What are the different forms of birth control?
There are several types of contraception available, each with benefits, drawbacks, and rate of effectiveness. The five main categories of birth control are:
- Hormonal methods: Hormonal birth control prevents ovulation so your eggs can't be fertilized. The pill, contraceptive patch, shot, and vaginal ring are common forms of hormonal contraception.
- Long-acting reversible contraception (LARC): LARC methods include IUDs and implants. An IUD is a T-shaped device that’s placed in your uterus to prevent sperm from reaching an egg; an implant is a tiny, flexible rod that’s placed in your upper arm, where it releases hormones that prevent ovulation.
- Barrier methods: This type of birth control blocks sperm from entering your uterus. Male condoms, female condoms, diaphragms, and cervical caps are barrier methods, as are spermicidal foams, sponges, and films.
- Permanent birth control: Permanent birth control may be done surgically, with a tubal ligation that cuts, ties, or seals off your fallopian tubes. It can also be done non-surgically, with an implant that permanently blocks your fallopian tubes.
- Emergency contraception: A copper IUD and emergency contraceptive pills are the two most effective methods for preventing pregnancy following unprotected sex or birth control failure.