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How should you compare birth control methods?

ANSWER

Birth control methods break down into several fundamental categories, including:

  • Behavior: Something you or your partner has to do.
  • Barrier: Goes on or in your body before you have sex to block the sperm from getting to the egg.
  • Hormonal: Changes a woman's body chemistry. (Depending on the specific hormones, it stops ovaries from releasing eggs, thickens the mucus around your cervix to keep sperm from reaching the egg, or thins the lining of the uterus.)
  • Medical: A procedure that changes your body.

From: What's the Best Birth Control? WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCES:

The Kinsey Institute: "Choosing the Right Contraceptive Method."

Dailard, C. The Guttmacher Report on Public Policy, December 2003.

FDA: "Birth Control: Medicines to Help You."

UpToDate: "Pregnancy rate (percent) during first year of use of contraceptives" and "Emergency Contraception."

American Sexual Health Association: "Birth Control Method Comparison Chart."

Center for Young Women's Health: "Contraception: Success and Failure Rates of Contraceptives."

Guttmacher Institute: "Contraceptive Use in the United States."

CDC: "Effectiveness of Family Planning Methods."

Association of Reproductive Health Professionals: "Choosing a Birth Control Method."

American Academy of Family Physicians: "Progestin-Only Contraceptives."

Office on Women's Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: "Birth Control Methods Fact Sheet."

Liletta.

Mirena.

Skyla. 

Reviewed by Traci C. Johnson on April 19, 2018

WAS THIS ANSWER HELPFUL

SOURCES:

The Kinsey Institute: "Choosing the Right Contraceptive Method."

Dailard, C. The Guttmacher Report on Public Policy, December 2003.

FDA: "Birth Control: Medicines to Help You."

UpToDate: "Pregnancy rate (percent) during first year of use of contraceptives" and "Emergency Contraception."

American Sexual Health Association: "Birth Control Method Comparison Chart."

Center for Young Women's Health: "Contraception: Success and Failure Rates of Contraceptives."

Guttmacher Institute: "Contraceptive Use in the United States."

CDC: "Effectiveness of Family Planning Methods."

Association of Reproductive Health Professionals: "Choosing a Birth Control Method."

American Academy of Family Physicians: "Progestin-Only Contraceptives."

Office on Women's Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: "Birth Control Methods Fact Sheet."

Liletta.

Mirena.

Skyla. 

Reviewed by Traci C. Johnson on April 19, 2018

THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.

    This tool does not provide medical advice. See additional information.

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