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Birth Control


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

Birth Control Methods 99-100% Effective:

  1. Abstinence/Outercourse is the avoidance of vaginal intercourse.
  2. Intrauterine Device (IUD) is a method that requires a healthcare provider insert a device into the uterine cavity. IUDs prevent pregnancy by several mechanisms: may thicken cervical mucus, may inhibit sperm survival, may alter endometrial lining of uterus. There are three types of IUDs on the market in the United States. Two IUDs contain progesterone (Mirena, Skyla). One IUD is hormone free and contains copper (Paragard). IUDs are 3-10 years effective depending on type used.
  3. Nexplanon Implant is a progesterone releasing rod inserted in the upper arm by a healthcare provider and is effective for 3 years.


Birth Control Methods 91-94% Effective:

  1. Injectable Progesterone (Depo-Provera, Depo-SubQ) Shot administered every 3 months. Available by prescription only.
  2. Ortho-Evra Transdermal Patch is a patch that contains estrogen and progesterone. New patch is applied weekly for 3 weeks out of the month with one patch-free week per month. Available by prescription only.
  3. Nuva Ring Vaginal Ring contains estrogen and progesterone. Ring is worn inside vagina for 3 weeks per month with one ring-free week per month. Available by prescription only.
  4. Combination oral contraceptives contain estrogen and progesterone pills taken by mouth. Dosing varies from 0-7 inactive (placebo) pills per month. Available by prescription only.
  5. Progesterone only oral contraceptives are pills taken every day which contain only progesterone. There are no placebo (medicine-free) days with this method. Available by prescription only.


Birth Control Methods 81-90% Effective:

  1. Male condoms are worn over the penis during intercourse to prevent sperm from entering vagina. Available in different materials, with or without lubricant, with or without spermicide depending on personal choice. A new condom must be used for each sexual intercourse exposure. Available over the counter.
  2. Female condom is a polyurethane condom inserted into the vagina. The female condom can be inserted up to 8 hours before sexual exposure. A new female condom needs to be used for each sexual intercourse exposure. Available over the counter.
  3. Today vaginal sponge is a sponge with spermicide inserted into vagina up to 24 hours before sex. Must be left in vagina 6 hours after last sexual exposure. Must not be left in vagina longer than 24 hours. Available over the counter.
  4. Diaphragm, this device is prescribed and fitted by a healthcare provider. Spermicide applied to device and inserted into vagina up to 6 hours before sex and must be left in place for 6 hours after last sexual exposure. If intercourse occurs before diaphragm is due to be removed. additional spermicide must be inserted into vagina.


Birth Control Methods 0-80% Effective:

  1. Natural Family Planning, patient monitors one or more factors to determine fertile time to avoid intercourse.
  2. Cervical cap fitted and prescribed by health care professional. Use similar to diaphram, but less effective in preventing pregnancy.
  3. Spermicides (foam, jelly, cream, suppository, film) protects for one sex act. Frequent use can irritate vaginal tissue and actually increase transmission of sexually transmitted infections. Available over the counter.

Withdraw, male partner withdraws penis from vagina before ejaculat

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