3000 N. Market Ave., Ste. E in Fayetteville, AR
(479) 444-1440 Fax: (479) 444-1447
Monday - Thursday: 8am - 5pm
Friday: 8am - noon

Birth Control Options

Birth Control Pills

  • Take a pill each day to prevent pregnancy
  • Safe, effective, and convenient
  • Easy to get with a prescription
  • Costs about $15–$50 each month

Birth control pills are a kind of medication that women can take daily to prevent pregnancy. They are also sometimes called "the pill" or oral contraception. It's pretty common for people to be confused about how birth control pills work. Here's what it boils down to: birth control pills are made of hormones. Hormones are chemicals made in our bodies. They control how different parts of our bodies work.

Some birth control pills contain two hormones - estrogen and progestin. These are called combination pills. Some are progestin-only pills. Most women on the pill take combination pills.

The hormones in the pill work by keeping a woman's ovaries from releasing eggs - ovulation. Pregnancy cannot happen if there is no egg to join with sperm. The hormones in the pill also prevent pregnancy by thickening a woman's cervical mucus. The mucus blocks sperm and keeps it from joining with an egg.

The hormones also thin the lining of the uterus. In theory, this could prevent pregnancy by keeping a fertilized egg from attaching to the uterus.

How Safe Are Birth Control Pills?

Most women can use birth control pills safely. That's one of the things that make it the most popular method of reversible birth control in the U.S. It is a lot safer than childbirth, for example.

But all medications have some risks, so safety is a concern when choosing a birth control method. Certain conditions increase the risk of serious side effects. Talk with your health care provider about your health and whether the pill is likely to be safe for you.

There are many other methods of birth control that may be safe for you if you cannot take the pill. Read about other methods to find one that may be right for you.

Birth Control Shot

  • A shot in the arm that prevents pregnancy
  • Safe, effective, and convenient
  • Easy to get with a prescription
  • Lasts for three months
  • Costs $35–$75 per injection, plus any exam fees

What Are the Benefits of the Birth Control Shot?

  • Using the birth control shot is safe, simple, and convenient.
  • The shot provides very effective, long-lasting pregnancy protection.
  • There is no daily pill to remember.

The birth control shot does not contain estrogen, another type of hormone that is in many types of birth control, including the pill, patch, and ring. This means the shot can be a good choice for women who cannot take estrogen and for women who are breastfeeding.

The birth control shot is an injection of a hormone that prevents pregnancy. Each shot prevents pregnancy for three months.

The shot is also known by the brand name Depo-Provera, or by the name of the medicine in the shot, DMPA.

Like other methods of birth control, the birth control shot releases a hormone - progestin - into the body. Hormones are chemicals made in our bodies. They control how different parts of our bodies work.

The progestin in the shot works by keeping a woman's ovaries from releasing eggs - ovulation. Pregnancy cannot happen if there is no egg to join with sperm. The progestin in the shot also prevents pregnancy by thickening a woman's cervical mucus. The mucus blocks sperm and keeps it from joining with an egg.

The hormone also thins the lining of the uterus. In theory, this could prevent pregnancy by keeping a fertilized egg from attaching to the uterus.

If you get the birth control shot within the first seven days after the start of your period, you are protected from pregnancy immediately. Each shot of Depo-Provera will protect you from pregnancy for 12 weeks. So you will need to go to your health care provider every 12 weeks for a shot. If you are two or more weeks late getting your shot, your health care provider may ask you to take a pregnancy test, or may advise you to use emergency contraception if you had vaginal intercourse in the previous 120 hours (five days).

Vaginal Ring

  • A small ring you put in your vagina once a month for three weeks to prevent pregnancy
  • Safe, effective, and convenient
  • Easy to get with a prescription
  • Costs about $15–$50 a month

The vaginal ring is a small, flexible ring a woman inserts into her vagina once a month to prevent pregnancy. It is left in place for three weeks and taken out for the remaining week each month. The vaginal ring is commonly called NuvaRing, its brand name.

Like other methods of birth control, NuvaRing releases hormones. Hormones are chemicals made in our bodies. They control how different parts of our bodies work.

The hormones in NuvaRing are the same hormones as in the birth control pill - estrogen and progestin.

The hormones work by keeping a woman's ovaries from releasing eggs - ovulation. Pregnancy cannot happen if there is no egg to join with sperm. The hormones in NuvaRing also prevent pregnancy by thickening a woman's cervical mucus. The mucus blocks sperm and keeps it from joining with an egg.

The hormones also thin the lining of the uterus. In theory, this could prevent pregnancy by keeping a fertilized egg from attaching to the uterus.

Many women who use the vaginal ring have more regular, lighter, and shorter periods. And a woman's ability to become pregnant returns quickly when use of the ring is stopped.

Because the ring works like the pill, it probably offers the same benefits. These health benefits may include some protection against:

  • acne
  • bad menstrual cramps
  • breast growths that are not cancer
  • ectopic pregnancy
  • endometrial and ovarian cancers - protection increases with each year of use
  • iron deficiency anemia
  • ovarian cysts
  • pelvic inflammatory disease, which often leads to infertility when left untreated
  • premenstrual symptoms, including headaches

Birth Control Patch

  • A small patch that sticks to your skin to prevent pregnancy
  • Safe, effective, and convenient
  • Easy to get with a prescription
  • Costs about $15–$50 a month

The birth control patch is a thin, beige, plastic patch that sticks to the skin. It is used to prevent pregnancy. A new patch is placed on the skin once a week for three weeks in a row, followed by a patch-free week.

The birth control patch is commonly called Ortho Evra, its brand name.

Like other methods of birth control, the birth control patch releases hormones. Hormones are chemicals made in our bodies. They control how different parts of our bodies work.

The hormones in the patch are the same hormones as in the birth control pill - estrogen and progestin.

The hormones work by keeping a woman's ovaries from releasing eggs - ovulation. Pregnancy cannot happen if there is no egg to join with sperm. The hormones in the Ortho Evra patch also prevent pregnancy by thickening a woman's cervical mucus. The mucus blocks sperm and keeps it from joining with an egg.

The hormones also thin the lining of the uterus. In theory, this could prevent pregnancy by keeping a fertilized egg from attaching to the uterus.

The IUD

  • Small, "T-shaped" device inserted into the uterus to prevent pregnancy
  • Safe, effective, and long lasting
  • Must be inserted by a health care provider

The letters IUD stand for "intrauterine device." IUDs are small, "T-shaped" devices made of flexible plastic. A health care provider inserts an IUD into a woman's uterus to prevent pregnancy.

The Mirena IUD releases a small amount of progestin, a hormone. It is effective for five years.

The Mirena IUDs affect the way sperm move, preventing them from joining with an egg. If sperm cannot join with an egg, pregnancy cannot happen. Mirena also alters the lining of the uterus.

The progestin in the Mirena IUD helps prevent pregnancy. Progestin works by keeping a woman's ovaries from releasing eggs (ovulation). Pregnancy cannot happen if there is no egg to join with sperm. Progestin also prevents pregnancy by thickening a woman's cervical mucus. The mucus blocks sperm and keeps it from joining with an egg.

What Are the Benefits of an IUD?

  • The Mirena IUD may reduce period cramps and make your period lighter. On average, menstrual flow is reduced by 90 percent. For some women, periods stop altogether.
  • IUDs can be used during breastfeeding.
  • The ability to become pregnant returns quickly once the IUD is removed.
Accent Women's Health   |   3000 N. Market Ave. Ste. E, Fayetteville, AR 72703   |   (479) 444-1440
Website developed & maintained by BATTLE PLAN WEB DESIGN