Contraceptive Implants And Injections
Contraceptive implants and injections are long-acting, effective, reversible and progestogen-only methods of contraception. Implants are over 99% effective in preventing pregnancy and injections are 94 to 99.8% effective. Neither method protects against STIs. The injection is given every 12 to 14 weeks and the implant lasts for 3 years.
Does Birth Control Replace Condoms
Birth control pills are oral contraceptives that are taken every day at the same time to prevent pregnancy. There are two types of birth control pills: combined pills that contain the hormones estrogen and progestin, and the mini-pill which contains progestin only.
The hormones in the birth control pills stop pregnancy by:
Preventing ovulation: Blocking the egg from being released from the ovary
Thickening the cervical mucus to make it harder for sperm to swim into the uterus and
Thinning the uterine lining so if an egg was fertilized, it would be less likely to attach to the uterus
Other types of hormonal contraceptives include:
Implant: contains progestin
Injection, such as Depo-Provera: contains progestin
Contraceptive patch: contains estrogen and progestin
Vaginal ring, such as NuvaRing: contains estrogen and progestin
Intrauterine Device : contains progestin
Youll need to get a prescription before youre able to take birth control pills. With your prescription you can collect your pills from a drug store, telemedicine provider, and health clinics such as Planned Parenthood.
Birth control pills are an effective way of lowering your chances of getting pregnant if you have sex. But they do not protect against STIs. Condoms are the main form of birth control to prevent STIs being passed on to a sexual partner.
How To Get Started
You have several ways to get on the pill:
First-day start. Take your first pill the day you get your period. Pregnancy protection kicks in right away, so you wonât need a backup contraceptive.
Quick start. You take the first pill in your pack right away. This is an option if your doctor confirmed that youâre not already pregnant . The hormones in the pills need time to build up in your body. So youâll need back-up contraception, like a condom, for 7 days. This method is generally not recommended.
Sunday start. Many pill packs are arranged to start on this day. You take your first pill on the first Sunday after your menstruation starts. Use a second birth control method for 7 days if you have sex.
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How Does Birth Control Work
- They prevent the sperm from reaching where the ova is.
- Ensure the ovary does not release an ova.
- Destroy sperm to prevent it from swimming to the ova.
- Thicken the cervical mucus to prevent sperm from swimming through.
- They change the thickness of the walls of the uterus to prevent implantation.
Below are the types of control methods.
The Natural Cycles App
In 2018, Natural Cycles became the first birth control app to be FDA cleared in the US. Like some fertility awareness-based methods, NC° Birth Control uses your body temperature and menstrual cycle data to work out your fertile window. However, unlike traditional FABM and other tracking apps, the app uses an algorithm that learns the pattern of your cycle and does the calculations for you. This method is 100% hormone-free and is popular with users whove previously used hormonal birth control methods but didnt get along with the side effects.
The algorithm works out your daily fertility status and based on your history and temperature for that day gives you either a red or a green day. On green days youre not fertile and can have sex without using protection. On red days theres a risk youre fertile and you need to either use condoms or abstain from penetrative sex.
With typical use, this method is 93% effective, and its 98% effective with perfect use. Natural Cycles, does not require a prescription for you to use it and is available with a monthly or yearly subscription . You can order it online or buy NC° Birth Control in select pharmacies. Were working hard to ensure that NC° Birth Control is covered by insurance. Did you know you can get your Natural Cycles subscription reimbursed with an FSA or HSA account?
Pros: Prescription-free. Non-invasive. No side effects. Less daily work than traditional FABMs.
Cons: Doesnt protect against STIs.
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How To Use Birth Control Pills
Birth control comes in monthly packs, and most follow either 21-day, 24-day, or 28-day cycles.
If youre using combination pills, you must follow the order of the pills on the pack, as dosages in multiphasic birth control can vary per pill.
Consistency is key. Your birth control pill must be taken daily to be effective. For progestin-only pills, you must take your pill within the same 3 hours every day to stay protected.
If you miss one dose, take it as soon as you remember. If you dont remember until the next day, its safe to take two pills in one day. For anything more than a single dose missed, contact your doctor for instructions.
Birth control pills are safe for most people, but they do have some side effects and risks. Each person reacts differently, so you may or may not experience side effects associated with the pill.
Common side effects include:
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What Does Nonhormonal Birth Control Mean
Nonhormonal birth control is any contraceptive method that doesnt alter your bodys natural hormones. Instead, it uses other strategies to prevent a pregnancy.
Barrier methods are among the most common types of nonhormonal birth control. They work by blocking the sperm from reaching the uterus. Barrier methods include:
- copper intrauterine devices
Some people use behavioral changes as a type of nonhormonal birth control. This includes things like:
- pull-out method, or withdrawal
You can often use more than one type of nonhormonal birth control at the same time to further reduce your risk of a pregnancy.
If youre looking for a permanent way to prevent a pregnancy, you can also consider surgery, such as a vasectomy or abdominal, laparoscopic, or hysteroscopic sterilization.
No matter which option you choose, there are risks and benefits involved. Some methods can be more effective than others, while certain types can cause unwanted side effects. You may also need a prescription for some types of nonhormonal birth control.
Connect with a doctor to discuss the pros and cons of various types of birth control.
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Can Birth Control Cause Infertility
Rachel Gurevich is a fertility advocate, author, and recipient of The Hope Award for Achievement, from Resolve: The National Infertility Association. She is a professional member of the Association of Health Care Journalists and has been writing about womens health since 2001. Rachel uses her own experiences with infertility to write compassionate, practical, and supportive articles.
Meredith Shur, MD, FACOG, is board-certified in obstetrics and gynecology, as well as a certified medical examiner.
Can birth control harm your fertility? The short answer is no. Women who have used hormonal birth control are just as likely to conceive as women who have never used hormonal contraceptives.
A three-year study of 3,727 participants found that long-term use of oral contraceptives did not affect their ability to have children in the future. In fact, people who had used combined birth control pills for more than three years were found to be more fertile than the study participants who had used them for less time.
As with oral medications, studies have also shown that there is no impact on future fertility with other forms of hormonal contraceptive, either. Whether you choose a vaginal ring, patch, intrauterine device , implant, injection, or birth control pills, your ability to get pregnant later in life should not be affected by these methods.
The Contraceptive Skin Patch
The contraceptive skin patch is about 5 cm by 5 cm in size, and very thin. It can be placed on the womans behind, belly, the outside of her upper arm or anywhere on her upper body with the exception of her breasts. Its important to make sure that it sticks to the skin properly and doesnt rub against clothing too much. Activities like having a shower, a bath or swimming usually dont make it come off. In the first three weeks of the cycle, the patch is replaced once a week. No patch is used in the fourth week. The woman then gets her period. A new patch is stuck onto the skin seven days after removing the old patch. If it is stuck on 24 hours too late, it is no longer a reliable form of contraception.
Just like most birth control pills, the patch contains a combination of the hormones estrogen and progestin. Whereas the hormones in the pill enter the bloodstream through the digestive system, the hormones in the skin patch are absorbed by the skin and enter the bloodstream in that way. More estrogen enters the body through the patch, so the patch can have more side effects than the pill and the vaginal ring. Research has shown that women who use the skin patch are more likely to stop using it because of side effects than those who are on the pill.
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Benefits Of Nonhormonal Birth Control
Whether youre on the pill, have a patch, or use a ring, hormonal birth control can be a total drag. It can cause annoying-AF side effects like bleeding between periods, boob pain, headaches, mood changes, and nausea.
Theres also a small chance that it could increase your risk of heart attacks, blood clots, or strokes.
You may want to opt for a nonhormonal method if you:
- have trouble remembering to take a pill every day
- dont want to change your bodys natural cycle
- experience bad side effects from hormonal birth control
- have certain health conditions like severe hypertension, heart disease, vascular disease, certain liver diseases, or migraine with aura
- Effectiveness: 99%
A copper IUD is a T-shaped piece of plastic thats wrapped in copper. A doctor inserts the device into your uterus through your cervix. Its more than 99 percent effective and gets to work right away. The copper is toxic to sperm, so it helps prevent fertilization. It can also prevent a fertilized egg from attaching to the uterine wall.
A copper IUD is a great choice if you want long-term protection it can last up to 10 years! It can also be used as emergency contraception for up to 5 days after you have sex without a condom or other barrier.
One downside is that insertion can be uncomfortable. Discomfort can range from a slight sting to WHY IS THERE A WASP IN MY VAGINA? But the entire procedure usually takes just 5 to 15 minutes.
- Effectiveness: 8598%
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Herbs For Natural Birth Control
Advocates of natural healing suggest that herbs can be effective at preventing pregnancy. Some believe that these herbs are preferable to chemical-based agents, synthetic hormones, and other popular methods of birth control.
Note: The herbs listed below arent approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and havent undergone formal medical testing for contraception, so their safety and efficacy cant be guaranteed. Also, the mechanism of action for some of these herbs may induce a miscarriage or abortion. You should talk with your doctor about the use of these options.
Natural healers commonly suggest, along with herbal supplements, the use of a natural barrier such as a lambskin condom that hasnt been treated with chemicals. Some of the herbs they suggest include:
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Is Birth Control Without Hormones Safer
There are so many different types of birth control that you may feel a little overwhelmed when deciding which one is right for you.
Some birth control methods use hormones to prevent conception. These hormone-based birth control methods provide very effective protection from pregnancy.
However, you may be wondering whether birth control without hormones might offer you a safer alternative.
Before you can choose the right birth control for you whether its hormone-based or hormone-free you need expert advice from medical professionals who understand your personal health profile, your sex life, and your family-planning goals.
Here at Womens Healthcare of Princeton in Princeton, New Jersey, our all-female team of womens health specialists can help you make a safe, healthy choice that is best and safest for your body and your life.
Normal Menstrual Cycle Vs Pill Cycle
In a normal menstrual cycle your hormones fluctuate throughout the month. High estrogen levels mark the first two weeks, then ovulation occurs and progesterone spikes. If fertilization does not occur then both hormones decline. This decline is what leads your uterine lining to shed .
On hormonal contraceptives, there are no natural fluctuations to your hormones, everything is synthetic. Additionally, the ovulation-stimulating hormone gonadotropin-releasing hormone is suppressed. Normally, GnRH initiates ovulation, which creates the fluctuation in estrogen and progesterone.
Hormonal birth control works by shutting down your natural hormone fluctuations. The natural increase and decrease of the female sex hormones, estrogen and progesterone, is replaced with a specific dose of synthetic hormones that prevent ovulation. The suppression of ovulation is what makes it successful in the prevention of pregnancy.
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Does This Mean Birth Control Pills Actually Help Acne
Acne is one of the many reasons women areprescribed birth control. Take Emily, one of my patients, for example. At herfirst visit, she admitted that she hadnt let anyone take her picture in threeyears. Three years!
Emilys doctor had put her on the pill tocontrol her acne, and while she had tried several types, none of them resultedin the clear skin she hoped for. She was embarrassed, frustrated, and confused.Why was this happening? Its simple: The pill does not fix hormones.It merely masks them.
But while the pill did not clear Emilys skin,it does often workunless you try to come off it. Ive heard dozens of cases ofwomen trying to stop the pill, only to have a raging acne flareeven if theynever suffered from acne prior to being on the pill!
Alice developed acne shortly after stoppingbirth control. Her doctor recommended Accutane and thatshe get back on the pill . Alice was leery of starting more medicationsand she was puzzled. Yousee, Alice had never had acne until she stopped taking the pill.
Acne after stopping birth control is oftencaused by Post-Birth Control Syndrome , and it is a common side effect ofgoing off the pill. PBCS acne can appear anywhere, even unexpected and totally unpleasantplaces like your butt!
Now, if youve followed me for a while, you know I dont accept that common translates to normal. So, while PBCS acne is not unusual, you do not have to simply accept it.
How Does It Work
Most birth control pills are combination pills containing a mix of the hormones estrogen and progesterone to prevent ovulation . A woman cannot get pregnant if she doesnt ovulate because there is no egg to be fertilized.
The Pill also works by thickening the mucus around the cervix, which makes it difficult for sperm to enter the uterus and reach any eggs that may have been released. The hormones in the Pill can also sometimes affect the lining of the uterus, making it difficult for an egg to attach to the wall of the uterus.
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Your Diet May Be The Culprit
Food is one of the primary contributors to fluctuating or increased hormone levels in our bodies.
The typical American diet is acidic and high in saturated fats, processed grains, meat fats, and refined sugar. It is also low in fresh vegetables, fruit, fish, fiber, and antioxidants. Research has shown that this can cause an imbalance in testosterone and androgen levels, respectively. Therefore, a healthy diet is one form of natural treatment for hormonal acne. Another way to balance hormone levels is by taking certain herbs and vitamins. Both these items are discussed in more detail below.
Downsides Of Hormonal Birth Control Methods
Hormonal birth control does have some potential downsides. For example, using hormonal birth control can cause side effects in some women. These may include:
- Bleeding between periods
- Increased risk of blood clots and high blood pressure
- Irregular periods
- Spotting between periods
Another important downside of hormonal birth control methods is that they do not protect you from sexually transmitted diseases such as HPV, herpes, HIV, chlamydia, and syphilis. If you have multiple partners or if you have sex with someone with multiple partners, using hormonal birth control alone may not be safe for you.
Only male and female condoms can protect you from STDs. However, condoms are only about 80% effective at preventing pregnancy. Women who want to optimize for both pregnancy prevention and STD protection may choose a dual protection approach, which means they may use both a hormonal birth control method and a condom.
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Which Types Of Birth Control Help Prevent Sexually Transmitted Infections
Only two types can protect you from STIs, including HIV: male condoms and female condoms.
While condoms are the best way to prevent STIs if you have sex, they are not the most effective type of birth control. If you have sex, the best way to prevent both STIs and pregnancy is to use what is called dual protection. Dual protection means you use a condom to prevent STIs each time you have sex, and at the same time, you use a more effective form of birth control, such as an IUD, implant, or shot.