3 Major Types of Birth Control Methods

You might not think about birth control methods too often, but they are a big part of many peoples’ lives. Whether you were using contraceptives before, or had to start after giving birth, there is a lot of information out there on how to protect yourself. Still, it can be challenging for some people to find the proper method for themselves, so seeing a birth control specialist is vital. In Forest Hills, NY, some centers are helping couples in family planning. Visit one offering options on the methods. With a Forest Hills birth control center you can trust, you’ll get the family planning technique to meet your needs.

Barrier Methods

Barrier methods prevent sperm from entering the cervix and uterus. These barrier methods include: 

  • Condoms – Made from latex or polyurethane, condoms are worn on the penis during intercourse. The condom has a ring at the closed end used to insert it into the vagina. A newer type of condom is called a female condom.
  • Diaphragm: A diaphragm is a shallow dome-shaped cup with a flexible rim covering the cervix. The female fills this device with spermicide before inserting it high up in her vagina to cover her cervix.
  • Caps: A cervical cap is a thimble-shaped cup that fits over the cervix. Like a diaphragm, it is filled with spermicide and inserted into the vagina before intercourse.
  • Sponge: A contraceptive sponge also fits high in a woman’s vagina and blocks sperm from entering her uterus. The sponge contains spermicide to kill any sperm that reaches it.

Hormonal Methods

If you use hormonal birth control, it is essential to know that there are three main types:

  • The Pill: This method includes using two different kinds of pills. One type (or brand) of pill has hormones (estrogen and progestin). Another type contains only progestin. The combined pill works by preventing the ovaries from releasing eggs (ovulation). 

It also thickens cervical mucus, making it hard for sperm to reach an egg. This method is 99% effective if used correctly. Birth control pills are available in different packages that start the cycle on other days of the week and last for varying amounts of time.

  • The Patch: Like the pill, the patch releases hormones (estrogen and progestin) through the skin. You apply a new patch once a week for three weeks, then have a week without a patch. The patch is 95% effective if used correctly.
  • The Ring: This method also contains estrogen and progestin, but it releases them slowly over time. Like the pill, it stops ovulation. The ring also changes cervical mucus. You place the ring inside your vagina and leave it for three consecutive weeks, then remove it for one week before you put another one. This method is more than 99% effective if used correctly.

Intrauterine Device (IUD) 

An IUD is a small T-shaped device inserted into the uterus by a healthcare provider. Depending on the type, it can be left in for up to 10 years. IUDs work by slowly releasing hormones (levonorgestrel) or copper. They are more than 99% effective if used correctly.

If you are looking for a birth control method, it is crucial to consider your options. Barrier methods like condoms and diaphragms can be used during sex, while hormonal methods like the pill or patch release estrogen and progestin into the body, preventing ovulation. Talking with your birth control specialist is the best thing to do.