Birth ControlDecisions about birth control and pregnancy are important and personal. You need birth control that works for your body, goals, and lifestyle. We are here to help.
Decisions about birth control and pregnancy are important and personal. You need birth control that works for your body, goals, and lifestyle. We are here to help.
Birth Control Options
Today, there are many options as it relates to birth control. To select the one that is best suited to your needs and those of your partner, you should consult with your doctor.
- Intrauterine Devices (IUDs)
- Transdermal Implant
- The Shot
- Hormonal Ring
- Transdermal Patch
- Birth Control Pills
Female Surgical Sterilization
Sterilization is a permanent, non-reversible procedure that can be considered if you are completed with child-bearing. The surgical options include bilateral tubal ligation, or occlusion and salpingectomy (removal of the tubes). These surgical options for women create a barrier that prevents the egg from joining with the sperm for fertilization.
A vasectomy is male sterilization and is an in-office minor procedure performed by a urologist. The procedure blocks the vas deferens, which over time, will remove sperm from the seminal fluid. This procedure requires a follow-up visit to confirm there are no more sperm present in the fluid.
Hormonal IUDs (Mirena®, Liletta®, Kyleena®, and Skyla®)
Hormonal (progesterone-containing) IUDs are contraceptive devices that deliver small amounts of hormone (levonorgestrel) directly to the uterus. It is a form of birth control that remains in the uterus and can last for up to 3-5 years. It is a small “T” shaped plastic device that is both soft and flexible and is put into place by your gynecologist during an office visit. These IUDs work continuously and eliminate the need for pills. They are over 99% effective. When a patient wants to become pregnant, your doctor can remove the device and fertility returns very quickly. It works through several different actions that include suppressing ovulation, thickening the cervical mucus to prevent sperm from entering the uterus, inhibiting the sperm from reaching or fertilizing an egg and making the lining of the uterus thin.
Copper IUD (Paragard®)
Paragard® is a contraceptive device that prevents pregnancy by releasing copper into your uterus. It is a form of birth control that remains in the uterus and can last for up to 10 years. It is a small “T” shaped plastic device with copper on the arms that is both soft and flexible and is put into place by a gynecologist during an office visit. The Paragard® IUD works continuously and eliminates the need for pills. It is over 99% effective. When a patient wants to become pregnant, your doctor can remove the device and the patient can try to become pregnant immediately. It works through causing an inflammatory reaction that stops sperm from reaching an egg.
NEXPLANON® is a type of birth control for women. It is a flexible plastic rod the size of a matchstick that is put under the skin of your arm. It contains a hormone called etonogestrel. You can use a single NEXPLANON® rod for up to 3 years. NEXPLANON® does not contain estrogen. NEXPLANON® prevents pregnancy in several ways. The most important way is by stopping release of an egg from your ovary. It also changes the mucus in your cervix and this change may keep sperm from reaching the egg. NEXPLANON® also changes the lining of your uterus. When a patient wants to become pregnant, a healthcare provider can remove the device and the patient can try to become pregnant immediately.
Depo-Provera® is a type of birth control for women. It is an injection of medroxyprogesterone acetate that you receive in your arm or buttocks every 12 weeks. The most important way it prevents pregnancy is by stopping release of an egg from your ovary (ovulating). It also changes the mucus in your cervix and this change may keep sperm from reaching the egg. When a patient wants to get pregnant you should stop getting the shot. It can take several months to restore fertility.
NuvaRing® is a soft and flexible ring that is worn in the vagina. The key benefit of the NuvaRing® is that a patient does not need to take it daily to get a complete month’s protection. In a given 1-month period, NuvaRing® must be inserted into the vagina, removed after 3 weeks, and a new ring inserted no more than 7 days later. While the hormones it contains (estrogen and progestin) are similar to those used in birth control pills, unlike birth control pills, they are absorbed directly into the blood stream through the vaginal wall, delivering a consistent level of medication, which should improve effectiveness and limit side effects.
Used correctly, the patch is as effective as birth control pills in preventing pregnancy. The patch is a form of birth control that a patient wears on the skin and looks like a small bandaid. The hormones it contains (estrogen and progestin) are similar to those used in birth control pills but are absorbed transdermally through the skin. The patch works by preventing the ovaries from releasing egg. It also thickens cervical mucus making it more difficult for sperm to reach an egg.
Birth control pills, commonly referred to as “the pill”, are a form of oral contraception that generally contains two hormones, estrogen and progestin and are taken daily to prevent a woman’s ovaries from releasing eggs. They also help to prevent pregnancy by causing the cervical mucus to thicken. This blocks sperm from fertilizing an egg. Birth control pills are safe, effective and convenient. For women who are very overweight, the pill may be less effective. Additionally, vomiting and/or diarrhea may keep the pill from working properly to prevent pregnancy. If a woman is concerned about this, a backup method of birth control should be used. For some women, the “minipill” is a better option, and contains only progestin. Discuss with your doctor which option is best for you.
A diaphragm is a thin rubber dome-shaped device with a springy and flexible rim. Inserted into the vagina by the patient, it fits over the cervix and is held in place by muscles in the vagina. The diaphragm is designed to hold a spermicide in place over the cervix to kill sperm. To maximize the effectiveness of the diaphragm it should be left in place for up to 6 to 8 hours. If one chooses to use a diaphragm it must be fitted in the office by your doctor. Additionally, weight changes, vaginal surgery and pregnancy can affect the way a diaphragm fits, requiring that your doctor check it to make sure it fits properly and to determine if a new size is needed.
A condom is a barrier form of birth control that physically block the sperm from entering the vagina. They are the only form of protection that can help to stop the transmission of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) like HIV. A condom is a latex or polyurethane sheath that is closed at one end and fits over a man’s penis. Condoms are also available for females. These have a flexible ring at either end. One end is closed and inserted into the vagina and the other end is open with the ring remaining outside the vagina. To help assure protection, users should read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions.