Birth Control Options

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Method

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Abstinence

Effectiveness: 100%

Avoidance of any sexual activity that allows sperm to get in the vagina or near the vaginal opening. It works by keeping sperm separate from the egg.

 

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Availability
  • Over-the-counter
Method
  • Behavioral

Outercourse

Effectiveness: 100%

Sexual contact without vaginal penetration. It works by keeping sperm separate from the egg.

 

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Availability
  • Over-the-counter
Method
  • Behavioral

Vasectomy

Effectiveness: Nearly 100%

A permanent form of male birth control. A health care provider closes or blocks the spermatic ducts which prevents sperm from leaving the male’s body and cause pregnancy.

 

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Availability
  • Prescription
Method
  • Surgical

Tubal Sterilization

Effectiveness: Nearly 100%

A permanent form of female birth control where the fallopian tubes are closed or blocked in one of the following ways:

  • Tying and cutting the tubes (tubal ligation)
  • Sealing the tubes with an electrical current
  • Closing the tubes with clips/clamps/or rings (small piece of tube may be removed)
  • Inserting a small device in the tubes. Tissue grows around these devices and blocks the tubes (called Essure)

 

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Availability
  • Prescription
Method
  • Surgical

Implant

Effectiveness: 99.9%

A small, flexible plastic rod put under the skin of the inside, upper part of the users arm. It prevents pregnancy for 3 years. It works by preventing ovulation.

 

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Availability
  • Prescription
Method
  • Hormonal

Intrauterine Contraception (IUD/IUC) with hormones

Effectiveness: 99.8%

A t-shaped device that is inserted into the uterus to prevent pregnancy. Mirena, and Klyeena Intrauterine Systems prevent pregnancy for up to 5 years using low doses of progestin hormone. Skyla and Lilitta IUDs are recommended for three years. Klyeena and Skyla are smaller than Mirena and have less hormones. IUD's work by interfering with the motility (or movement) of the sperm and egg and inhibiting ovulation. It is long acting and at any time the user is ready to get pregnant pregnancy can happen shortly after removal.

 

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Availability
  • Prescription
Method
  • Hormonal

The Shot (Depo-Provera)

Effectiveness: 99-99.7%

An injection (shot) of hormones given by a health care provider every 12 weeks (3 months). User may stop getting their period after one year of receiving the shot. It works by preventing ovulation.

 

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Availability
  • Prescription
Method
  • Hormonal

Birth Control Pill

Effectiveness: 92-99.7%

Small tablets or pills taken by mouth at about the same time every day. It works by preventing ovulation.

 

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Availability
  • Prescription
Method
  • Hormonal

The Patch

Effectiveness: 92-99.7%

A sticky medicated patch that delivers hormones through the skin. Each week for 3 weeks in a row, the user puts a new patch on their arm, shoulder, stomach, back or buttocks. It works by preventing ovulation.

 

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Availability
  • Prescription
Method
  • Hormonal

The Ring

Effectiveness: 92-99.7%

A soft, flexible plastic ring that contains hormones similar to those in the pill and the patch. The user wears the ring in their vagina for 3 weeks at a time, preventing ovulation. The muscles of the vagina hold the ring in place and it is unlikely to fall out.

 

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Availability
  • Prescription
Method
  • Hormonal

Intrauterine Contraception (IUD/IUC) without hormones

Effectiveness: 99.4%

A t-shaped device that is inserted into the uterus to prevent pregnancy. This type of IUD does not contain hormones. The ParaGard Copper T prevents pregnancy for up to 12 years by interfering with the motility (or movement) of the sperm and egg and acts as spermicide. Can be used by those who cannot take birth control that contain hormones.

 

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Availability
  • Prescription
Method
  • Hormonal

The Male (Wearable) Condom

Effectiveness: 85-98%

A sheath or pouch worn on the shaft of the penis during oral, anal or vaginal intercourse. Male condoms are made of latex, polyurethane, polyisoprine or animal skin. They work by collecting semen so it is not released into their partner’s body. Thus; sperm do not come in contact with an egg. They work to protect against STIs by providing a barrier.

 

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Availability
  • ALL
Method
  • Barrier

Fertility Awareness Methods (FAMs)

Effectiveness: 75-96%

A way to track ovulation. Sometimes people call FAMs the “rhythm or method” or “natural family planning.” FAMs are not recommended for teens, because they may not yet have regular menstrual cycles. They work by avoiding sexual intercourse (or use another type of birth control such as condoms) on the days when ovulation occurs and they are most likely to get pregnant.

 

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Availability
  • Over-the-counter
Method
  • Behavioral

Withdrawal Method (Pulling Out)

Effectiveness: 73-96%

Removing the penis prior to ejaculation. Withdrawal is not recommended for teens. It works best for those who are more experienced and can practice self-control. Withdrawal can be used as a back-up method of contraception with other birth control. It works by keeping sperm separate from the egg.

 

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Availability
  • Over-the-counter
Method
  • Behavioral

Female (Insertable) Condom

Effectiveness: 79-95%

The female condom is a long pouch with an inner ring and outer ring worn in the vagina. It can be put in up to 8 hours before sex. It works by preventing contact between the sperm and egg.

 

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Availability
  • Over-the-counter
Method
  • Barrier

Diaphragm

Effectiveness: 71-94%

Non-latex devices used with spermicidal jelly and inserted into the vagina to cover the cervix before sex. These reusable methods cans be used for up to two years.

 

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Availability
  • Prescription
Method
  • Barrier

Emergency Contraception

Effectiveness: 75-89%

One or two pills taken up to 5 days after unprotected intercourse or a Copper T IUD inserted within 5 days of unprotected sex.It is less effective than other hormonal types of contraception. EC should be used for emergencies only! Please note that EC is not the “abortion pill,” it cannot cause an abortion, nor will it harm an established pregnancy. It works by preventing ovulation and disrupting the menstrual cycle.

 

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Availability
  • ALL
Method
  • Barrier
  • Hormonal

Spermicides

Effectiveness: 71-82%

Chemicals that kill or immobilize sperm present in the vagina after ejaculation. Spermicide is less effective than other barrier methods and much less effective than hormonal methods of contraception. It prevents pregnancy by immobilizing or killing sperm cells before they enter the uterus.

 

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Availability
  • Over-the-counter
Method
  • Barrier

The Sponge

Effectiveness: 68-91%

A small pillow shaped foam sponge that contains spermicide and acts as a barrier so that semen doesn’t get into the uterus. Protection lasts up to 24 hours, no matter how many times the person has sex. It must be left in the vagina for at least 6 hours after sex before it’s taken out and thrown away.

 

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Availability
  • Over-the-counter
Method
  • Barrier
©2017 United Way of Greater Milwaukee & Waukesha County - Baby Can Wait - Connecting Milwaukee's Youth with Sexual Health Resources
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