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What types of female contraception are there?

Female contraception

About 50 percent of pregnancies worldwide are unplanned. While there are many different reasons for it, one of the main contributors is a lack of access to contraception. Many different types of contraception are available, both for women and men. Each has its benefits and drawbacks, so choosing the right method is important. Check out the list below of the most common types of female contraception.

Oral contraceptives (the pill)

Oral contraceptives are taken daily and contain hormones that prevent ovulation. They are very effective, with a failure rate of less than 1 percent.

Birth control pills can also help to regulate your periods and reduce acne. However, they do not protect against sexually transmitted infections (STIs), and you will need to use a different form of contraception if you have sex during your period.

Hormonal implants are another type of female contraception

Hormonal arm implants are small rods inserted under your upper arm’s skin. They release hormones that prevent ovulation and are effective for up to 3 years. They are more than 99% effective at preventing pregnancy.

However, they do not protect against STIs. You can also buy ellaOne, a morning-after pill to prevent unwanted pregnancies after unprotected sex or contraceptive failure.

Intrauterine devices (IUDs)

IUDs are small devices that are inserted into the uterus by a doctor. There are two types: hormonal and copper.

Hormonal IUDs release hormones that prevent ovulation and can be effective for up to 5 years. Copper IUDs work by inhibiting sperm movement and can be effective for up to 10 years. A recent study found that some IUDs can be effective even longer for older women.

Both types of IUD are more than 99% effective at preventing pregnancy. But they do not protect against STIs.

Injectable contraceptives

Injectable contraceptives are injections of hormones that prevent ovulation. It releases progesterone into the bloodstream to prevent ovulation.

This option is typically effective for up to 3 months. They are more than 99% effective at preventing pregnancy if used correctly but do not protect against STIs.

Vaginal ring

The vaginal ring is a small, flexible ring inserted into the vagina. It releases hormones that prevent ovulation.

The ring is effective for up to 4 weeks, at which point it requires replacement. It is more than 99% effective at preventing pregnancy but does not safeguard against STIs.

Diaphragm

The diaphragm is a small silicone cup inserted into the vagina and covering the cervix. It must be used with spermicide and should be left in place for 6 hours after sex.

It acts like a barrier during sex. The diaphragm is about 88% effective at preventing pregnancy as there are mistakes during use.

More female contraception types: Sponge

The birth control sponge is a small, disk-shaped object. Like the diaphragm, it is inserted into the vagina and covers the cervix.

It contains spermicide and must be left in place for at least 6 hours after sex. You can insert it up to 24 hours beforehand. It is about 76% effective at preventing pregnancy if you have given birth vaginally before and 91% effective if you have not.

Female condom

Female condoms are thin, latex sheaths inserted into the vagina before sex. Thus, it is a barrier type of contraception.

Also known as an internal condom, it is about 95% effective at preventing pregnancy when used correctly. This form of birth control also offers STI protection.

Spermicide

Spermicide is a chemical that kills sperm. It is available as a cream, foam, jelly, film, or suppository.

It must be placed in the vagina before sex and can be used with other forms of contraception, such as condoms. Spermicide is about 70% effective at preventing pregnancy. Combining it with another type, such as a diaphragm or condom, is usually best because it is one of the least effective options.

Summary of female contraception types

There are many different types of contraception available to females today. Some, like the pill, are very popular and well-known. Others, such as the intrauterine device (IUD), may be less familiar to some people but can be just as effective at preventing pregnancy.

For males, of course, there are condoms. They are 98% effective at preventing pregnancy when used correctly.

It’s important for any woman who is sexually active to be aware of all the contraceptive options. That can assist with choosing the best one for your individual needs.

2 thoughts on “What types of female contraception are there?”

  1. Thank you, Christy, for providing an overview of available female contraception. With the overturn of Roe vs. Wade in the US, it is important that women understand what is available to guard against an unexpected pregnancy. With the ramifications of the Supreme Court’s decision, even the freedom to use birth control is on the line in some states. I can’t believe we’ve gone backwards in time in which the government dictates our medical care despite the complexities of pregnancy and its risks.

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