birth control 101

Birth control is how you prevent pregnancy before it begins. There are different types of birth control (sometimes called contraceptives or contraception), and some are more effective than others.

Know the facts. Talk with your healthcare provider about which birth control method makes sense for you. Your provider will look at your health history, age, how soon you may want to start a family and other important factors when helping you determine what birth control will work best.

Check out the information below to learn more about the different birth control options and their effectiveness or view our full infographic.

 

hormonal implant

Implant Icon

Other names? Nexplanon
Who uses it? Females of childbearing age
How often do you use it? It’s inserted in your doctor’s office in one appointment
How long does it last? Reversible, lasts 3 years
How well does it work? Less than 1% chance of getting pregnant


hormonal iud

Other names? Mirena, Skyla, Liletta and Kyleena
Who uses it? Females of childbearing age
How often do you use it? It’s inserted in your doctor’s office in one appointment
How long does it last? Reversible, lasts 3-5 years
How well does it work? Less than 1% chance of getting pregnant

 

non-hormonal iud

Other name? Paragard
How often do you use it? It’s inserted in your doctor’s office in one appointment
How long does it work? Reversible, lasts 10 years
How well does it work? Less than 1% chance of getting pregnant


sterilization

Other names? Tubal Occlusion (Females), Vasectomy (Males)
Who uses it? Females and males
How often do you use it? It’s done in your doctor’s office in one appointment
How long does it work? Permanent
How well does it work? Less than 1% chance of getting pregnant

combined hormonal birth control – injectable

Other names? The Shot or Depo-Provera
Who uses it? Females of childbearing age
How often do you use it? You get it at your doctor’s office on time every 3 months
How long does it work? As long as you are getting it correctly
How well does it work? 1% chance of getting pregnant with perfect use. 6% chance of getting pregnant with typical use.


combined hormonal birth control – ring

Other names? The Ring or NuvaRing
Who uses it? Females of childbearing age
How often do you use it? You replace it on time every four weeks
How long does it work? As long as you are using it correctly
How well does it work? 1% chance of getting pregnant with perfect use. 9% chance of getting pregnant with typical use.


combined hormonal birth control – patch

Other names? The Patch
Who uses it? Females of childbearing age
How often do you use it? You replace it on time every week
How long does it work? As long as you are using it correctly
How well does it work? 1% chance of getting pregnant with perfect use. 9% chance of getting pregnant with typical use.


hormonal birth control – pill progestin

Other names? The Mini Pill or Camila, Errin, Jolivette and Micronor
Who uses it? Females of childbearing age
How often do you use it? You take it every day at the same time
How long does it work? As long as you are using it correctly
How well does it work? 1% chance of getting pregnant with perfect use. 9% chance of getting pregnant with typical use.

diaphragm

Other names? Caya (SILCS) or Milex
Who uses it? Females of childbearing age
How often do you use it? Every time you have sex
How long does it work? As long as you are using it correctly
How well does it work? 6% chance of getting pregnant with perfect use. 12% chance of getting pregnant with typical use.

 

condom

Other names? Spermicide, Spermicide Free, Latex, or Non-Latex
Who uses it? Males
How often do you use it? Every time you have sex
How long does it work? As long as you are using it correctly
How well does it work? 2% chance of getting pregnant with perfect use. 18% chance of getting pregnant with typical use.


internal condom

Other names? Female Condom
Who uses it? Females
How often do you use it? Every time you have sex
How long does it work? As long as you are using it correctly
How well does it work? 5% chance of getting pregnant with perfect use. 21% chance of getting pregnant with typical use.

 


sponge

Other names? No
Who uses it? Females
How often do you use it? Every time you have sex.
How long does it work? As long as you are using it correctly
How well does it work? 9%-20% chance of getting pregnant with perfect use. 12%-24% chance of getting pregnant with typical use.


natural family planning

Other names? Fertility Awareness, Standard Days, Two Day, Cervical Mucus, Body Temp, Symptothermal, Lactational and Withdrawal
Who uses it? Females / Males
How often do you use it? Every day
How long does it work? As long as you are using it correctly
How well does it work? 5% chance of getting pregnant with perfect use. 12%-26% chance of getting pregnant with typical use.


spermicide

Other names? No
Who uses it? Females
How often do you use it? Every time you have sex, typically with another method.
How long does it work? As long as you are using it correctly
How well does it work? 18% chance of getting pregnant with perfect use. 28% chance of getting pregnant with typical use.

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