Birth Control Methods
There are different birth control methods to fit different needs and lifestyles. WE Health Clinic staff is available by appointment to help you decide which method is right for you and to answer any questions or concerns. Some birth control methods are available at WE Health Clinic, for other birth control methods you will be given a prescription to be filled at your preferred pharmacy. Some birth control methods like pills, patches, and rings, are available via telehealth appointment, no in-clinic appointment needed!
Birth Control Options
- Oral Contraceptives/Birth Control Pills/The Pill
Birth control pills use hormones to prevent pregnancy. All birth control pills must be taken once a day at the same time each day.
- The Patch
The patch is a weekly hormonal birth control method that is worn on the skin to prevent pregnancy. The patch needs to be replaced with a new one each week to remain effective.
- Vaginal Ring/Nuva Ring©
The vaginal ring is a flexible ring which you insert into the vagina each month. The ring releases hormones to prevent pregnancy.
- The Shot/Depo Provera©
A hormone injection is given every three months at a health care clinic. Hormones in the shot prevent pregnancy.
- Intrauterine Device (IUD)
An IUD is a small flexible “T” shaped medical device that is placed inside the uterus at a health care clinic. There are hormonal and non-hormonal IUDs available.
The hormonal IUD is effective 3 to 7 years before needing to be replaced.
The non-hormonal IUD works by preventing sperm from reaching an egg. It can also be inserted as emergency contraception to prevent pregnancy up to 5 days after unprotected sex. The non-hormonal IUD is effective up to 12 years before needing to be replaced.
Nexplanon© is a tiny plastic rod implanted into the arm by a health care professional. The implant releases hormones that prevent pregnancy. Nexplanon© is effective up to 5 years.
Condoms prevent sperm from getting inside the vagina. They protect against pregnancy as well as STIs. Both external (worn on the penis) and internal (worn inside the vagina and/or anus) condoms are available at WE Health Clinic.
- Tubal Ligation and Vasectomy (not available at WE Health Clinic)
Tubal ligation and vasectomy are surgical procedures done in a health care facility that permanently prevent pregnancy. Tubal ligation closes or blocks the fallopian tubes (the tubes which carry eggs from the ovaries to the uterus). A vasectomy cuts or blocks off the small tubes in the scrotum that carry sperm, so that it can’t leave the body and cause pregnancy.
- Fertility Awareness/Natural Family Planning
Fertility awareness-based methods—or natural family planning—are all about tracking your menstrual cycle to determine the days that you can get pregnant. The tricky part is actually knowing when those days are. To do that, you’ll need to pay very close attention to your body and its patterns. Paper charts, cycle beads, and mobile phone apps are available to help you track your cycle to know when your fertile days are to use barrier methods (condoms) or abstain from vaginal sex on those days.
Visit www.bedsider.org/methods to learn more about your contraceptive options.