birth controlYour options for birth control are many. This can range from pills, patches, implants or IUDs to condoms, diaphragms and sponges, and more. Let’s look at the choices you have and what might be best for you.

Abstinence is the only 100% effective way to prevent pregnancy and protect against sexually transmitted infections.  If you’re sexually active, a birth control implant placed under the skin of your arm offers protection for up to three years and can be up to 99% effective in preventing pregnancy. It delivers a steady stream of hormones to keep the ovaries from releasing an egg and to keep the sperm from joining the egg.

An intrauterine device, or IUD, can be up to 99% effective when placed in your uterus to prevent fertilization and can work from three to ten years. The birth control shot that’s administered every three months to stop you from ovulating can be up to 94% effective in preventing pregnancy.

The birth control pill is most common hormonal contraceptive. It can be a combination of estrogen and progestin hormones, or a progestin-only “mini-pill.”  You can also use a monthly birth control patch that delivers hormones and eliminates the need to take a daily pill.

The birth control pill and the birth control patch can be up to 91% effective in preventing pregnancy. You can get similar effectiveness with a vaginal ring that uses hormones to stop ovulation and is changed once a month.
Barrier methods like a condom, contraceptive sponge, diaphragm, cervical cap or cervical shield physically block sperm from reaching the egg. These offer protection that does not interact with your body's reproductive system but needs to be used each time you have sex and effectiveness depends on proper use.

Permanent forms of birth control such as surgical sterilization can be up to 99% effective in preventing pregnancy. For women, a tubal ligation closes the fallopian tubes to prevent eggs from reaching the uterus. Men can undergo a vasectomy that cuts or blocks the tubes in the scrotum that deliver sperm.

You can prevent pregnancy without surgery, barriers or hormones with natural family planning. This method teaches you to track your menstrual cycle, check your cervical mucus, and take your body temperature daily to determine on which days you are most likely to be fertile and then avoid sex.

Remember that there is no best method of birth control for everyone, so talk with your doctor about all the choices. Even the most effective birth control methods can fail, but your chances of getting pregnant are lowest if you choose a method that’s effective and easy for you to use.


Northline Women's Health Center Locations:

15675 Northline Road

Southgate, MI 48195

(734) 282-3600
(734) 282-3603 - Fax

23050 West Road, Suite 210

Brownstown Twp., MI 48183

(734) 362-7000
(734) 362-7077 - Fax