There are many options for women who wish to prevent pregnancy, including non-medical solutions (abstinence, fertility awareness, breastfeeding), physical barriers (condoms, cervical caps), pharmaceutical drugs (birth control pills, shots, implants) and surgery. Your practitioner will provide you with information on all of the current contraceptive options available in the United States, including their efficacy, contraindications, risks and benefits.
Injectable Birth Control
Injectable birth control is a hormonal contraceptive that is injected into the arm once every three months. The most well-known contraceptive injectable is Depo-Provera. A similar lower-dose injectable is Depo-SubQ Provera 104. Like hormonal birth control pills, these injectables work by suppressing ovulation, but some women find them more convenient since they don’t have to remember to take a pill every day. Contraceptive injections like Depo-Provera and Depo-SubQ Provera 104 don’t protect against sexually-transmitted diseases.
Birth Control Pills
Birth control pills have been used by women to prevent unwanted pregnancies for over 50 years, and they have come a long way in the past several decades. “The pill” works by suppressing ovulation, so that an egg is not released from the ovary during your menstrual cycle. Regular oral contraceptive pills contain a combination of the hormones estrogen and progestin, but there are many different types, and women react individually to them, so it may take a few tries to find the pill that best suits you with the fewest unwanted side effects.
Birth control pills can also be prescribed to treat certain medical conditions including painful periods, acne, endometriosis and PCOS.
In order for the pill to be effective as a method of birth control, it must be taken every day around the same time. Oral contraceptives are 99.9% effective when taken properly. “Mini pills,” which are oral contraceptives that contain only progestin and are usually prescribed to breastfeeding women and women who do not tolerate the estrogen in regular pills, are effective about 95% of the time when taken correctly.
Oral contraceptives do not protect against sexually-transmitted diseases.