Birth control. What's right for you?Being informed is the best way to decide which birth control method fits your lifestyle. We’re here to help with whatever you decide.
Did you know there are benefits to birth control outside of pregnancy prevention?
- Regulate menstrual cycles (period)
- Ease cramping associated with the menstrual cycle
- Regulate hormones
- Decrease risk of certain cancers
- Help with endometriosis and polycystic ovarian syndrome
- Decrease breakouts from acne
Types of Birth Control (in alphabetical order)
- Abstinence — Not engaging in sexual activity which is the only method that is 100% effective in pregnancy prevention.
- Birth Control Pill — Hormonal Pill taken at the exact same time every day, up to 99% effective.
- Cervical Cap — Cap inserted into the vagina. Barrier method that stops sperm from reaching the egg, up to 84–91% effective.
- Condoms (Male/External) — Barrier method placed over an erect penis to stop egg and sperm from reaching each other. Can also prevent STIs and is up to 98% effective.
- Condoms (Female/Internal) — Barrier method used inside the body (vagina or anus) to stop skin to skin contact (latex-free) and is up to 95% effective.
- Depo-Provera — Hormonal shot given by medical provider once every three months, up to 99% effective
- Diaphragm — Barrier method inserted into the vagina prior to sex, stops the sperm from entering the uterus, up to 94% effective
- Emergency Contraception (EC) — Plan B or also known as the morning after pill. High dose hormonal method which can be taken up to 5 days after unprotected sex. The sooner it is taken, the more effective it is. If you are already pregnancy, it will not cause harm.
- IUD (Intrauterine Device) — Inserted into the uterus by a medical provider
- Skyla: 3-year IUD (hormonal) made for women with a smaller uterus, or ones who have never had a baby as uterus and cervix have never been dilated (smaller device and insertion tool)
- Mirena: 5-year IUD (hormonal)
- Paragard: 10-year IUD, works by releasing small amount of copper into the uterus to prevent sperm from fertilizing an egg, up to 99% effective.
- Long Acting Reversible Contraception (LARC) — These methods of IUDs & Nexplanon are placed in one or two office visits, last for years but can be reversed early if you want.
- Nexplanon — Flexible bar placed underneath the skin of the arm. Slowly releases hormones into the body to stop women’s body from releasing egg and is 99% effective.
- NuvaRing — Ring inserted into the vagina, stays in for three weeks slowly releasing hormones. Removed during the 4th week for period. This is up to 99% effective.
- Outercourse — Skin to skin contact or mutual masturbation which is nearly 100% effective in pregnancy prevention.
- Rhythm Method or Fertilization Awareness Method — Sometimes women use fertility awareness apps like Ovia Fertility to track when they are most likely to get pregnant. This is 75%-89% effective.
- Spermicides — when used with another method, up to 94% effective. Kills sperm before it can reach the egg.
- Sterilization — tubal ligation for women, vasectomy for men, almost 100% effective
- Transdermal Patch (Ortho Evra) — Wear one patch a week for three weeks, slowly releases hormones to prevent pregnancy. Do not wear patch during fourth week. This is up to 99% effective.
- Withdrawal/Pull out method — Man will withdraw penis from vagina in hopes of preventing sperm from fertilizing egg, effectiveness varies.
*Effectiveness rates are based on each method being used properly each time. Not all methods protect against STIs.
About Emergency Contraception
Emergency contraception is birth control that prevents pregnancy after sex, which is why it is sometimes called “the morning-after” or “day-after” pill. You can use emergency contraception right away—or up to five days after sex—if you think your birth control has failed, you didn’t use contraception, or you were forced to have sex.
Emergency contraception can be 75-89% effective if taken within 72 hours of unprotected intercourse, but it can also be taken up to 120 hours (5 days) after. While it will make it less likely that you will become pregnant, it is not as effective as birth control like the pill or condoms. If you are sexually active or planning to be, don’t use emergency contraception as your only protection against pregnancy. Also, emergency contraception does not protect against sexually transmitted infections like HIV (only condoms do).
Your First Visit
When you come for a first visit, we can recommend a birth control method based on your lifestyle and sexual habits. If you’re already on birth control, we can perform a check-up or help you switch to a different method. Contraception is a highly personal choice. Ultimately, you pick which method is best for you.
For help choosing the best method for you, call the health center nearest you for an appointment today!
If you don’t have insurance or are under-insured, we have you covered. Please inquire at your next appointment or give us a call at 315-531-9102.
Finger Lakes Community Health Reproductive Health program is supported by Title X funds. Donations are not a pre-requesite to care.