The following methods are those offered through our Women's Health Clinic.
The Pill | The Shot | Implant | IUDs | The Patch | The Ring | Condoms | Diaphragm | Natural Family Planning | Abstinence
Methods of birth control that change a woman's hormonal cycle to prevent ovulation (release of an egg from the ovary).
Oral Contraceptives (The Pill)
Pills containing hormones (estrogen and progesterone) are taken daily to prevent the release of eggs from the ovaries.
Depo Provera (The Shot)
Injections or shots of the hormone progesterone are given every 3 months. The hormone prevents the ovaries from releasing an egg and also thins the uterine lining.
A matchstick-sized rod that is inserted into the arm to prevent pregnancy. It must be inserted by a health care provider.
Intrauterine Device (IUDs)
An IUD is a small device shaped like a "T" which is placed in the uterus by a health care provider. IUDs either contain copper or progesterone and are described below.
The ParaGard IUD contains copper which stops fertilization by preventing sperm from making their way through the uterus into the fallopian tubes. If fertilization does occur, the IUD is designed to prevent the fertilized egg from implanting in the lining of the uterus.
The Mirena IUD is a plastic IUD releasing a small amount of hormone called progesterone. The hormone causes the cervical mucus to thicken so that sperm cannot reach the egg.
Ortho Evra (The Patch)
Ortho Evra is a thin adhesive patch worn on the lower abdomen, buttocks or upper body. Each patch is worn for 1 week. After 3 weeks of wearing patches you take one week off, at which time you will get your period. The patch releases the hormones progesterone and estrogen into the bloodstream, which stops your ovaries from releasing an egg. The patch also thickens the cervical mucus making it harder for the sperm to get to the egg.
Nuva Ring (The Ring)
Nuva Ring is a thin flexible ring that is inserted into the vagina. You wear the ring for 3 weeks, then you take a week off, which allows for your period. The ring releases the hormones progesterone and estrogen into the bloodstream, which stops your ovaries from releasing an egg. The patch also thickens the cervical mucus making it harder for the sperm to get to the egg.
Methods of birth control that block sperm from reaching the egg.
A condom is a sheath covering the penis made of latex polyurethane which collects the sperm and keeps it from reaching the egg.
The diaphragm is a shallow latex cup placed inside the vagina to cover the cervix. The diaphragm blocks the sperm from entering the cervix and reaching the egg. Diaphragms come in different sizes and must be "fitted" to your body by a doctor or nurse.
Natural methods of birth control do not rely on physical devices (barrier methods) or changing a woman's hormonal cycle (hormonal methods).
Natural Family Planning
Natural Family Planning involves tracking a woman's menstrual cycle to determine her fertility. This information is then used to "plan" intercourse to avoid or achieve a pregnancy.
Abstinence is defined as not having sexual activity (vaginal, anal or oral) at any time. It is the only method that is 100% effective in preventing pregnancy and protecting against HIV and other STDs (sexually transmitted diseases).
Helps prevent pregnancy when taken within 120 hours after sex without birth control (unprotected intercourse) or failed birth control | Emergency Contraception
For more information on birth control methods | Birds and Bees Project
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