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Birth control types comparison chart

Find your birth control here:

How effective is it?
92% - 99.7%
92% - 99.7%
92% - 99.7%
97% - 99.7%
99.9%
How often is it taken?
Daily
Weekly
Monthly
Every 3 Months
5 Years
Is there a prescription required?
Prescription and Clinic Visit are both required
Prescription and Clinic Visit are both required
Prescription and Clinic Visit are both required
Prescription and Clinic Visit are both required
Prescription and Clinic Visit are both required
What is it?
Contains synthetic hormones similar to estrogen and progesterone produced by the body. Small and circular in shape.
Contains synthetic hormones similar to estrogen and progesterone produced by the body. Looks like a bandaid.
A thin and flexible 2 inch ring worn inside the vagina. Slowly releases synthetic hormones similar to estrogen and progesterone.
Injection of a synthetic version of the body's natural progesterone.
Shaped like a T. Small and plastic device with a string attached to it. Releases synthetic progestin hormone.
How does it work?
One pill is swallowed at about the same time every day. Prevents ovulation, thins uterine lining, thickens cervical mucus which then stops sperm. Prevents fertilization. Variety of doses available.
Apply one patch per week for three weeks. No patch worn in fourth week. Prevents ovulation, thins uterine lining, thickens cervical mucus which then stops sperm. Prevents fertilization.
Ring is inserted into vagina and left for three weeks. Ring is removed in the fourth week. New ring is inserted the next week. Prevents ovulation, thins uterine lining, thickens cervical mucus which then stops sperm. Prevents fertilization.
The shot elevates progestin to a level that stops production of progesterone and estrogen. Prevents ovulation, thins uterine lining, thickens cervical mucus which then stops sperm. Prevents fertilization.
Inserted through the cervix into the uterus by a clinician. Impedes movement of egg and sperm, thins uterine lining and stops fertilization.
What are the advantages?
Gives spontaneity. Easy to use. Length and size of period usually decreases. Less cramping. Risk of ovarian cancer is decreased.
Gives spontaneity. Easy to use. Length and size of period usually decreases. Less cramping.
Gives spontaneity. Only needs to be changed once a month. Length and size of period usually decreases. Less cramping.
Gives spontaneity. Antibiotics do not weaken effectiveness. May cause lighter or no periods. May decrease chance of ovarian or uterine cancer.
Gives spontaneity. Effective for 5 years. May cause light to no periods.
What are the health risks?
May cause nausea, breast tenderness, weight gain or loss, water retention, increased blood pressure, mood changes and headaches. Antiobiotics or barbituates may reduce effectiveness. May increase risk of breast cancer. No protection from HIV/STIs.
May cause nausea, breast tenderness, weight gain or loss, water retention, increased blood pressure, mood changes, headaches and skin irritation near Patch. Antiobiotics or barbituates may reduce effectiveness. May increase risk of breast cancer. No protection from HIV/STIs.
May cause vaginal irritation, nausea, breast tenderness, weight gain or loss, water retention, increased blood pressure, mood changes and headaches. Antiobiotics or barbituates may reduce effectiveness. May increase risk of breast cancer. No protection from HIV/STIs.
May cause loss of bone density and risk of osteoporosis - not recommended for long term use or very young women. Frequently causes weight gain. May cause irregualr bleeding, loss of sex drive, acne, hair loss, mood swings, depression, nervousness and headaches. May take a long time to get pregnant after last shot. May increase risk of breast cancer. No protection from HIV/STIs.
May cause irregular bleeding or period to stop. No protection from HIV/STIs.
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