The Low Down On Birth Control: 10 Types Of Contraception

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The Pill, condoms, NuvaRing and more.

5. The Patch

This small, thin patch (similar to a Band-Aid) that releases progestin and estrogen hormones into the skin. You can place it on your arm, stomach, butt or torso. A new patch is placed on the body once a week, except for the last week of the month, when you get your period.


Pros: The patch offers the same benefits as the pill without the daily hassle of remembering to take it.

Cons: The Patch has 60 percent more estrogen than the average birth control pill. Yikes! Increased estrogen exposure is linked to elevated blood-clot risk. Plus, it only comes in beige, so it will be more noticeable on non-beige skin tones. When Can You Get The Female Viagra?

6. The Implant

A thin, soft, flexible match-stick sized rod that is inserted into the skin of the upper arm by a health care professional under a local anesthetic. The rod releases the hormone, progestin for up to three years.

Pros: It doesn't contain estrogen (which means it can be used by women who are breastfeeding). It also lasts up to three years.

Cons: Irregular bleeding is one of the most common side effects. In fact, about 10 percent of women discontinued its use because of this. However, most women will have fewer and lighter periods and one third of women who use Implanon will stop having their periods completely. There's also an increased risk of clots for smokers. It also might cause acne, mood swings or slight weight gain.

7. The IUD

Flexible, T-shaped device that is inserted into the uterus. The two main brands are ParaGard (copper) and Mirena (hormonal). ParaGard can be effective for 12 years, and it doesn’t mess with your hormone levels. Mirena lasts up to five years, and promises lighter periods. In fact, menstrual flow is generally reduced by about 90 percent. New Birth Control Pills Pose Greater Blood Clot Risk

Pros: It is one of the longest lasting forms of contraceptives. It lasts 5 to 12 years. Planned Parenthood states, 99 percent of IUD users are pleased with them.

Cons: An IUD can occasionally slip out or push through the uterus during insertion. You may suffer moderate discomfort or pain during and following insertion and removal, including cramps and backaches. You may notice spotting in the first three to six months. In rare cases, you could develop a bacterial infection from the IUD about three weeks after it is inserted. It is only recommended for women who already have children. 

8. Diaphragm

A flexible, dome-shaped latex (diaphragm) or silicone (cervical cap) cup that is inserted into the vagina after it is coated with spermicide. The cervical cap is similar but smaller than the diaphragm. This method is old-school. You have to leave it in for a minimum of six hours after sex in order for it to be effective. You must remove it within 24 hours. For a cervical cap like FemCap, you can leave it in for 48 hours.

Pros: No hormones involved so you can use it while breastfeeding. Birth Control: Should He Pay for Half?

Cons: The diaphragm can be hard to put in and some men complain they can feel it during sex. It also may be pushed out of place during intercourse. Frequently needing to take the diaphragm or cap out and put it back in can be a hassle. If you leave the cap or diaphragm into long it could result in a bladder infection. It can also cause vaginal irritation. Failure rates drastically increase after a woman has children because the shape and size of her cervix changes. It's one of the least effective methods of contraception.

9. Birth Control Gel

Nesterone (progesterone derivative) and natural estrogen are absorbed through the skin in this easy-to-apply birth control method. Just pump and slather all over your body daily. We just hope the researchers will add moisturizing effects so the product can keep our skin glowing and our uterus un-ovulating. Will Birth Control Gel Replace The Pill?

Pros: This product will be safe for breastfeeding mothers and can be applied anywhere on the body (arms, legs, or stomach).

Cons: Unfortunately the birth control gel won’t be available to the public for another four years. It’s another product to add to our arsenal of beauty buys.

10. The Pill (for Men)

The male contraceptive hasn't hit stores yet but there are many possible options—gel, cream, implant, pill, shot or patch. Researchers found that releasing hormones like testosterone and progestin into the system over a period of time can reduce a man's sperm count to zero! 

Pros: Male birth control methods afford double protection against unplanned pregnancy. In the "Great Male Survey," 69 percent of respondents say they would take the male "pill" when it's available. 7 Ways Male Birth Control Will Change Everything

Cons: Can we really depend on men to have the diligence to take the contraceptive regularly? The pill has similar side effects for men as it does for women, such as weight gain. Who wants two hormonal and bloated people in the relationship?

Which one is right for you? 

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