Choices Available in Birth Control

There are many ways today to prevent getting pregnant. Some are simpler than others and less costly. Most methods will require a doctor’s visit or even surgical intervention. Here are some of the birth control options available today.


This method is guaranteed to prevent an unwanted pregnancy or getting an STD. No doctor’s visit required.


The male partner wears condoms to prevent getting the female pregnant. Condoms can be purchased at any drugstore and most supermarkets. They come in various styles. A condom, when worn correctly, will also help prevent the transfer of STDs, and it is the only method of STD prevention during sex.

Birth Control Pills

Doctors often recommend going on “the pill.” This series of pills are taken daily and they aim to prevent conception from occurring. It is considered to be about 99% effective. It will not protect against STDs, and there may be some side effects. A doctor must give a prescription for it and it is best for women under 35.

The Female Diaphragm

This is the female version of the condom. It is shaped like a cup and can be used multiple times. A spermicide is required to be used with it each time. The diaphragm prevents sperm from reaching the egg, which makes conception impossible. It is about 95% effective.

The Patch

A patch is a square of about two inches that a woman places on her body. The medication is mixed in with the adhesive and it slowly releases it as she wears it. A new patch is put on each week. It is about 89% effective in preventing pregnancies.

The Shot

This is one of the simplest methods of preventing pregnancies. The shot only needs to be obtained once every three months and there is nothing else that is needed. The shot works by preventing eggs from being released and it also thickens the mucus, making it harder for sperm to reach the eggs. It is about 97% effective.

An Implant

There are several types of implants available for women. They offer about the same amount of protection against pregnancy. An IUD, or intra-uterine device, is a T-shaped object about the size of a quarter. Some contain hormones, and others are made of copper. The device works by preventing sperm from reaching the egg. They can last for a long time. The effectiveness is about 99% when used correctly.

The Vaginal Ring

The vaginal ring is inserted into the vagina and delivers two types of hormones – progestin and estrogen. The ring is worn for a period of three weeks and then removed during the fourth week, allowing the woman to have a regular period. Not every woman can use it. It is about 95% effective.

These are just a few birth control methods. There are several more, including some permanent solutions. Consult with your doctor for a method that will work with you. Be sure to ask about any possible side effects before you choose one method over another one.


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