There are different types of birth control options. These include barrier methods, birth control pills, transdermal patch, vaginal rings, intrauterine devices (IUD) and implantable rods. Birth control options may vary while a mother is breastfeeding.
Barrier birth control methods include male and female condoms, spermicide-treated foam, diaphragms and cervical caps.
One of the most common barrier birth control methods is a male condom. A male condom is a thin sheath that is placed on the erect penis prior to and during sexual intercourse. The condom captures the ejaculate blocking the passage of the sperm.
A female condom is another barrier birth control method. A female condom is a thin rubber pouch that is inserted into the vagina prior to sexual intercourse. Like the male condom, the female condom blocks and captures the sperm ejaculated during sexual intercourse.
Birth control pills, the transdermal patch, vaginal birth control ring and some IUDs are labeled “combined hormonal birth control methods” because they contain (combine) two hormones — estrogen and progestin.
Combined hormonal birth control methods release estrogen and progestin into the whole body. These hormones prevent the release of the female egg, stopping ovulation. Other changes in the body that help prevent pregnancy with use of combined hormonal birth control are:
Effectiveness depends on how the person uses it. When the contraceptive is used consistently and correctly, less than 1 out of 100 women will become pregnant in the first year. When the medication is used inconsistently or incorrectly, roughly 9 out of 100 women will become pregnant in the first year of using this method of birth control. Remember, when using antibiotics, use a backup method of birth control to help prevent pregnancy.
There are benefits to choosing a combined hormonal method in addition to protecting against pregnancy:
Possible risks can include small increased risk of deep vein thrombosis (DVT), heart attack, and stroke. The risk is higher in some women, including:
Possible side effects include the following:
If your medical history includes any of these risk factors or if you have questions regarding side effects, please contact your Rosemark healthcare provider.
Birth control pills are available by prescription only. There are different types of combined hormonal pills.
21-day pills: Take one pill at the same time each day for 21 days. Wait 7 days before starting a new pack. During the week you are not taking the pill, you will have your period.
28-day pills: Take one pill at the same time each day for 28 days. Depending on the brand, the first 21 pills or the first 24 pills contain estrogen and progestin. The remaining pills may be estrogen-only pills or pills that contain a dietary supplement, such as iron, but no hormones. The remaining pills may also be inactive pills that contain no hormones or supplements). During the days you are taking the hormone-free pills, you will have your period.
90-day pills: Take one pill at the same time each day for 84 days. Depending on the brand, the last seven pills either contain no hormones or contain estrogen only. With both brands, you will have your period on the last 7 days every 3 months.
365-day pills: Take one pill at the same time each day for a year. In time, bleeding may become lighter and may even stop.
Patients may expect breakthrough bleeding for approximately 3 months while their body adjusts to a change in hormone levels. It may last longer than a few months with continuous-dose pills.
The vaginal ring is a flexible, plastic ring that is placed in the upper vagina. It releases estrogen and progestin that are absorbed through the vaginal tissues into the body.
The vaginal ring is folded and then inserted into the vagina. It stays there for 21 days. It is then removed for a 7 day waiting period before a new ring is inserted. During the week the ring is not used, the period initiates.
A healthcare provider may prescribe the vaginal ring as a continuous-dose form of birth control where a new ring is inserted every 21 days with no ring-free week in between.
Possible side effects include the following:
The contraceptive skin patch is a small (1.75 square inch) adhesive patch that is worn on the skin to prevent pregnancy. The patch releases estrogen and progestin, which are absorbed through the skin into the body.
The patch can be placed on the chest, (except the breasts), upper back or arm, or abdomen. The patch is worn for a week at a time and a new one is put on each week for a total of 3 weeks in a row. During the fourth week, a patch is not worn, as the period commences. After week 4, a new patch is applied and the cycle is repeated. The patch is applied on the same day of the week even if bleeding has not stopped. If continuous-dose form of this birth control is provided, a new patch is applied every week on the same day without skipping a week.
Possible side effects include:
IUD is a small often T-shaped device containing either copper or levonorgestrel, which is placed into the uterus. They are a form of long-acting, reversible contraception. Failure rates with the copper IUD are about 0.8%. The levonorgestrel IUD has a failure rate of 0.2% in the first year.
A copper IUDs may increase menstrual bleeding and result in more painful cramps whereas, the hormonal IUDs may stop or reduce menstruation.
Copper releasing IUD is good for up to 10 years. Levonorgestrel IUDs (depending on the type) will last from 3 or 5 years.
Copper is toxic to sperm which makes the uterus and fallopian tubes produce fluid that kills sperm. Hormonal IUDs prevent fertilization by damaging or killing sperm and making the mucus in the cervix thick and sticky so sperm cannot get through to the uterus. The lining of the uterus is kept from growing very thick whereas a poor lining discourages implantation.
Here are some risks of using an intrauterine device:
A Birth control implant is a progestin only contraceptive that contains 68 mg of etonogestrel and is about the size of a matchstick. It is a long acting reversible birth control that continually releases a low dose of progestin over a 3 year period. It is inserted under the skin of the upper arm. It is placed in the arm by a specially trained Rosemark professional. A local anesthetic will be used prior to the implant and the whole insertion only takes a few minutes.
Some possible side effects of a birth control implant include:
Though serious problems are rare, complications should be reported to a Rosemark healthcare provider right away. Complications during insertion may include:
If the implant is inserted too deeply, neural or vascular injury may occur.
Complications could occur during removal of an implant if the implant is not where it should be or if it was improperly inserted, inserted too deeply, has broken or has become dislodged.
Certain medications may make the implant less effective. If you are on antibiotics, you will need to use a back-up contraceptive method. Rosemark patients should make sure to tell their provider about any medicines they are taking or plan to use.