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Birth Control Health Center

Medical Reference Related to Birth Control

  1. Birth Control Pills and Weight Gain

    WebMD dispels the myth that birth control pills cause weight gain - and explains how it got started.

  2. Topic Overview

    What is the shot? The shot is used to prevent pregnancy. You get the shot in your upper arm or rear end (buttocks). The shot gives you a dose of the hormone progestin. The shot is often called by its brand name, Depo-Provera.Progestin prevents pregnancy in these ways: It thickens the mucus in the cervix. This makes it hard for sperm to travel into the uterus. It also thins the lining of the uterus, which makes it harder for a fertilized egg to attach to the uterus. Progestin can sometimes stop the ovaries from releasing an egg each month (ovulation).The shot provides birth control for 3 months at a time. You then need another shot. The shot can cause bone loss. Most women can use it safely for up to 2 years and then may choose to switch to another form of birth control. Some women may be able to use the shot for more than 2 years.How well does it work?In the first year of use:1When the shot is used exactly as directed, fewer than 1 woman out of 100 has an unplanned pregnancy. When the

  3. Topic Overview

    When to use a condomCondoms can be used with spermicide to prevent pregnancy or alone as protection against sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). Pregnancy prevention. Use a condom and spermicide to prevent pregnancy. Make sure to check the condom's expiration date, and do not use it if past that date.STD protection. To protect yourself and your partner from STD infection, use a condom during ...

  4. Topic Overview

    A spermicide is a substance that kills sperm. Spermicides are available as jelly,foam,cream,suppositories,and film. The active ingredient of most spermicides is a chemical called nonoxynol-9. Most spermicides come with an applicator. The applicator is filled with spermicide and inserted into the vagina right before intercourse. When using a jelly,foam,or cream,you can then have sex ...

  5. Topic Overview

    What is the patch?The patch is used to prevent pregnancy. It looks like a bandage and is put on the skin of your belly, rear end (buttocks), upper arm, or upper body (but not on a breast).The patch releases a regular dose of the hormones estrogen and progestin. These hormones prevent pregnancy in three ways. They thicken the mucus in the cervix. This makes it hard for sperm to travel into the uterus. They thin the lining of the uterus, which makes it harder for a fertilized egg to attach to the uterus. The hormones also can stop the ovaries from releasing an egg each month (ovulation).The patch provides birth control for 1 month at a time. You change the patch once a week for 3 weeks and then go without a patch for 1 week. During the week without the patch, you have your period. Your period may be very light.How well does it work?In the first year of use:1When the patch is used exactly as directed, fewer than 1 woman out of 100 has an unplanned pregnancy. When the patch is not used

  6. Barrier Methods of Birth Control

    Barrier methods of birth control block sperm from entering the uterus. Using a spermicide with a barrier method gives you the best possible barrier method protection. In fact, without a spermicide, a diaphragm, cervical cap, or Lea's Shield is not effective. The spermicide kills most of the sperm that enter the vagina. The barrier method then blocks any remaining sperm from passing through the ...

  7. Progestin-Only Hormonal Methods (Mini-Pills, Implants, and Shots)

    Drug details for Progestin-only hormonal methods (mini-pills, shots).

  8. Topic Overview

    The vaginal contraceptive sponge is a barrier method of birth control. It contains a spermicide called nonoxynol-9 that is released over the 24 hours that the sponge may be left in the vagina. The sponge also blocks the cervix so sperm can't pass. It can be inserted immediately before intercourse or up to 24 hours before. It is left in place for 6 hours after intercourse. Effectiveness in ...

  9. Vasectomy

    A vasectomy is considered a permanent method of birth control. A vasectomy prevents the release of sperm when a man ejaculates.

  10. Topic Overview

    What are mini-pills? Mini-pills are used to prevent pregnancy. They release a regular dose of a hormone called progestin. They are different from regular combination birth control pills. Those contain progestin and another hormone called estrogen. Progestin prevents pregnancy in a few ways. It thickens the mucus in the cervix. This makes it hard for sperm to travel into the uterus. It also thins the lining of the uterus. This makes it harder for a fertilized egg to attach to the uterus. And progestin can sometimes stop the ovaries from releasing an egg each month (ovulation).Mini-pills come in packs. Every pill in the pack contains progestin. There are no spacer pills. You have to take a pill every day at the same time to prevent pregnancy. This means you take a pill even when you have your period.How well do they work?In the first year of use:1When mini-pills are taken exactly as directed, fewer than 1 woman out of 100 has an unplanned pregnancy. When pills are not taken exactly as

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