Birth Control Options

EVERY TIME
Method
How well does it work?
Advantages
How to Use
Possible Problems
Male Latex Condom

85-98%
• Easy to buy in drugstores, markets
• Can be put on as part of sex play
• Can help relieve early ejaculation
• Protects against many infections, including HIV
• Can be used while breastfeeding

• Use a new condom every time you have sex

• Latex allergy
• Loss of feeling
• Can break or slip off
Diaphragm

84-94%
• Can last several years
• Costs very little to use
• May protect against some infections (NOT HIV)
• Can be used while breastfeeding
• Must be used every time you have sex
• Must be used with spermicide
• Must be fitted by a health care provider
• Using spermicide nonoxynol-9 may raise the risk of getting HIV
• Should not be used during vaginal bleeding or infection
• Higher risk of bladder infection
• Can be left in for no more than 24 hours
EVERY DAY
Method
How well does it work?
Advantages
How to Use
Possible Problems
The Pill

92-99%
• Can make periods more regular and less painful
• Can improve acne
• Lowers risk of ovarian cancer
• Ability to become pregnant returns quickly after stopping the pills
• Must be taken daily

• May cause nausea, weight gain, headaches – but these can be relieved by changing to a new pill
• May cause spotting the first 1-2 months
EVERY WEEK
Method
How well does it work?
Advantages
How to Use
Possible Problems
The Patch
Ortho Evra

92-99%
• Can make periods more regular and less painful
• No pill to take daily
• Ability to become pregnant returns quickly when use is stopped
• Put on a new patch once a week for three weeks. No patch in week 4.

• Can irritate skin underneath the patch
• May cause spotting the first 1-2 months of use
EVERY MONTH
Method
How well does it work?
Advantages
How to Use
Possible Problems
The Ring
Nuvaring

92-99%
• Does not require a “fitting” by a health care provider • Does not require spermicide
• Can make periods more regular and less painful
• No pill to take daily
• Ability to become pregnant returns quickly after stopping the ring
• Insert a small ring into the vagina
• Change ring each month

• Can cause increased vaginal discharge
• May cause spotting the first 1-2 months of use
EVERY SEASON
Method
How well does it work?
Advantages
How to Use
Possible Problems
The Shot Depo-Provera

97-99%
• Each shot works for 12 weeks
• Helps prevent cancer of the lining of the uterus (womb)
• No pill to take daily
• Can be used while breastfeeding
• Must get shot every three months

• May cause changes in your period (spotting, no periods or heavier periods), weight gain, depression, hair changes, skin rash, change in sex drive
• May cause delay in getting pregnant after shots are stopped
• Some women may have side effects up to 6 months after stopping the shots
EVERY 5 – 10 YEARS
Method
How well does it work?
Advantages
How to Use
Possible Problems
IUD Intrauterine Device: ParaGard, Mirena

99%
• Nothing to put in place before sex
• ParaGard may be left in place for up to 10 years, and Mirena for 5 years
• No pill to take daily
• IUDs with hormones (Mirena) may help period cramps and bleeding
• Ability to become pregnant returns quickly when IUD is removed
• Can be used while breastfeeding
• Must be placed in uterus and removed by a health care provider

• ParaGard may cause more cramps and heavy periods
• Mirena may cause lighter or fewer periods
• IUDs can cause spotting between periods
• Rarely, uterus is injured during placement
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