There are a variety of birth control options available to women and couples to protect against unwanted pregnancy. Some methods are easier to reverse in the future when a woman desires a planned pregnancy. To determine which method is best for you, you should consider the effectiveness, side effects, cost and convenience.
Condoms, spermicides and the sponge are inexpensive methods that can be purchased over the counter. They are effective when used properly, but not as effective as the other methods. They must be reapplied before each intercourse. Of all methods of birth control, only condoms protect from sexually transmitted diseases.
The Women’s Med Center offers birth control pills, Depo-Provera® (the shot), Ortho Evra® (the patch) and NuvaRing® (the ring). All are very effective and easily reversible. These methods all require a physician’s prescription to obtain them.
Other reversible birth control options are intrauterine devices and Implanon® (progestin implant). These require a physician to insert them but they are effective for many years before they need to be replaced. A physician must remove them when a woman is ready to become pregnant.
Tubal ligation, tubal occlusion and vasectomy are permanent methods. These require minor surgery by a physician. They are the most effective methods but cannot be reversed.
The links at the top of this page describe each of these methods in more detail.