Which Birth Control Is The Most Effective – There are many ways to prevent pregnancy, and it’s important to know what your options are. For example, Mirena prevents pregnancy for up to 8 years. Mirena also treats heavy periods for up to 5 years in women who choose intrauterine contraception. The chart below provides a quick overview of the different birth control options, including how each method is used and the chances of getting pregnant. Talk to your healthcare provider to learn more.
There are two types of IUDs or intrauterine devices – hormonal and non-hormonal. Both are small T-shaped devices that work in the uterus to prevent pregnancy and can be inserted by your healthcare provider during a routine office visit.
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You may experience pain, bleeding or dizziness during and after the placement. If the symptoms do not go away within 30 minutes after insertion, the IUD may not have been inserted correctly. Your healthcare provider will examine you to see if the IUD needs to be removed or replaced.
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The spiral can be used by women who have given birth and who have not given birth. Once installed, the IUD provides continuous and highly effective birth control. And if your plans change, IUDs are reversible. Your healthcare provider can remove your IUD at any time and you can try to get pregnant right away. For women using Mirena®, about 8 out of 10 who want to get pregnant will get pregnant sometime within the first year after Mirena removal.
The IUD is considered one of the most effective reversible forms of birth control by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG).
(levonorgestrel-releasing intrauterine system) is a hormone-releasing IUD that prevents pregnancy for up to 8 years. Mirena also treats heavy periods for up to 5 years in women who choose intrauterine contraception.
Only you and your HCP can decide if Mirena is right for you. Mirena is only available with a prescription. Deciding which type of birth control to use is an important decision. It’s important to be aware of the different options available, including hormonal and non-hormonal types, so you can make an informed choice about what’s best for your body.
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A barrier method of contraception involves the use of a physical block that prevents sperm from reaching and fertilizing an egg. The most commonly used type is the male condom, but women can use caps, diaphragms or female condoms instead.
Sometimes called “external condoms,” male condoms are worn over the erect penis. They are up to 98% effective in preventing pregnancy and also protect against most STIs.
Often called “internal condoms” they are inserted inside the vagina, lightly lining it. They are up to 95% effective in preventing pregnancy and can also protect against some sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
They fit inside the vagina and cover the entrance to the uterus (cervix). They can be up to 92-96% effective at preventing pregnancy, but they won’t protect you from STIs.
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Hormonal contraception can only be used by women. The most popular forms are the combined birth control pill (such as Rigevidon and Microjnon), the low-dose combination pill (such as Gedarel 20), and the mini-pill (such as Cerazet). More information is available in our guide to the contraceptive pill.
The combined pill contains two hormones – estrogen and progestogen. It works by stopping your ovaries from releasing an egg, thickening the mucus in the cervix (making it harder for sperm to pass), and thinning the lining of the uterus (making it harder for a fertilized egg to implant).
The mini-pill contains only progestogen – that’s why it’s also known as the progestogen-only pill (POP). All mini-pills thicken the mucus in the cervix and thin the lining of the uterus, just like the combined pill. Mini-pills containing desogestrel will also prevent your ovaries from releasing an egg.
Both the patch and the ring work in a similar way. And like combined pills, they contain estrogen and progestin. This means that they are classified as combined contraceptives.
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The patch is a small sticky pad that attaches to the skin and releases estrogen and progesterone into the bloodstream. With perfect use, it is up to 99% effective in preventing pregnancy.
A vaginal ring is a flexible plastic ring that is inserted into the vagina and stays there for three weeks. Like other combined contraceptives, with perfect use, NuvaRing is up to 99% effective.
The implant is a small flexible rod, approximately 4 cm long. It is inserted under the skin of the arm and releases a form of progesterone into the bloodstream, blocking pregnancy for up to three years. The implant is over 99% effective in preventing pregnancy.
There are three types of contraceptive injections – Depo-Provera and Sayana Press are given every 12 weeks, while Noristerat is given every eight weeks, although it is almost never used in the UK. With perfect use, the injection is 99% effective.
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A small T-shaped device that is inserted into the uterus by a trained doctor. It releases a form of progesterone, which thickens the cervical mucus and thins the lining of the uterus, preventing pregnancy.
Non-hormone-releasing copper is used to prevent sperm and egg survival in the uterus and fallopian tubes.
A procedure to block the fallopian tubes in women or a vasectomy to block the tubes that carry sperm from the testicles in men.
They identify the fertile period of the month. These range from calendar and observational methods to urinary hormone testing and technology-based approaches. The idea is that over time you will learn which days of your cycle you should use condoms (or not have sex) to avoid getting pregnant.
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For more specific advice on what is best for your needs, you should visit your GP or local family planning clinic. Or if you can go through our online contraception consultation. During this time we will ask you a number of questions and, if appropriate, suggest a range of contraceptives that may be suitable for you.
If you want to change your tablet, you can also message us through the Patient Record to ask for advice and support to make this change safely. Birth control is used to prevent pregnancy and treat certain medical conditions. There are many methods of birth control, including long-acting reversible contraceptives, short-acting hormonal methods, barrier methods, and lifestyle methods.
Remember! Birth control methods other than condoms do not protect against sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) such as HIV/AIDS. To protect yourself from sexually transmitted diseases, make sure to use a condom when you have sex, in addition to other methods of contraception.
For a quick look at how different birth control methods compare, check out the chart below.
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Long-acting reversible contraceptives are the most effective types of reversible contraceptives. The implant and hormonal and non-hormonal intrauterine devices (IUDs) are long-acting reversible contraceptives. They should not be used with any other type of birth control to effectively prevent pregnancy.
Short-acting hormonal methods are the next most effective type of birth control. They use hormones to prevent pregnancy and must be used on schedule to be effective. These include birth control pills, hormonal rings, contraceptive shots, and the birth control patch.
Barrier methods create a physical barrier that prevents sperm from entering the uterus, sometimes used in conjunction with a spermicide to make it more effective. They must be used every time you have sex to be effective. These include condoms, internal condoms, diaphragms and contraceptive sponges.
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Every day we have to make choices of all kinds. These decisions range from simple things like what to eat for breakfast or which route to run, to more serious things like the best birth control to use. In fact, it can be downright overwhelming to sort through all the information and advice available when it comes to birth control.
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That’s where this guide comes in handy. It will put you on the right path to making a healthy decision about the best birth control method for you.
There are several types of birth control, which means that many of them work differently. For the most part, there are four different types of birth control methods:
These are big, important questions, but don’t worry! A healthcare professional can give you the information you need to respond if you feel anxious or nervous. It’s a great idea to make an appointment with your doctor to address these issues. They can then help you address any concerns you may have.
“There are birth control options that you can buy without insurance at the pharmacy,” says Dr. Felice Gersh. Gersh is the author of PCOS SOS: The Gynecologist
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