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Birth Control or Contraceptive

There are different birth control methods that work well and are easy to use. We are here to help you choose the right options for you.

What is a contraceptive or birth control? 

Birth control (contraception) is any method, medicine, or device used to prevent pregnancy. You can choose from many different types of birth control. Some work better than others at preventing pregnancy. The type of birth control you use depends on your health, your desire to have children now or in the future, and your need to prevent sexually transmitted infections. Your provider can help you decide which type is best for you right now.

What is the best birth control method? 

There is no "best" method of birth control for every woman. The birth control method that is right for you and your partner depends on many things, and may change over time.

Factors to consider when deciding on a birth control method.

Before choosing a birth control method, review with the following with your provider

  • Whether you want to get pregnant soon, in a few years, or never

  • How well each method works to prevent pregnancy

  • Possible side effects

  • How often you have sex

  • The number of sex partners you have

  • Your overall health

  • How comfortable you are with using the method. For example, can you remember to take a pill every day? Will you have to ask your partner to put on a condom each time?

The types of birth control

You can choose from many different types of birth control methods. These include, in order of most effective to least effective at preventing pregnancy:

  • Female and male sterilization are the female tubal ligation or occlusion, male vasectomy — Birth control that prevents pregnancy for the rest of your life through surgery or a medical procedure.

  • Long-acting reversible contraceptives or "LARC" methods, that is, intrauterine devices, hormonal implants — Birth control your provider inserts one time and you do not have to remember to use birth control every day or month. LARCs last for 3 to 10 years, depending on the method. These are Mirena, Paragard, Syla, Kyleena, Liletta. These are divided into hormonal and non-hormonal (Paragard).

  • Short-acting hormonal methods include the pill, mini pills, patch, shot, vaginal ring — Birth control your provider prescribes that you remember to take every day or month. The shot requires you to get a shot from the clinic every 3 months.

  • Barrier methods include condoms, diaphragms, sponge, cervical cap — Birth control you use each time you have sex. The male condoms and female condoms can help protect from sexually transmitted infection, including HIV.

  • Natural rhythm methods — Not using a type of birth control but instead avoiding sex and/or using birth control only on the days when you are most fertile. You are most likely to get pregnant with this method. An ovulation home test kit or a fertility monitor can help you find your most fertile days.

Are birth control methods safe?

Yes, hormonal birth control methods, such as the pill, are safe for most women. Today's birth control pills have lower doses of hormones than in the past. This has lowered the risk of side effects and serious health problems.

Today's birth control pills can have health benefits for some women, such as a lower risk of some kinds of cancer. Also, different brands and types of birth control pills, and other forms of hormonal birth control can increase your risk for some health problems and side effects. Side effects can include weight gain, headaches, irregular bleeding, breast tenderness, and mood changes. That is why it recommended you discuss the various methods with your provider, to help determine the appropriate birth control method for you. 

Research shows that other benefits of hormonal birth control may include:

***It is important to keep in mind that even the most effective birth control methods can fail. But your chances of getting pregnant are lower if you use a more effective method.

Infertility treatment, assisted reproductive technologies, intrauterine insemination conce

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