced the side effects.
- Efficacy: Failure rate ranges from 0.1% with perfect use to 5% for typical use.
- Have high blood pressure
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What Health Factors Could Limit My Choice Of Birth Control
If you have health problems or other risk factors, some birth control methods may not be right for you.
- Smoking. If you smoke more than 15 cigarettes a day and are 35 or older or have high blood pressure, a history of stroke, a history of blood clots, liver disease, or heart disease, you may not be able to use combined hormonal methods.
- Migraines. If you have migraine headaches, talk to your health professional about whether you can try combined hormonal contraception.
- Diabetes. If you have advanced or long-standing diabetes, discuss the risks of taking hormonal birth control methods with your health professional.
- Childbirth. If you have just delivered a baby, the estrogen-progestin methods of birth control aren’t recommended in those first few weeks. Progestin-only pills, an implant, both kinds of IUDs, or birth control shots are a good option for women who have just given birth.
Other health problems that might keep you from using a particular birth control method are relatively rare, especially in young women. But before using any method, talk with your health professional to see if it is safe for you.
The Ultimate Guide To Birth Control
If you are sexually active and dont want to get pregnant , you may want to think about contraception, also known as birth control. Birth control can help prevent unintended pregnancy, but there are so many options. How do you know which method is right for you?
Below is a birth control guide that will help you get started. Take a look at the options, weigh the pros and cons, and when youre ready, talk to a healthcare provider about which method or methods are right for you.
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What Are Some Other Considerations In Choosing A Birth Control Method
Other things to consider when choosing a method of birth control include:
- Health benefits, such as decreased risk of sexually transmitted infections with condoms and reduced risk of ovarian cancer and uterine cancer with use of birth control pills for one year or longer.
- Cost. Over time, the higher one-time cost of IUD insertion or sterilization surgery may be less than the continued costs of buying pills or condoms and spermicide.
- If you are planning to become pregnant in the future. The amount of time it takes for a woman’s full fertility to return after stopping birth control varies for each woman and depends on the birth control method she is using.
- Risks and side effects of the method. Some birth control methods may have a greater risk of causing certain health problems. And some methods cause more side effects than others. For example, hormonal birth control can have more risks and side effects than barrier methods. Talk to your doctor about the risks and side effects.
Thinking about the pros and cons of hormonal birth control methods may help you choose the one that is best for you.
After you have looked at the facts about the different methods and thought about your own values and needs, you can choose the method that will work best for you. Using condoms with any method may increase its reliability and helps to protect you from sexually transmitted infections .
Frequently Asked Questionsexpand All
Possible risks and side effects:
Spermicides can cause vaginal burning and irritation. Some people are allergic to spermicide and may have a reaction.
Spermicides that contain nonoxynol-9 do not protect against STIs, including infection with human immunodeficiency virus , and may increase the risk of getting HIV from an infected partner if used many times a day. Spermicides should only be used if you have only one sexual partner and both of you are at low risk of HIV infection.
A condom acts as a physical barrier that prevents sperm from entering the uterus and reaching an egg. Two types are available:
A male condom is a thin sheath made of latex , polyurethane , or natural membrane that is worn over the erect penis during sexual intercourse. Latex and polyurethane condoms provide the best protection against many STIs, including HIV.
A female condom is a thin plastic pouch that lines the vagina. It is held in place by a closed inner ring at the cervix and an outer ring at the opening of the vagina. It provides some protection against STIs.
Using both a condom and another method, such as a spermicide, is the best way to protect against pregnancy and STIs. Condoms should be used with a lubricant to prevent them from tearing or breaking and to reduce irritation. Use only water-based or silicone lubricants with latex condoms, and do not use a male and female condom together. Throw condoms away after use.
Possible risks and side effects:
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What Are The Side Effects Pros Cons And Effectiveness Of Other Barrier Birth Control Methods
Diaphragm: The diaphragm is a shallow latex cup with a spring mechanism in its rim to hold it in place in the vagina. Diaphragms are manufactured in various sizes. A pelvic examination with measurement of the vaginal length of your vaginal canal must be performed by your health-care professional so that the correct size of the diaphragm can be determined. Instructions as to how to prepare and insert the diaphragm will be provided by the physician.
The diaphragm prevents pregnancy by providing a barrier to the passage of semen into the cervix. Once in position, the diaphragm provides effective contraception for 6 hours. After that time, if the diaphragm has not been removed, fresh spermicide must be added with an applicator. The diaphragm must be left in place for at least 6 hours after sex but not more than 24 hours.
Cervical cap: The cervical cap is a soft cup-shaped latex device that fits over the base of a woman’s cervix. It is smaller than a diaphragm and may be more difficult to insert. It too must be fitted by a trained provider, as it comes in different sizes. Spermicide is needed to fill the cap one third full prior to its insertion. It may be inserted as long as 8 hours before sexual activity, and it can be left in place for as long as 48 hours. The cervical cap acts as both a mechanical barrier to sperm migration into the cervical canal and as a chemical agent with the use of spermicide.
British Columbia Specific Information
Birth control can help prevent pregnancy. There are many types of birth control available. Speak with your health care provider to help decide which type is right for you and your partner.
Hormone-based birth control contains hormones such as estrogen and progestin. Certain medications may make your hormone-based birth control not work properly or not at all. For more information, see HealthLinkBC File #91a Hormonal Contraception and using other medications at the same time.
Emergency contraception helps to prevent pregnancy after unprotected sex, or failed birth control. For more information about emergency contraception, see HealthLinkBC File #91b Emergency Contraception .
Birth control cannot prevent sexually transmitted infections , but using a condom will reduce your risk. For more information about birth control and sexual health, visit Options for Sexual Health and Smart Sex Resource. To learn more about STIs, see our HealthLinkBC Files – Sexually Transmitted Infections Series.
You may also call 8-1-1 to speak with a registered nurse or pharmacist. Our nurses are available anytime of the day, every day of the year. Our pharmacists are available every night from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 a.m.
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What Research Is Being Conducted To Develop New Methods And Types Of Hormonal Birth Control For Men And Women
Although development of new birth control methods in the United States has slowed in the past few years, research outside of the United States continues at a rapid pace. Many new birth control designs are being tested to provide a greater variety of methods with fewer side effects, greater safety, and efficacy.
- Pill for men: One exciting new development is a hormonal contraceptive method for men. The male birth control pill manipulates steroid hormones to decrease viable sperm production.
- Injection for men: A reversible male birth control method utilizing injections of progestin every 3 months has been shown to decrease sperm production. With this method, implants are placed under the surface of the skin every four months. This evolving technology has been shown to reduce male sex drive .
- Vaccine: A pregnancy vaccine is one of the most controversial and exciting forms of birth control under development. The pregnancy vaccine stimulates an immune response against sperm so that fertilization does not occur.
How Effective Are Different Types Of Birth Control
Consider how important it is to you to avoid pregnancy, and then look at how well each birth control method works. Hormonal methods and IUDs work very well. Barrier methods such as condoms, diaphragms, and spermicides are only moderately effective. Fertility awareness is even less effective.
To be effective, birth control pills require you to take a pill every day. Barrier methods have to be used before sex. Fertility awareness requires that you watch your temperature and other signs closely. You must also avoid sex on days when you could get pregnant.
Consider how comfortable you feel about using a particular method of birth control. If you are not comfortable with or might not consistently use a birth control method for any reason, that method is not likely to be reliable for you in the long run.
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Tubal Ligation & Tubal Occlusion
Female sterilization by tubal ligation is a permanent surgical procedure where the two fallopian tubes, which transport the eggs from the ovaries to the uterus, get disconnected. Tubal ligation is considered permanent, because reversal is costly, difficult, and not guaranteed.
Female sterilization by tubal occlusion is a permanent procedure where a micro-insert is placed into each of the fallopian tubes. The micro-inserts work with your body to form a natural barrier that keeps sperm from reaching the eggs, preventing pregnancy.
When To Call A Doctor
911 or other emergency services if you have:
- Sudden, severe chest pain.
- Have severe pain in your belly.
- Have headaches that:
- Happen more often.
- Are getting worse.
- Start with auras, such as seeing spots, wavy lines, or flashing lights. Your hands, arms, or face may tingle or feel numb.
It’s common to have mild headaches, mild nausea, mild breast tenderness, or irregular bleeding when starting birth control. These mild symptoms should improve over time. If you have problems with a birth control method, talk with your doctor. They may recommend another birth control method or help you solve the problem you are having.
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Learning Outcomes For Study Session 8
When you have studied this session, you should be able to:
8.1 Define and use correctly all of the key words printed in bold.
8.2 Describe the types of barrier contraceptives.
8.3 Describe the mechanism of action, use, effectiveness, advantages and disadvantages of the male condom.
8.4 Explain the use, advantages and disadvantages of the female condom.
8.5 Discuss the use, advantages and disadvantages of using diaphragms.
8.6 Describe the mechanism of action, effectiveness and advantages of spermicides.
Male And Female Condoms
The male condom is the most frequently used method of contraception. The female condom also exists and must be inserted inside the vagina before sexual relations. These two methods prevent the sperm from reaching the inside of the vagina. A male condom is 98% effective when used correctly. A female condom is 95% effective when used properly. These two methods have the advantage of protecting against sexually transmitted infections , a level of protection that hormonal contraceptives do not offer.
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What Are Barrier Methods
Condoms protect against sexually transmissible infections and from unintended pregnancy.
You can buy internal condoms from our website and from some pharmacies.
General Indications For Barrier Methods
Barrier contraceptives are indicated for: women in whom other forms of contraception are contraindicated women who prefer a reversible contraceptive method without hormonal effects or requiring implantation of a specialized device women seeking an interim method until hormonal or intrauterine contraception is initiated or sterilization is performed women during lactation and the puerperium, often as an adjunct to lactational methods women who elect to use barrier methods for infrequent episodes of intercourse women who plan to conceive in the near future and women at risk for sexually transmitted infection, who may elect to use barrier methods alone or in conjunction with another contraceptive method .
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How Do You Choose The Best Method
The best method of birth control is one that protects you every time you have sex. And with many types of birth control, that depends on how well you use it. To find a method that will work for you every time, some things to think about include:
If you are using a method now that you are not happy with, talk to your doctor about other choices.
What Are The Side Effects Pros Cons And Effectiveness Of Spermicides
Spermicides are chemical barriers to conception. They are a reversible method of birth control in that when a woman ceases usage, full fertility returns immediately. Vaginal spermicides are available OTC, and are available in forms such as foam, cream, jelly, film, suppository, or tablet. Spermicides contain a chemical that kills sperm or makes them inactive so that they cannot enter a woman’s cervix. Nonoxynol-9 is the active chemical in most spermicidal products in the United States.