Birth Control Methods
Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD
Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.
William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.
- Introduction to birth control methods
- Hormonal methods (including oral contraceptives)
- Barrier methods (including condoms)
- Natural methods
- Surgical sterilization (tubal ligation or vasectomy)
- Contraceptives after unprotected sex (morning after pill)
- IUDs (intrauterine devices)
- Related Birth Control Articles:
Barrier methods of contraception
IUD (intrauterine devices)
Hormonal methods of contraception
"Natural" methods of contraception
Contraceptive measures after unprotected sex
Permanent methods of contraception - surgical sterilization
- Find a local Obstetrician-Gynecologist in your town
Introduction to birth control methods
The choice of birth control method depends on many factors, such as the desire for reversible birth control (preserving future fertility) or permanent birth control methods (sterilization). The choice also depends upon a woman's lifestyle, overall health status, and personal preferences. Some birth control methods, such as barrier methods, may offer some protection against sexually-transmitted diseases (STDs), while most methods do not. Some birth control methods have higher success rates than others, but no method of birth control is 100% effective in every case.
Birth control methods can be broadly classified into barrier methods, that prevent sperm cells from reaching the egg, such as condoms and diaphragms, and methods that allow fertilization of the egg but prevent implantation of the fertilized egg inside the uterus (womb). An example of the latter type of birth control is the IUD or intrauterine device.
A brief summary of the different types of birth control methods follows. Please refer to the individual articles for more information.
Hormonal methods of birth control (including oral contraceptives)
Hormonal methods of birth control involve the use of hormones to prevent ovulation in a woman. Although oral contraceptive pills are the most widely used hormonal method, other methods are available including the vaginal ring, hormone patches applied to the skin, and injections of progestin.
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