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Birth Control Options

Click on any of the following birth control options for more information:

Intrauterine Device (IUD)

Depo Provera- Contraceptive Injection

Nuva Ring

Contraceptive Foam

Male Condoms

Vaginal Spermicides, Sponges, and Diaphragms

Condoms and N-9 Vaginal Spermicides

Oral Contraceptives (Birth Control Pills)

Intrauterine Device (IUD)

The IUD is a small, soft, flexible plastic device which is inserted into the uterus by your physician or health care provider during an office visit. IUDs contain copper or the hormone progestin. The copper IUD begins working from the moment of insertion. It may be used for up to 10 years; however, it can be removed by your physician or health care provider at any time, giving you the flexibility of determining how long you want to use it. It is a highly effective contraceptive and it is thought to work by reducing the sperm’s ability to swim and its ability to fertilize the egg. The modern copper IUD has a high efficiency rate of over 99% and is one the most effective and convenient forms of birth control.

Your doctor will help you determine if an IUD is an appropriate birth control method for you. The recommended patient profiles are women who are in a stable, mutually monogamous relationship, have at least one child, and have no history of Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID). Patient satisfaction with the IUD is among the highest of any reversible method. The IUD is a method that does not require daily attention and has a high degree of effectiveness as well as convenience. Once the IUD is in place, you only need to check the placement regularly, at least once a month. Schedule regular follow up visits with your physician and have your IUD replaced as directed

Depo Provera- Contraceptive Injection

Depo Provera is an injectable form of birth control (that is given in a shot) that protects you against pregnancy for a full 3 months (13 weeks). Its active ingredient is a chemical similar to the natural hormone progesterone that is produced by your ovaries during the second half of your menstrual cycle. Depo provera contraceptive injection is prescribed by your physician, but the injection may be given by your doctor, nurse, or other health care provider. Depo Provera acts by preventing your egg cells from ripening. If an egg is not released from the ovaries during your menstrual cycle, it can not become fertilized by the sperm; therefore, pregnancy is prevented. Depo Provera also causes changes in the lining of the uterus, which make it less likely for pregnancy to occur. Since Depo Provera is over 99% effective when administered according to directions, making it one of the most reliable methods of birth control available.

Since Depo Provera does not contain the hormone estrogen found in birth control pills, it may be used by women who cannot take the pill. This injection is given 4 times a year, which may also be desired by women who forget their pills or simply do not like taking the pill. Other women who may want Depo Provera are those who cannot take the pill because of medical problems such as:
Sickle Cell Trait Disease


Women over age of 35 who smoke

High Blood Pressure

Blood Clots

Severe Migraine Headaches

Psychiatric Problems

Mental Retardation

The injection can be used safely by women who are breast feeding.

When you want to become pregnant, you simply do not take your next injection. Most women who get pregnant do so within 12 to 18 months after their last injection.

Side effects that may occur while receiving the Depo Provera include: irregular menstrual periods, amenorrhea (no menstrual bleeding), weight gain, headaches, nervousness, stomach pains and cramps, dizziness, weakness and fatigue, decreased sex drive, and possible early osteoporosis. Most women who experience side effects during the first few months of use report a decrease in symptoms over time while continuing to receive the Depo Provera Injections.

Discuss this method of birth control with your physician to determine which contraceptive is appropriate for you.

Nuva Ring

The Nuva Ring (etonogestrel/ethinyl estradiol) is a flexible transparent ring composed of ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA), a plastic used in various medical products.

The ring is inserted by the woman at the beginning of each cycle. There is no wrong way to insert the ring. If the ring is in the vagina, it is in correctly.

With the Nuva Ring, there is a steady release of absorption of the hormones by the body. During studies, there was a constant serum concentration of hormones which provides a safe and effective contraceptive. This method of birth control avoids G.I. absorption, which avoids problems that may be caused by oral contraceptives. The Nuva Ring provides excellent cycle control and there has been a low incidence of subjective side effects. This method of birth control has been highly accepted with increased satisfaction for the user and the partner.

The Nuva Ring works by inhibiting ovulation, which stops the release of a mature egg from the ovaries that prevents pregnancy.

If the ring slips out and has been out less than 3 hours, wash the ring with warm water and re-insert. If the ring is out longer than 3 hours, re-insert the ring, and use a back up method of contraceptive for 7 days, such as condoms and foam. If the ring is lost, insert a new one.

Discuss methods of birth control with your physician to determine if this method is acceptable for you.

Contraceptive Foam

Contraceptive foam is 75 to 80 percent effective. The foam has the same consistency as shaving cream and contains a chemical called spermicide.

Contraceptive foam works two ways:

It makes a physical barrier to keep the sperm from reaching the cervix.

The spermicide kills the sperm. Foam is more effective when used with a condom.

Foam can be purchased without a prescription and no fitting is necessary. However, it is not as effective as the pill or an IUD.

Instructions on how to use foam:
1. Use foam no more than 30 minutes before intercourse.
2. If intercourse is repeated, an additional full applicator is required each time.
3. Shake the can well.
4. Place open end of applicator on can nozzle and push.
5. Allow applicator to fill, then lie down and insert into vagina until it can go no further.
6. Push plunger to release the foam into the cervix.
If you use a douche, you must wait six hours after intercourse. If irritation occurs, change brands.

Male Condoms

When used consistently and correctly, male latex condoms are effective in preventing the sexual transmission of HIV infection and can reduce the risk for other STD's (i.e. gonorrhea, chlamydia, and trichomoniasis). However, because condoms do not cover all exposed areas, they are likely to be more effective in preventing infections transmitted by fluids from mucosal surfaces (e.g. gonorrhea, chlamydia, trichomoniasis, and HIV) than in preventing those transmitted by skin-to-skin contact (e.g. herpes simplex virus [HSV], human papilloma virus, syphilis and chancroid). Condoms are regulated as medical devices and are subject to random sampling and testing by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Each latex condom manufactured in the United States is tested electronically for holes before packaging. Rates of condom breakage during sexual intercourse and withdrawal are low in the United States (i.e. approximately two broken condoms per 100 condoms used). Condom failure usually results from inconsistent or incorrect use rather than condom breakage.

Male condoms made of materials other than latex are available in the United States. Although they have a higher breakage and slippage rate when compared with latex condoms, the pregnancy rates among women whose partners use these condoms are similar. Non-latex condoms (i.e. those made of polyurethane or other synthetic material) can be substituted for persons with latex allergy.

Patients should be advised that condoms must be used consistently and correctly to be highly effective in preventing STD's and pregnancy. Patients should be instructed in the correct use of condoms. The following recommendations ensure the proper use of male condoms.

Use a new condom with each act of sexual intercourse (e.g. oral, vaginal, anal).

Carefully handle the condom to avoid damaging it with fingernails, teeth, or other sharp objects.

Store condoms where not exposed to heat or cold. Heat or cold may cause the latex to breakdown. Always check the expiration date.

Grasp and hold closed the nipple end of the condom while applying condom. This allows the condom a space to be available inside the condom to hold the ejaculated sperm without stretching the condom which may contribute to breakage.

Put the condom on after the penis is erect and before any genital contact with the partner.

Use only water-based lubricants (e.g. K-Y Jelly, Astroglide, AquaLube, and glycerin) with latex condoms. Oil based lubricants (e.g. petroleum jelly, shortening, mineral oil, massage oils, body lotions, and cooking oil) can weaken latex.

Ensure adequate lubrication during intercourse.

Hold the condom firmly against the base of the penis during withdrawal, and withdraw while the penis is still erect to prevent slippage.

Vaginal Spermicides, Sponges, and Diaphragms

Recent evidence has indicated that vaginal spermicides containing nonoxynol-9 (N-9) are not effective in preventing cervical gonorrhea, chlamydia, or HIV infection. Thus, spermicides alone are not recommended for sexually transmitted disease/HIV prevention. Frequent use of spermicides containing N-9 has been associated with genital lesions, which may be associated with an increased risk of HIV transmission. The vaginal contraceptive sponge appears to protect against cervical gonorrhea and chlamydia, but its use increases the risk for candidiasis. In case-control and cross-sectional studies, diaphragm use has been demonstrated to protect against cervical gonorrhea, chlamydia, and trichomoniasis; however, no cohort studies have been conducted. Neither vaginal sponges nor diaphragms should be relied on to protect women against HIV infection. The role of spermicides, sponges, and diaphragms for preventing transmission of HIV to men has not been evaluated. Diaphragm and spermicide use has been associated with an increased risk of bacterial urinary tract infection in women.

Condoms and N-9 Vaginal Spermicides

Condoms lubricated with spermicides are no more effective than other lubricated condoms in protecting against the transmission of HIV and other STD's. Distribution of previously purchased condoms lubricated with N-9 spermicide should continue provided the condoms have not passed their expiration date. However, purchase of any additional condoms lubricated with the spermicide N-9 is not recommended because spermicide-coated condoms cost more, have a shorter shelf life than other lubricated condoms, and have been associated with urinary tract infection in young women.

Oral Contraceptives (Birth Control Pills)

Oral Contraceptives are one form of hormonal contraception. Hormonal contraceptives work by preventing the release of an egg from your ovaries into the uterus and may also make the uterus an “unfriendly” environment for the sperm. There is a variety of pills available depending on dose and frequency of your period. Oral contraceptives require a prescription and the physician will determine the pill best suited for you. If taken everyday as directed they are more then 99% effective.