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Birth Control Health Center

Medical Reference Related to Birth Control

  1. 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,...

  2. 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 ...

  3. 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 ...

  4. Topic Overview

    Birth control pills come in packs. The most common type has 3 weeks of hormone pills. Some packs have sugar pills for the fourth week. During that fourth no-hormone week,you have your menstrual period. After the fourth week (28 days),you start a new pack. Some birth control pills are packaged so that you take hormone pills continuously for a period of time. With pills packaged in this ...

  5. 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 ...

  6. 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. ...

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