Birth control

With so many birth control options on the market today, having accurate, up-to-date information is the first step in deciding which is the best choice for you and your circumstances. A brief description of popular birth control options is listed below. Additional information about the number of pregnancies per 100 women, use, and risks and side effects can be found on the FDA website (PDF).

Remember, not all options provide protection against sexually transmitted diseases, and we advise you to speak with your healthcare provider about that.

Birth control options


In its simplest form, abstinence is the decision not to have sexual intercourse. However, it does mean different things to different people. Some people might view abstinence as refraining from all sexual activity. Others might engage in outercourse, avoiding penetration. Used as a form of birth control, when abstinence is followed 100% of the time, it is 100% effective

Natural family planning/cycle planning

Sometimes referred to as fertility awareness, natural family planning (NFP) is a contraception method where the woman carefully predicts and records her fertile and infertile days as cues about when to avoid sex.

Non-hormonal birth control/barrier options

  • Condoms
  • Female condoms
  • Spermicide
    • Contraceptive substance placed vaginally or applied to the condom that immobilizes or kills sperm before they enter the uterus
  • Diaphragm and cervical caps
    • Cup-like devices that fit over the cervix to block sperm from entering the uterus

Hormonal birth control

Short-acting reversible contraception

  • The Pill (oral contraceptive)
  • Nuva Ring (vaginal ring)
  • Ortho Evra (the patch)

Long-acting reversible contraception (LARC)

  • Mirena Intrauterine Device (IUD)
  • Depo shot
  • Kylcern IUD
  • Nexplanon implant
  • Paraguard (copper) IUD

Permanent, irreversible contraception

  • Tubal ligation
    • An outpatient surgical procedure in which the fallopian tubes are either tied, banded, sealed off, or removed altogether, preventing an egg from traveling into the uterus.
  • Vasectomy
    • An outpatient procedure performed on the male where the vas deferens, the tubes that carry sperm, are cut and the ends cauterized or blocked with surgical clips

Birth control and breastfeeding

There are several options that are safe to use if you choose to breastfeed your baby.

  • Mini pill (progesterone)
  • Depo shot
  • Condoms, both male and female
  • Spermicides
  • Diaphragm and cervical caps
  • All IUDs
  •  Nexplanon
  • Abstinence
  • Ovulation monitoring/family planning

It is recommended that abstinence is practiced for at least six weeks after birth to give your uterus time to heal.

If you have questions about birth control, please talk with your Welia Health provider.