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Birth Control: What Works for You?
There are many birth control options available. The two major categories include:
- Non-hormonal/Barrier Type (Male condoms, female condoms, diaphragm, cervical cap, IUD and spermicides)
- Hormonal (The Pill, Ortho-Evra, Depo-Provera and NuvaRing)
Many of these methods require a physical exam and prescription so you will need to talk to your doctor about which method is right for you.
Some of the most common birth control methods include:
- Sexual Abstinence is not having sexual contact (including oral, vaginal and anal). Abstinence is 100 percent effective in preventing pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections.
- Male Condoms are used to reduce the risk of pregnancy and STDs. They should be made of latex for maximum effectiveness and should also include a spermicide. Condoms are up to 97% effective when properly used.
- The Pill is an oral contraceptive that is taken at the same time each day and is up to 99% effective when taken properly. Of every 100 women who use the Pill, eight will become pregnant during the first year with typical use.
- Ortho-Evra is a contraceptive patch that is applied once per week for three weeks and no patch is used during the fourth week. It is 99% effective with perfect use.
- Depo-Provera is a contraceptive injection given in the buttock or arm every month or every 3 months, and is 99% effective with perfect use. DMPA is one of the most effective reversible methods of birth control available. Of every 100 women who use DMPA, three will become pregnant during the first year.
- NuvaRing is a small, flexible ring that is inserted into the vagina for three weeks and taken out for the fourth week. It releases hormones to prevent pregnancy and is 99% effective with perfect use.
For birth control and contraception questions or for physical exams:
Contact your doctor, or
GVSU Campus Health Center
For a complete comparison chart of birth control methods, go to www.fwhc.org/birth-control/index.htm
Page last modified September 14, 2010