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Birth Control Health Center

Medical Reference Related to Birth Control

  1. Topic Overview

    It is not unusual for women who are taking hormone pills for birth control to have very light periods or no bleeding at all. If you have not missed any pills,skip 1 period,yet have no other signs of early pregnancy,it is very unlikely that you are pregnant. Signs of early pregnancy include fatigue,breast tenderness or enlargement,nausea or vomiting,and increased urination. Call your ...

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

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

  3. Topic Overview

    The female condom is a tube of soft plastic with a closed end. Both ends have a ring or rim. The ring at the closed end is inserted deep into the vagina over the cervix,like a diaphragm,to hold the tube in place. The ring at the open end remains outside the opening of the vagina. A new female condom is used with each act of sexual intercourse. It can be inserted up to 8 hours before sexual ...

  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

    Some medicines can interfere with how birth control pills work. For example,you may not be protected from pregnancy while you are taking other medicines that affect liver metabolism. The vaginal ring and skin patch contain combination hormones and may also interact with some medicines. The progestin-only pills,implant (Implanon),and shot (Depo-Provera) also contain hormones that may ...

  6. Topic Overview

    A diaphragm is a birth control device that blocks sperm from fertilizing an egg. It is made of rubber and shaped like a dome. It fits inside a woman's vagina and covers the cervix (the opening of the uterus); a firm,flexible rim keeps it in place. A diaphragm is always used with a sperm-killing cream or jelly (spermicide) to prevent pregnancy. Proper diaphragm use Spread spermicidal cream or ...

  7. Topic Overview

    The vaginal ring is a highly effective method of birth control when it is used exactly as directed. The ring failure rate is the same as that of birth control pills. Talk to your doctor about what day to start using the ring. Usually,a ring is started during one of the first 5 days of the menstrual cycle. See a picture of the vaginal hormonal ring. The ring cannot be incorrectly inserted. ...

  8. Topic Overview

    Birth control methods Method How it prevents pregnancy Hormonal Prevents ovulation Thickens mucus at the cervix so sperm cannot pass through Changes the environment of the uterus and fallopian tubes to prevent fertilization and to prevent implantation if fertilization occurs Intrauterine device (IUD) The progestin released by the hormonal IUD prevents fertilization by making the mucus in the ...

  9. Topic Overview

    In some women,the estrogen in combination hormonal birth control methods increases the risk of a blood clot in a leg ( deep vein thrombosis,or DVT ) or a blood clot in a lung ( pulmonary embolism,or PE ). A blood clot in a leg vein can travel through the circulation system and cause pulmonary embolism. The risk for DVT or PE is overall very low with hormonal contraceptives. In the past,...

  10. Topic Overview

    The diaphragm is a barrier method of birth control. It is a round,dome-shaped device made of rubber that has a firm,flexible rim. It fits inside a woman's vagina and covers the cervix. It should always be used with a sperm-killing cream or jelly (spermicide). There are different types of diaphragms: The flat-spring and coil-spring types can be used with an inserter. The arcing-spring type ...

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