Effective birth control can help you take charge of your family planning. The caring team of OB/GYN experts at MemorialCare provide a full range of birth control options.
The best kind of birth control is the type that works best for you: It should effectively prevent unwanted pregnancies while matching your needs and lifestyle. Depending on how your life changes over time, you may also wish to change your method of birth control.
Some factors to consider when deciding which type of birth control to use are:
- Your overall health
- Frequency of sexual activity
- Number of sexual partners
- Desire to eventually have children
- Family medical history
What kinds of birth control are available?
There are several different categories of birth control, and they all have varying efficacy rates and advantages, such as protection against sexually transmitted disease (STDs). There are four main categories of birth control:
Behavioral birth control
Behavioral birth control relies on you and/or your partner taking certain actions to prevent pregnancy. Behavioral methods include:
- Withdrawal: 78% effective; no STD protection
- Fertility awareness methods: also known as the rhythm method or natural family planning; 76% effective; no STD protection
- Abstinence: 100% effective against pregnancy and STDs
Barrier birth control
A barrier type of birth control is placed into or on your body to block sperm from reaching the eggs. Barrier methods include:
- Male condom: 85% effective; protects against STDs
- Female condom: 79% effective; protects against STDs
- Diaphragm: 88% effective when used with spermicide; no STD protection
- Cervical cap: 71-86% effective; no STD protection
- Vaginal ring: 91% effective; no STD protection
- Birth control sponge: 76-88% effective; no STD protection
Hormonal birth control
Hormonal methods of birth control change a woman’s chemistry so that she is less likely to become pregnant, but they do not protect against STDs. Hormonal birth control methods include:
- Birth control shot: 94% effective
- Birth control implant: 99% effective
- Birth control patch: 91% effective
- Birth control pill: 91% effective
Medical birth control
Medical birth control methods create physical changes to your body and must be administered by a physician; they offer no STD protection. Medical methods include:
- Vasectomy (males): 99% effective; permanent
- Tubal ligation (females): 99% effective; permanent
- Intrauterine device (IUD): 99% effective.
The OB/GYNs at MemorialCare can place the following plastic or copper, estrogen-free, hormone-releasing and non-hormonal IUDs:
- Mirena: releases 52 mg levonorgestrel into the uterus; lasts up to five years; plastic
- Kyleena: releases 19.5 mg levonorgestrel; lasts up to five years; plastic
- Skyla: releases 13.5 mg levonorgestrel; lasts up to three years; plastic
- ParaGard: hormone-free; lasts up to 10 years; copper
While most IUDs are appropriate for all women, Mirena is only recommended for women who have already given birth.