Common contraception and birth control methods

Doctor consulting patient on different birth control methods

There are over a dozen different methods of birth control that are easy to use and have varying degrees of effectiveness. Some options do not need a doctor visit; for other options, you'll need to see your primary care or ob/gyn physician. We offer a quick overview below of those available from your doctor.

Keep in mind that not all forms of birth control protect against STDs. But there are lots of choices for different lifestyles. You doctor can help explain the differences, benefits, and effectiveness of each method so you can decide which contraceptive is right for you.

What birth control options do doctors prescribe?

Long-active reversible contraceptive (LARC) methods are easy because you don't have to remember to take them or use them and they are 99% effective.

  • Implant. A capsule containing the synthetic hormone etonogestrel that prevents the ovaries from releasing an egg for up to three years. Often called by brand name Nexplanon.
  • Intrauterine device (IUD). Devices placed in the uterus through the cervix by a healthcare provider.

Other contraceptive methods include the daily pill or an injection that lasts for 13 weeks. Effectiveness is still high if used correctly; however, it relies on people remembering to take a pill, change a patch, get an injection, or replace a ring.

  • Injection. A progesterone-like drug given by injection that stops ovulation. Needs to be repeated every three months.
  • Patch. A skin patch worn on the body that releases the hormones estrogen and progestin into the bloodstream.
  • Hormonal vaginal contraceptive ring. A ring that is placed inside the vagina around the cervix. The ring releases the hormones estrogen and progestin.
  • Birth control pills (oral contraceptives). Daily medicine that prevents ovulation. Usually, oral contraceptives contain the hormones estrogen and progestin.
  • Mini pill. Daily medicine that prevents ovulation that has only the hormone progestin.
  • Diaphragm or cervical cap. A dome-shaped rubber cup with a flexible rim that is inserted through the vagina to cover the cervix.

Surgical birth control options

Surgical birth control, also called sterilization, is considered permanent contraception. The permanent methods to prevent pregnancy include:

  • Hysterectomy. Removal of the uterus and usually the ovaries and fallopian tubes.
  • Tubal ligation or tubal occlusion ("tying the tubes"). Surgery to cut, cauterize, or band the fallopian tubes to prevent the egg from being transported to the uterus
  • Salpingectomies. Surgery to remove both fallopian tubes.
  • Vasectomy. Cutting or clamping the vas deferens in men.

Make an appointment today

If you would like to discuss birth control with a physician, ARC primary care physicians can help you to understand your options. Book online for an appointment with any of the following by clicking on the link provided below.

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