Birth control

There are a variety of options for preventing pregnancy: hormonal, barrier and other options. Contact your Welia Health women’s health provider to learn more.

Hormonal Options

The Pill (Oral Contraceptive)
  • 98-99% effective when taken correctly
  • Prescription needed
  • Mini pill (progesterone only) is safe with breastfeeding but the regular pill (Estrogen and Progesterone) is not
  • Mini pill is not as effective as the regular pill
The Patch (Ortho Evra)
  • 99% effective
  • Wear one patch for one week then change it.  After three weeks, you have one week with no patch (period week).
  • Contains progesterone and estrogen so it is not safe with breast feeding
Nuva Ring (Vaginal Ring)
  • 99% effective
  • Contains Progesterone and Estrogen
  • Place the ring for 3 weeks then remove for 1 week (period week)
  • Need to use a back up method if the ring comes out and is out for more than three hours.
  • Some women may experience vaginitis (inflammation)
  • Not safe if breastfeeding
Depo Shot
  • Almost 100% effective when you get it every three months
  • Progesterone only so it is safe for breastfeeding
  • Short-term choice (recommended for no longer than 2 years)
  • Can cause a loss of bone density over time
Morning After Pill (Emergency Contraceptive)
  • 80% effective
  • Must be taken within 72 hours of unprotected sex to keep the egg from implanting in the uterus
  • A second pill is taken 12 hours after the first
  • Not a regular form of birth control

Barrier Options

Male Condom
  • 89% effective, if used correctly
  • Increased effectiveness if used with other forms of birth control, i.e. spermicides
  • No prescription needed
  • Protects against Sexually Transmitted Infections
Female Condom
  • 88% effective, if used correctly
  • Increased effectiveness if used with another form of birth control (spermicides)
  • Inserted up to 8 hours before use
  • No prescription needed
  • The outer ring sits outside of the vagina on the labia/lips
Spermicides
  • 50-80% effective when used alone
  • 94% effective when used with a vaginal barrier
  • Inserted no more than 1 hour before sex
  • No prescription needed
  • Comes in foam, cream, jelly, film and suppository forms
Diaphragm
  • 83% effective, when used with spermicide
  • Reusable
  • Can be inserted 6-8 hours before use
  • Prescription needed and need to have it “fit” in the clinic
  • Leave in place for 6 hours after sex
Cervical Cap
  • 83% effective in women who have had a child (91% who have not)
  • Continuous protection for 48 hours
  • Prescription needed and you would need to be fitted in the clinic
  • Similar to a diaphragm but smaller

Other Options

Copper Intra Uterine Device
  • Almost 100% effective
  • Placed in the clinic by your provider
  • No hormones
  • Lasts up to 10 years
  • Easy to reverse
  • May or may not have periods
Mirena Intra Uterine Device
  • Almost 100% effective
  • Placed in the clinic by your provider
  • Contains Progesterone, which is safe to use with breastfeeding
  • Lasts up to five (5) years
  • Easy to reverse
  • May or may not have periods
Implanon
  • 99% effective
  • Placed in the clinic by your health care provider
  • Implanon is inserted in the fatty tissue of your arm, just under the skin (local anesthetic used)
  • Lasts for up to three (3) years
  • Contains Progesterone

Surgical Sterilization

Tubal Ligation
  • Almost 100% effective
Vasectomy
  • Almost 100% effective
  • Less expensive and less risky than tubal ligation
  • Both are considered permanent and reversing the procedure will likely be unsuccessful
Abstinence
  • 100% effective

Doctors recommend abstinence for at least 6 weeks after a birth so that you give your uterus time to heal.

Ovulation Monitoring/Family Planning
  • 80% effective if trained in monitoring
  • Periodic abstinence during times of ovulation (5-6 days at a time)