Birth Control Options
Many factors come into play when choosing a birth control method that is right for you, including your age, health, emotional maturity, marital status, sexual relationships, child-bearing readiness and religious convictions.
Understanding your options is part of the decision process, and this should be complimented by honest discussions with your health care provider and your partner.
There are a variety of birth control options available to women today. The following is a partial list of some of the more popular reversible and non-reversible birth control options:
Examples include male and female condoms, as well as the diaphragm, cervical cap and contraceptive sponge.
Examples include birth control pills, as well as the vaginal ring (NuvaRing), contraceptive implant (Nexplanon), contraceptive injection (Depo-Provera) and contraceptive patch (Ortho Evra).
Examples include the copper IUD (ParaGard) and the hormonal IUD (Mirena).
Examples include tubal ligation or the Essure system for women, and vasectomy for men.
Natural family planning
Examples include the rhythm, basal body temperature and cervical mucus methods.
The options for birth control are as diverse as the way they work. To be effective, any method of contraception must be used consistently and correctly. Contraceptive options that require less effort on your part, such as intrauterine devices, contraceptive implants and sterilization, are associated with lower pregnancy rates. In contrast, methods that require frequent or monthly dosing or exchanges, monitoring fertility or periodic abstinence are associated with higher pregnancy rates.
A note about STIs: no intrauterine conceptive product protects against HIV infection (AIDS) or other sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
For the more complete information on contraceptive options for women, please visit the following resources:
- U.S. National Library of Medicine: Birth Control
- Department of Health and Human Services, Office on Women’s Health: Birth Control Methods
- National Institute of Child Health and Human Development: Contraception and Birth Control
- National Institute of Child Health and Human Development: What Are the Different Types of Contraception?
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