May not be as effective when taken
May delay return of normal
If used in early breast-feeding, may reduce milk
Pills must be taken every day.
Patches may not
fully protect you from pregnancy if they are exposed to direct sun or high
heat. This can release a high dose of hormone from the patch, which leaves less
for the patch to release later in the week.
Patches deliver more estrogen than low-dose birth control
pills do. Some research has found that women using the patch are more likely to
get dangerous blood clots in the legs and lungs. The risk may be higher if you
smoke or have certain health problems. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration
(FDA) suggests that you talk to your doctor about your risks before using the
implant, or shot
No interruption of foreplay or
Fewer or no periods (especially
with shot or implant)
Reduced cramps and pain during
Reduced bleeding and cramping with periods, which
lowers the risk of
Shot causes bone mineral loss, so calcium supplementation is
Using the shot for 2 or more years can
cause bone loss, which may not be fully reversible after stopping the
medicine. This concern may be greatest during the teen years, when young
women should be building bone mass.3
Intrauterine devices (IUDs)
These advantages and disadvantages apply to both hormonal and non-hormonal IUDs.
Does not require
interruption of foreplay or intercourse
Costs several hundred dollars for
insertion. (This cost may be covered by your health insurance. Some community
clinics may offer insertion and removal at a reduced rate or free to low-income
clients.) If the IUD is expelled, it costs just as much to get a new one.
Having an IUD removed is also costly. But if an IUD is used for 5 years or
longer, it is the most cost-effective form of birth control.
a health professional can remove the IUD. Never attempt to remove the IUD
yourself or allow a partner to try to remove it.
When inserted, an IUD can spread a genital infection into the uterus,
pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) in the first months
after insertion. This is why you are screened for STIs before getting an