Safe Sex 101: Hormonal Birth Control Options

Apicha Community Health Center Oct 02, 2018  
Apicha CHC - Pixabay

Birth control is how you can prevent pregnancy if you are sexually active, making it a great way to practice safe sex. However, birth control isn't limited to one simple pill or a condom. There are many different forms of birth control options for you to choose from.

While options are great, they can also be overwhelming -- especially when a lot of information is thrown at you. Birth control is part of having sex safe, and in this blog series, we're going to go through each of the different types of hormonal birth control, and whether they're right for you.

 
1. Birth Control Pills

Birth control pills release chemical hormones that affect different parts of the body. Most women use a combination birth control pill, which contains both estrogen and progestin. However there are also Progestin-only pills available.

Birth control pills work by:

  • Making cervical mucus thicker, which prevents sperm from getting to the eggs
  • Stopping ovulation, so there is no egg for the sperm to fertilize
 2. Birth Control Patch

The birth control patch is a beige patch that sticks to the skin and releases hormones to help prevent pregnancy. The patch is applied to the skin once a week for three weeks straight. The forth week does not require a patch.

The patch can be applied on the skin of your outer arm, stomach, back, or butt. 

3. Birth Control Ring

A birth control ring ,commonly known as NuvaRing, is a small, flexible ring that is inserted into her vagina once a month to prevent pregnancy. It stays there for a three week period and is taken out for the last week of the month.

Just like other birth control options, the ring releases hormones such as estrogen and progestin.

4. Birth Control Implant

A birth control implant like Nexplanon or Implanon are small implants, roughly the size of a cardboard match stick, that is placed underneath the skin of the upper arm. The implant contains hormones that are time-released over the course of up to three years.

Like other hormonal contraceptives, birth control implants like Nexplanon prevent ovulation and create an environment that's harder for a sperm to reach the uterus.

This birth control option offers long-term protection but can be removed by your doctor at any point if you decide you are ready for children or want to switch birth control methods. 

5. Birth Control Shot

This birth control method is known as the Depo shot because of the common brand name Depo-Provera (or DMPA).

The hormone shot requires a prescription and is injected into your arm. It prevents pregnancy for up to three months after injection much like the other hormonal options discussed.

How Apicha CHC can help you

Birth control is an important part of women's health, but it's also a big decision, as you need to make sure you're getting the right birth control method for you. 

If you have any additional questions about birth control methods or are interested in getting birth control, request an appointment with Apicha Community Health Center. Our competent, caring, and non-judgemental providers will help you make sure you're getting the best birth control method for you. We also offer many other women's health services, which you can learn more about here 


Ready to take action about your health?
 request an appointment

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