Do you need reliable contraception, but aren't sure what's right for you, let alone what's available? In this section of our website we will explore the different contraceptive options that are available to help you make an intelligent decision. We hope to narrow down the choices so that you can see the different options that are available, the benefits of each, the side effects associated with each, and their risks. Whether you want something that is reversible or something more permanent, we will discuss each in detail.
Let's point out the permanent forms of birth control first, for your options are limited to just two: 1) A tubal ligation or, 2) A vasectomy. A tubal ligation is a surgical procedure that you can undergo. Consider it as a permanent choice because reversing it is difficult and expensive. Similarly, a vasectomy is a surgical procedure that your partner can undergo.
All of the other forms of birth control are reversible. Some are simple barrier methods designed to keep the sperm and egg from reaching each other. These methods would include the condoms, diaphragms, and cervical cap. Others are based on hormones that you take in the form of a pill, the oral contraceptives. There are many varieties of birth control pills, and advertising for these products tout such benefits as weight loss and decreased acne with their use. In this same category is the "morning after" pill, which you take after intercourse, just in case you didn't have some other form of contraception on board at the time of sex.
Then there are the hormonal contraceptives that you place on or in your body. These would include the contraceptive patch, the NuvaRing, and the Depo-Provera injection. A special case of this type of contraception is the Mirena IUD, which last for years, rather than weeks as in the patch, ring, or injection. There is also a non-hormonal IUD, the ParaGard IUD, which lasts twice as long as the Mirena.
And then finally, there is the rhythm method and the withdrawal method. Both rely on careful actions by you as well as your partner. The rhythm method is by far the more accurate between these two, but still can be very unreliable if your cycle makes an unexpected change.
So there, in a nutshell, is the multitude of options available. There have never been so many choices as there are today and some are extremely effective.