Reproductive Counseling

Which birth control method is right for me?

There are many birth control options available today, and the choices can seem confusing. This list can help you decide which method would best fit your lifestyle.

Hormonal Contraceptives

Hormonal contraceptives work by preventing release of an egg from your ovaries into the uterus and may also make the uterus an "unfriendly" environment for sperm. While most women know about the birth control pill, there are other hormonal birth control methods that are now available.

How effective is this method? How many options are available? How often do I need to use it? Are there interuptions with this method? How quickly can I get pregnant if I stop using it? Do I need to see a professional to start? Do I need a perscription? Does this protect against HIV and STIs?
The Patch 99% Effective There is only 1 contraceptive patch The patch is applied once a week for 3 weeks. During Week 4, no patch is used There are almost no interruptions with this method Onced stopped, it may take a few cycles before you can become pregnant You need to learn how to apply the patch correctly Yes No
Oral Contraceptive (The Pill) 99% Effective There are a variety of pills available in different doses You should take your pill everyday at approx.the same time each day There are no interruptions with this method Once stopped it may take a few cycles before you can become pregnant You may need instruction on the correct way to take your pills Yes No
Contraceptive Injections 99% Effective There are 2 options currently available in a monthly injection and an injection that is given every three months You receive an injection either monthly or every 3 months There are no interruptions with this method Ovulation may be delayed up to a year A healthcare professional administers the injection Yes No
Progestin-Releasing Intrauterine Device (IUD) 99% Effective There is 1 hormone-releasing IUD currently available The suggested length of use is 5 years or less There are no interruptions with this method Once removed, fertility can return within a year Your healthcare professional inserts and removes the IUD Yes No
Vaginal Ring 99% Effective There is only one vaginal ring. Each month, the vaginal ring is inserted into the vagina and left in place for 3 weeks. During week 4, you do not wear the ring. There are no interruptions with this method Once stopped it may take a few cycles before you can become pregnant You need to learn how to insert and remove the vaginal ring Yes No


Non hormonal Contraceptives

Non hormonal contraceptives prevent pregnancy by providing a barrier against sperm or by interfering with sperm movement, or by creating an "unfriendly" environment for sperm. These methods do not use hormones, so they do not interfere with your natural reproductive cycle.

How effictive is this method? How many options are available? How often do I need to use it? Are there interuptions with this method? How quickly can I get pregnant if I stop using it? Do I need to see a professional to start? Do I need a perscription? Does this protect against HIV and STIs?
Male Condom 97% Effective There are a variety of styles, sizes, colors, materials, and textures A new one must be used every time you have sex Must be applied when the penis is erect. May cause a slight interruption before sex Without this device, there is no protection against pregnancy No No Unless the condom slips out of place or is torn, it should provide protection against HIV and STI exposure
Female Condom 95% Effective There is 1 female condom currently available A new one must be used every time you have sex A female condom can be inserted up to 8 hours before sex Without this device, there is no protection against pregnancy No No Unless the female condom slips out of place or is torn, it should provide protection against HIV and STI exposure comparable to male condoms
Intrauterine Device (IUD) 99% Effective There is 1 copper-T-IUD currently available Once inserted in the uterus, it can be left in place for up to 10 years There are no interruptions with this method Once removed, fertility can return within about 1 month Your health care professional inserts and removes the IUD Yes No
Spermicides 99% Effective: use with a vaginal barrier to increase effectiveness There are a variety of spermicides available in foams, jellies, creams, and vaginal suppositories Must be used every time you have sex Must be inserted an hour before sex Without this device, there is no protection against pregnancy Tell your healthcare professional. You may be advised to use an additional contraceptive method No No
Diaphragm 94% Effective There are a variety of sizes available Must be used every time you have sex (fresh spermacide should be applied each time) The diaphragm can be inserted up to 8 hours before sex Without this device, there is no protection against pregnancy You need to be fitted and must learn how to use the diaphragm Yes Diaphragms do not protect against HIV (AIDS). There is a mild reduction in the risk of some STIs
Cervical Cap 84% Effective: in women who have had a child. (91% in those who have not) There are a variety of sizes available Must be used every time you have sex (spermacide must be applied when inserted) The cervical cap provides continuous protection for up to 48 hours Without this device, there is no protection against pregnancy You need to be fitted and must learn how to use the cervical cap Yes No
Surgical Sterilization 99% Effective For women, there is tubal ligation (having your tubes "tied"). For men, there is a vasectomy These procedures are permanent and irreversible There are no interruptions with this method You will no longer be able to get pregnant The surgical procedures are performed by a healthcare professional Physician recommended No