Most Effective Methods of Birth Control
- Birth Control Pills or The Pill – There are different types of oral contraceptives including combination pills, progestin-only pills, and extended-cycle pills. In order for birth control pills to be effective, you must take one pill per day. The hormones in the pills prevent your body from releasing an egg, they can also make your menstrual cycles lighter and more regular.
- Birth Control Shot or Depo-Provera – A single progestin shot can prevent pregnancy for up to 3 months.
- Patch – A small square adhesive patch you can wear up to one week. You simply stick the patch anywhere on your skin, except the breasts, and it releases hormones into your body which prevent ovulation. Adhere a new patch every week, skip a week to allow your period, then back to the patch.
- IUD or Intrauterine Device – A small T-shaped apparatus that is placed into your uterus by a Doctor that releases small amounts of progestin hormone. It is a safe, highly-effective and it can last as long as you want – up to 5 years.
- Implant – A tiny rod that is inserted under the skin of your arm by a Doctor that releases hormones into your body which prevents pregnancy. Implanon and Nexplanon are the most common types of birth control implants.
- LAM or Breastfeeding – Yes, that’s right. Simply breastfeeding your baby can prevent pregnancy for up to 6 months, but you must be breastfeeding exclusively. No formula. No baby foods. When you breastfeed your body naturally produces hormones that prevent ovulation.
- Tubal Ligation or “Tubes Tied” – A simple surgical female sterilization procedure that separates or seals your fallopian tubes which prevent the egg from coming in contact with sperm. Even though the procedure can be reversed, it involves major surgery and it’s not always successful.
- Vaginal Ring – A small ring you insert into your vagina once a month that releases hormones that prevent you from becoming pregnant for 30 days at a time.
- Vasectomy – A simple, but permanent male sterilization procedure that closes or blocks the tube that carries sperm from the testicles. It is a man’s most effective form of birth control.
Least Effective Methods of Birth Control
The least effective means of birth control would be called barriers such as condoms, diaphragms and contraceptive sponge and fertility awareness methods. The least effective methods are spermicides and withdrawal by the male before ejaculation. Not a good idea….
The most effective means would be sterilization, while highly effective, is not usually reversible and should only be performed when you are sure you do not want to ever have children. This is a discussion to have with your gynecologist.
*Today, modern contraception is highly effective. Among American women at risk for unintended pregnancy, the 65% who use a contraceptive method consistently and correctly account for only 5% of unintended pregnancies. The 19% who use a method inconsistently account for 43%, and the 16% who do not use a method at all account for 52%.
Among American women who use contraceptives, the largest propositions use the pill (28%), tubal sterilization (27%) and the condom (16%).
A Note About Condoms
The birth control methods listed above do not protect you against sexually transmitted diseases. That’s why it is recommended to use a condom along with these birth control methods. A condom can not only prevent you from getting an STD but can also be an effective birth control method when used properly.
Other less effective birth control methods include
- Cervical Cap
- Female Condoms
- Fertility-Awareness Based Method
- The Morning After Pill
- Withdrawal Method
Almost all of the most effective methods of contraception require a prescription and/or the skilled hand of an experienced gynecologist. Schedule your appointment today with a Top10MD physician.
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