5 Effective Birth Control Options

May 7th 2016

The variety of birth control options gives you more control over your fertility than ever before. Research these options and talk to your doctor about what type is right for you.

Male Condoms

Condoms sometimes get a bad reputation because they are less effective than most hormonal methods of contraception. However, condoms are about 82 percent effective with typical use. More importantly, condoms are the only method of birth control that can protect you from sexually transmitted infections.

Intrauterine Devices

IUDs are the most effective method of long-term birth control. They prevent over 99 percent of pregnancies. These small T-shaped devices are implanted directly into the uterus and last for at least five years but can be removed at any time. One variety releases progestin and prevents ovulation, while the other is nonhormonal and uses copper to prevent sperm from reaching the egg.

The Pill

The pill is the most popular type of birth control. It comes in different forms, which contain various amounts of estrogen and progestin. This means there is a pill available that works for most women. It is 91 percent effective with typical use. The biggest drawback for many women is it has to be taken at the same time every day, and even one missed pill can increase your chances of pregnancy.

The Implant

The implant is a small plastic rod inserted just under the skin of your arm that releases progestin. It prevents 99 percent of pregnancies and lasts for three years, although it can be removed earlier. It can create small scars when inserted and removed.

The Ring

The ring is a small, flexible plastic circle you insert directly into your vagina and leave in for three weeks at a time. You take it out for the week you have a period. Most women never notice it is there after insertion, and it is about 92 percent effective.


Family planning is an important tool for any sexually active person, and there are a variety of birth control options available to help you avoid an unintended pregnancy. The efficacy and suitability of these methods vary depending on your health, preferences and lifestyle. Talk to your doctor to help determine which method is right for you.

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