The best way to reduce the risk of unintended pregnancy is to use effective birth control correctly and consistently. Your choice of birth control depends on many factors including your age, your health, sexual activity and orientation, and a number of sexual partners, amongst others. There are many different types of contraceptive methods, and at OC Women’s Care, we can help you select the best form of birth control that is just right for you.
Intrauterine Devices (IUD):
- Copper Intrauterine Device or “ParaGard IUD:“ The Copper IUD is a small T-shaped device that is placed inside the uterus. This form of IUD does not have any hormones and can be kept in place for up to 10 years, if desired.
- Levonorgestrel Intrauterine Device or “Mirena IUD:“ The LNG IUD is a small T-shaped device containing Levonorgestrel. It is placed inside the uterus and releases a small amount of progestin on daily basis. The LNG IUD can be kept in place for up to 5 years.
- Levonorgestrel Intrauterine Device or “Skyla IUD:“ This is another type of Levonorgestrel Intrauterine Device system but the Skyla is designed to work for up to 3 years only.
- Nexplanon: The implant is a single small thin rod that is inserted under the skin of your upper arm. The rod releases a small amount of progestin on daily basis and it can be used for up to 3 years.
Other Hormonal Methods:
- Combined Oral Contraceptives or “The Pill:” Combined oral contraceptives contain both estrogen and progesterone hormones. The pill is taken orally and must be taken at the same time every day.
- Patch: The skin hormonal patch releases both estrogen and progesterone hormones, and is worn on the lower abdomen, buttocks or upper body. A new patch is put on once a week for three weeks. The patch is not worn during the fourth week so that you can have your period.
- Vaginal Ring: The vaginal hormonal contraceptive ring releases both estrogen and progesterone hormones. You place this small plastic ring inside your vagina and wear it for three weeks. During the fourth week, the ring is taken out so that you can have your menstrual cycle.
- Progestin Only Pill or “Mini-Pill:” The Mini-Pill contains progesterone only. It is taken once a day, and the same as with Combined Oral Contraceptives, it must be taken at the same time every day.
- Injection or “Depo Shot:” The Depo shot is another progesterone only method. It is given in the buttock or arm every three months.
- Emergency Contraception or “PlanB:“ Emergency contraception is NOT a regular method of birth control. Emergency contraception can be used if another form of contraception was not used during sex or if the birth control method failed (i.e. if a condom broke).
- Male Condoms
- Female Condoms
- Diaphragm or Cervical Cap
- Female Sterilization or Tubal Ligation “Tying Your Tubes:” This permanent surgical laparoscopic sterilization procedure is usually performed through very small incisions in the abdomen using a camera. This can be done in a hospital or in an outpatient surgical center, and you can go home the same day.
- TransCervical Sterilization or “Essure:” Essure is another type of permanent sterilization where a tiny coil is placed into each fallopian tube. The coils then cause scarring of the fallopian tubes resulting in permanent sterilization. This procedure is also done through the camera but the camera is placed in the vagina and then the uterus rather than the abdomen.
- Male Sterilization or “Vasectomy”