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Women's Health
Family Planning

Birth Control Methods

Hormonal Methods
Reversible Long-Lasting Methods
Barrier Methods
Permanent Methods
Emergency ??

Check out the information below or visit www.bedsider.com or text MyBC to 42411 for more information. You can also sign up for free appointment and birth control reminders.

Abstinence - not having sex

Abstinence is not having sex (vaginal, and or oral). You do not share bodily fluids(semen or vaginal fluids).

Advantages:

  • It's free
  • Prevents sexually transmitted infections including HIV.
  • You can start being abstinent, even if you have been sexually active in the past.

Disadvantages:

  • Must be practiced 100 percent to be completely effective.
  • May not be realistic for some people.
  • Your partner must be in agreement.

Effectiveness:

  • Perfect use 100%
  • Typical use ???

Hormonal Methods

Birth control pills

The combined pill is the most commonly used and has two hormones (estrogen and progestin). There are also pills with only progestin. You take one pill every day, at the same time of say. You need a prescription.

Advantages:

  • Lighter and more regular periods.
  • Reduces menstrual cramps.
  • May reduce risk of ovarian and endometrial cancers.

Disadvantages:

  • Does not prevent sexually transmitted infections.
  • May cause mood changes.
  • You have to take it every day.

Effectiveness:

  • Perfect use 99%
  • Typical use 92%

Placement of vaginal ring

The vaginal ring is a soft, flexible clear ring which is inserted into the vagina where it slowly releases two female hormones (estrogen and progestin) for three weeks. After three weeks, you remove the ring and the fourth week is ring-free. You need a prescription.

Advantages:

  • Only need to remember to use it once a month.
  • It's discreet.

Disadvantages:

  • Doe not prevent sexually transmitted infections.
  • Need to remember to remove and insert/apply the vaginal ring as directed.
  • Some women may not feel comfortable putting their fingers or strange objects in their vaginas.

Effectiveness:

  • Perfect use 99%
  • Typical use 92%

Woman wearing a patch on her shoulder

The patch releases two female hormones (estrogen and progestin.) Stick one patch to the skin once a week for three weeks. You will not put a patch on for the fourth week. You can use it in four areas of the body: upper back, abdomen, upper outer arm and buttocks. You need a prescription.

Advantages:

  • You put in on once a week.
  • Comfortable and easy to use.

Disadvantages:

  • Does not prevent sexually transmitted infections.
  • Must remember to change it every week.
  • Possible to have skin irritation or an allergic reaction.
  • Less effective for women who weigh more than 198 lbs (90 kilos). It is recommended that these women also use a condom.

Effectiveness:

  • Perfect use 99%
  • Typical use 92%

Contraceptive injection

The contraceptive injection has the hormone progestin. It must be injected by a healthcare provider.

Advantages:

  • Last for three months.
  • Discreet.
  • Reduces menstrual cramps.

Disadvantages:

  • Does not prevent sexually transmitted infections.
  • May take a little while to get pregnant after stopping its use.
  • May cause weight gain.
  • Need to return to healthcare provider every three months to get next shot.
  • May cause changes in menstruation.

Effectiveness:

  • Perfect use 99%
  • Typical use 92%

Contraceptive implant

The contraceptive implant releases the hormone progestin. It is inserted under the skin in your upper-arm using local anesthesia. Must be inserted and removed by a healthcare provider.

Advantages:

  • Lasts up to three years.
  • It is discreet.
  • Easy to use and reduces fear of a possible pregnancy.

Disadvantages:

  • Does not prevent sexually transmitted infections.
  • May change or stop menstruation or make bleeding more frequent.

Effectiveness:

  • Perfect use 99%
  • Typical use 99%

Reversible Long-Lasting Methods

Intrauterine contraception (IUC)

Intrauterine Contraception (IUC) is a small "T-shaped" device that is inserted in the uterus. There are two types: 1) the copper one kills sperm and prevents fertilization; 2) the hormonal one makes cervical mucus thicker and prevents the sperm and egg from joining. It must be inserted and removed by a healthcare provider.

Advantages:

  • Offers protection for many years (the copper one for up to 10 years and the hormonal one for up to five years).
  • It is easy to use and reduces fear of a possible pregnancy.

Disadvantages:

  • Does not prevent sexually transmitted infections.
  • In the initial months, the copper type may cause cramps and heavier periods.
  • The hormonal type may change or stop menstruation.

Effectiveness:

  • Perfect use 99%
  • Typical use 99%

Barrier Methods

Condoms

Condoms work as a barrier to prevent sperm from entering the vagina. There are condoms for men and women. Put the condom on before you start having sex and use a new one each time you have sex. Do not use two condoms at the same time.

Advantages:

  • Correct us may reduce the risk of contracting sexually transmitted infections, including HIV.
  • Can buy at pharmacies and stores.
  • The female condom is made of silicon and can be used by people with latex allergies.

Disadvantages:

  • It takes time to feel comfortable.
  • Need to put them on correctly to be effective.
  • Need to remove it carefully to avoid semen from spilling out of the condom.

Effectiveness:

  • Male:
    • Perfect use 98%
    • Typical use 85%
  • Female:
    • Perfect use 95%
    • Typical use 79%

Spermicides

Spermicides (foam, cream, jellies and suppositories) kill sperm before they reach the egg. Place it in your vagina before sex. Must apply more spermicide before the next sexual act. More effective if a condom is used at the same time.

Advantages:

  • No need to see a healthcare provider.
  • Can buy at the pharmacy without a prescription.

Disadvantages:

  • Does not prevent sexually transmitted infections.
  • May increase the risk of contracting HIV by irritating the vagina if used several times a day.
  • Must use each time you have sex.
  • Some people may have allergic reactions.

Effectiveness:

  • Perfect use 82%
  • Typical use 71%

Diaphragm

The diaphragm is made of latex and covers the opening of the uterus, blocking sperm from entering. It is used with spermicidal cream or jelly. You must leave it inside the vagina for six to eight hours after sex. It can remain in place up to 24 hours after sex. You must see a healthcare provider to obtain the correct size. You should have it refitted after gaining or losing 10 pounds. (4.5 kilos) or more, after an abortion or after a pregnancy.

Advantages:

  • Can insert it up to six hours before sex.
  • Lasts up to two years if not damaged.
  • It is discreet.

Disadvantages:

  • Does not prevent sexually transmitted infections.
  • Must learn to insert it and remove it correctly.
  • Some women may not feel comfortable putting their fingers or strange objects in their vaginas.

Effectiveness:

  • Perfect use 94%
  • Typical use 85%

Cervical cap

The cervical cap is a small cup made of silicon or latex that fits over the cervix and blocks sperm from entering the uterus. It is used with spermicidal cream or jelly. You must leave it inside the vagina for six to eight hours after sex. It can remain in place up to 48 hours after sex. You must see a healthcare provider to obtain the correct size. You should have it refitted after gaining or losing 10 pounds (4.5 kilos) or more, after an abortion or after a pregnancy.

Advantages:

  • Last up to two years if not damaged.
  • The silicone cap is available for people allergic to latex.
  • It is discreet.

Disadvantages:

  • Does not prevent sexually transmitted infections.
  • Must learn to insert if and remove it correctly.
  • Some women may not feel comfortable putting their fingers or strange objects in their vaginas.

Effectiveness:

  • Perfect use 74-91%
  • Typical use 60-80%

Permanent Methods

Sterilization diagrams (male and female)

Sterilization (surgery) for women (tubal ligation) and for men (vasectomy) are permanent methods for people who do not want any more children. A woman's tubes (fallopian tubes) are cut or sealed to prevent eggs from reaching the uterus. A man's tube (vas deferens) is cut or sealed to block the release of sperm.

Advantages:

  • Women:
    • Effective method without hormones.
    • No need for hospitalization.
    • Effective immediately.
  • Men:
    • Does not affect sexual functions.
    • No need for hospitalization.
    • Less expensive than women's sterilization.

Disadvantages:

  • Women and Men:
    • Does not prevent sexually transmitted infections.
    • Not reversible.
    • Must be sure that you do now want any more children.
  • Men:
    • Not effective immediately.
    • Need to use back up method during the first 20 ejaculations after the vasectomy.

Effectiveness:

  • Perfect use 99%
  • Typical use 99%

Emergency ??

Emergency contraception

Emergency contraception delays or prevents the release of an egg. There are different brands. It must be taken as soon as possible after having unprotected sex. You have up to five days, although effectiveness decreases with each passing day. You must get a prescription if you are under 17.

Advantages:

  • Very effective (89%) if used correctly.
  • Can get at a pharmacy without a prescription if you are 17 or older.
  • May prevent pregnancy in case of: 1) unprotected sex, 2) method failure (like condom breaking), 3) forced sex.

Disadvantages:

  • Does not prevent sexually transmitted infections.
  • Not for routine use.

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Last updated: May 2013

 
 
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