Birth Control

Topics: Birth control, Condom, Sexual intercourse Pages: 13 (4897 words) Published: October 23, 2014
F r e q u e n t ly A s k e d Q u e s t i o n s

Birth Control

Q: What is the best method of
birth control (or contraception)?
A: There is no “best” method of birth
control. Each method has its pros and

TDD: 1-888-220-5446

All women and men can have control
over when, and if, they become parents.
Making choices about birth control,
or contraception, isn’t easy. There are
many things to think about. To get
started, learn about birth control methods you or your partner can use to prevent pregnancy. You can also talk with your doctor about the choices.
Before choosing a birth control method, think about:

Q: What are the different types of
birth control?
A: You can choose from many methods of
birth control. They are grouped by how
they work:

Types of Birth Control
Continuous Abstinence
Natural Family Planning/
Rhythm Method
Barrier Methods
Contraceptive Sponge
Diaphragm, Cervical Cap, and
Cervical Shield
Female Condom
Male Condom

Hormonal Methods
Oral Contraceptives — Combined
pill (“The pill”)
Oral Contraceptives — Progestin-
only pill (“Mini-pill”)

Your overall health

How often you have sex

The number of sex partners you

Vaginal Ring

If you want to have children someday

Implantable Rods

How well each method works to
prevent pregnancy

Possible side effects

Your comfort level with using the
Keep in mind, even the most effective
birth control methods can fail. But your
chances of getting pregnant are lowest
if the method you choose always is used
correctly and every time you have sex.

The Patch

Implantable Devices
Intrauterine Devices

Permanent Birth Control
Sterilization Implant
Surgical Sterilization

Emergency Contraception

page 1

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office on Women’s Health

F r e q u e n t ly A s k e d Q u e s t i o n s

Continuous Abstinence
This means not having sex (vaginal, anal, or oral) at any time. It is the only sure way to prevent pregnancy and protect against sexually transmitted infections (STIs), including HIV.

Natural Family Planning/Rhythm Method
This method is when you do not have sex or use a barrier method on the days you are most fertile (most likely to become pregnant). You can read about barrier methods in the following chart.

TDD: 1-888-220-5446

A woman who has a regular menstrual cycle has about 9 or more days each month when she is able to get pregnant. These fertile days are about 5 days before and 3 days after ovulation, as well as the day of ovulation.

To have success with this method, you need to learn about your menstrual cycle. Then you can learn to predict which days you are fertile or “unsafe.” To learn about your cycle, keep a written record of:

When you get your period
What it is like (heavy or light blood flow)
How you feel (sore breasts, cramps)
This method also involves checking your cervical mucus and recording your body temperature each day. Cervical mucus is the discharge from your vagina. You are most fertile when it is clear and slippery like raw egg whites. Use a basal thermometer to take your temperature and record it in a chart. Your temperature will rise 0.4 to 0.8° F on the first day of ovulation. You can talk with your doctor or a natural family planning instructor to learn how to record and understand this information.

Barrier Methods — Put up a block, or barrier, to keep sperm from reaching the egg
Contraceptive Sponge
This barrier method is a soft, disk-shaped device with a loop for taking it out. It is made out of polyurethane (pah-lee-YUR-uh-thayn) foam and contains the spermicide (SPURmuh-syd) nonoxynol-9. Spermicide kills sperm. Before...
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