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Birth Control Options

Choosing the right birth control can be a difficult decision. Many factors come into consideration. We've put together a chart below to help make the decision process a little easier.
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Hormonal Contraceptives
Drug Effectiveness Availability Protection from STDs Return of fertility after stopping use
Oral contraceptives
(estrogen & progestin cominantion pill)
95%-99% prescription none varies according to manufacturer
Mini-pill
(progestin only pill)
95%-99% prescription none varies according to manufacturer
Depo-Provera
(injections given in arm or buttocks every 3 months)
99.7% prescription none may take up to 18 months
Ortho Evra
(skin patch worn on the lower abdomen, buttocks, or upper body - put on a new patch once a week for three weeks, then do not wear a patch during the fourth week )
99% prescription none may be some delay in fertility

Mirena IUD
(small device shaped in a T placed inside the uterus - releases small amounts of the hormone levonorgestrel)

99% prescription none users have same rate of fertility after removal as women using no contraception
Non-hormonal Contraceptives
Drug Effectiveness Availability Protection from STDs Return of fertility after stopping use
Copper IUD
(small device shaped in a T placed inside the uterus)
99% prescription none immediate
Male Condom
(barrier method)
86%-98% over the counter yes immediate
Female Condom
(barrier method)
79%-95% over the counter may provide some protection immediate
Diaphragm
(barrier method)
80% - 94% prescription none immediate

Cervical Cap
(barrier method)

80%-90% (for women who have not had children)

60%-80% (for women who have had children)
prescription none immediate
Spermicide 74% - 94% over the counter none immediate
Fertility Awareness
(Natural Family Planning)
75%-99% n/a none immediate
Withdrawal 81% n/a none immediate
Male sterilization
(vasectomy)
99.5% - 99.9% surgical none permanent sterilization
Female sterilization 99.5% surgical none permanent sterilization

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