Contraceptives / Birth Control

Contraceptives / Birth Control

51% of all pregnancies in the United States are unplanned.

Birth Control Methods

99-100% Effective

  • Abstinence/Outercourse – Avoidance of vaginal intercourse.
  • Intrauterine Device (IUD) – Device inserted into the uterine cavity.  There are three types of IUDs on the market in the U.S., two contain the hormone progesterone (Mirena, Skyla) and one is hormone free and contains copper (Paragard). IUDs are 3-10 years effective depending on type used.
  • Nexplanon Implant – Progesterone releasing rod inserted in the upper arm and is effective for 3 years.

91-94% Effective (by prescription only)

  • Injectable Progesterone (Depo-Provera, Depo-SubQ) – Injection administered every 3 months.
  • Ortho-Evra Transdermal Patch – Skin patch containing estrogen and progesterone and is applied weekly for 3 weeks out of the month with one patch-free week per month.
  • Nuva Ring – Vaginal Ring containing estrogen and progesterone and is worn inside the vagina for 3 weeks per month with one ring-free week per month. 
  • Combination Oral Contraceptives (estrogen and progesterone) – Dosing varies and includes 0-7 placebo (medicine-free) pills per month. 
  • Progesterone Only Oral Contraceptives – Taken daily with no placebo (medicine-free) days.

81-90% Effective

  • Male Condoms – Worn over the penis during intercourse to prevent sperm from entering vagina.
  • Female Polyurethane Condoms – Inserted into the vagina up to 8 hours before sexual exposure.  
  • Today Vaginal Sponge with spermicide – Inserted into vagina up to 24 hours before sex. Must remain in vagina for 6 hours after last sexual exposure and not be left in longer than 24 hours.  
  • Diaphragm – Prescribed device fitted by a healthcare provider.  Spermicide is applied to device and inserted into vagina up to 6 hours before sex and must remain for 6 hours after last sexual exposure.  

 0-80% Effective

  • Natural Family Planning – Patient monitors factor(s) to determine fertile time to avoid intercourse.
  • Cervical Cap– Fitted prescription device similar to diaphragm, but less effective.
  • Spermicides (foam, jelly, cream, suppository, film) – Protect for one sexual act.  Frequent use can irritate vaginal tissue and increase transmission of sexually transmitted infections.
  • Withdrawal Method – Male partner withdraws penis from vagina before ejaculation occurs and is the least effective of all methods.
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