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birth control guide

Source: U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)


birth control guide

implanted devices

hormonal methods

sperm barrier methods

emergency contraception

permanent methods for men

permanent methods for women


        Hormonal Methods:
They prevent pregnancy by interfering with ovulation, fertilization, and/or implantation of the fertilized egg. Here are six approved hormonal methods:
oral contraceptives (combined pill), oral contraceptives (progestin-only), oral contraceptives (extended/continuous use), patch, vaginal contraceptive ring, shot/injection.

Oral Contraceptives (Combined Pill):
What is it?
-- a pill with hormones (estrogen and progestin)
Examples of these contraceptives:
Apri, Junel Fe, Kariva, Loestrin 24 FE, Necon, Tri-Sprintec, Yasmin, Yaz, Zovia
How does it work?
-- the pill stops the ovaries from releasing eggs in most women.
-- it also thickens the cervical mucus, which keeps the sperm from traveling to the egg.
-- you should swallow a pill at the same time every day, whether or not you have sex.
-- if you miss one or more pills, or start a pill pack too late, you may need to use a back-up method of birth control.
How do I get it?
-- you need a prescription.
Chance of getting pregnant?
-- out of 100 women who use this method for one year, about 5 may get pregnant.
Some common risks?
-- headache, nausea/vomiting.
-- changes in your period/spotting or bleeding between periods.
-- breast tenderness, changes in mood, weight gain.
Does it protect me from sexually transmitted infections (STIs)?
-- no.

Oral Contraceptives (Progestin-only):
What is it?
-- a pill that has only a progestin hormone.
Examples of these contraceptives:
Errin, Camila, Ortho Micronor
How does it work?
-- the pill thickens the cervical mucus, which keeps sperm from traveling to the egg.
-- less often, it stops the ovaries from releasing eggs.
-- you should swallow a pill at the same time every day, whether or not you have sex. If you miss one or more pills, or start a pill pack too late, you may need to use a back-up method of birth control.
How do I get it?
-- you need a prescription.
Chance of getting pregnant?
-- out of 100 women who use this method for one year, about 5 may get pregnant.
Some common risks?
-- light spotting or bleeding between periods.
-- irregular periods, weight gain, breast tenderness.
-- less protection against ectopic pregnancy (pregnancy in the fallopian tubes) than the combination pill.
Does it protect me from sexually transmitted infections (STIs)?
-- no.

Oral Contraceptives (Extended/Continuous Use):
What is it?
-- a pill that uses hormones (estrogen and progestin)
-- these pills are designed so women have fewer or no regular periods.
Examples of these contraceptives:
Loseasonique, Quasense, Seasonale, Seasonique
How does it work?
-- the pill stops the ovaries from releasing eggs in most women. It also thickens the cervical mucus, which keeps the sperm from traveling to the egg.
-- you should swallow a pill at the same time every day, whether or not you have sex.
-- if you miss one or more pills, or start a pill pack too late, you may need to use a back-up method of birth control.
How do I get it?
-- you need a prescription.
Chance of getting pregnant?
-- out of 100 women who use this method for one year, about 5 may get pregnant.
Some common risks?
-- risks are similar to other oral contraceptives.
-- you may have more light bleeding and spotting between periods than with other oral contraceptives.
-- it may be harder to know if you become pregnant, since you will likely have fewer periods or no periods.
Does it protect me from sexually transmitted infections (STIs)?
-- no.

Patch:
What is it?
-- this is a skin patch you can wear on the lower abdomen, buttocks, or upper body.
-- it uses hormones (estrogen and progestin) to stop the ovaries from releasing eggs in most women.
-- it also thickens the cervical mucus, which keeps the sperm from joining with the egg.
Example of this contraceptive:
Ortho Evra patch
How does it work?
-- put on a new patch each week for three weeks (21 total days).
-- do not put on a patch during the fourth week. Your menstrual period should start during this patch-free week.
How do I get it?
-- you need a prescription.
Chance of getting pregnant?
-- out of 100 women who use this method for one year, about 5 may get pregnant.
-- the patch may be less effective for women who weigh more than 198 lbs.
Some risks?
-- it will expose you to higher than average levels of estrogen than most oral contraceptives.
-- it is not known if serious risks, such as blood clots, are greater with the skin patch because of the greater exposure to estrogen.
Does it protect me from sexually transmitted infections (STIs)?
-- no.

Vaginal Contraceptive Ring:
What is it?
-- it is a flexible ring that is about 2 inches around.
-- you put it into the vagina and it releases hormones (progestin and estrogen) to stop the ovaries from releasing eggs in most women.
-- it also thickens the cervical mucus, which keeps the sperm from traveling to the egg.
Example of this contraceptive:
NuvaRing
How does it work?
-- you put the ring into your vagina.
-- you need to keep the ring in your vagina for 3 weeks, then take it out for 1 week.
-- if the ring falls out and stays out for more than 3 hours, you need to use another kind of birth control method until the ring has been used for 7 days in a row.
How do I get it?
-- you need a prescription.
Chance of getting pregnant?
-- out of 100 women who use this method for one year, about 5 may get pregnant.
Some risks?
-- vaginal discharge, swelling of the vagina, and irritation.
-- other risks are similar to oral contraceptives (combined pill).
Does it protect me from sexually transmitted infections (STIs)?
-- no.

Shot/Injection:
What is it?
-- a shot of the hormone progestin that stops the ovaries from releasing eggs in most women.
-- it also thickens the cervical mucus, which keeps the sperm from traveling to the egg.
Examples of this contraceptive:
Depo-Provera injection, medroxyprogesterone injection
How does it work?
-- you need one shot every 3 months.
How do I get it?
-- you need a prescription.
Chance of getting pregnant?
-- out of 100 women who use this method for one year, less than 1 may get pregnant.
Some risks?
-- you may have bone loss if you get the shot for more than 2 years.
-- bleeding between periods.
-- weight gain, breast tenderness, headaches.
Does it protect me from sexually transmitted infections (STIs)?
-- no.



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2006