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Birth Control Specialist

Women's Healthcare of Princeton

Gynecologists located in Princeton, NJ

Birth control is any medicine or device used to reduce the risk of unintended pregnancy. With the wide range of options available, it’s important to consider your age, medical history, general health, and sexual activity when choosing the one that’s right for you. The expert team at Women’s Healthcare of Princeton in Princeton, New Jersey can help you understand your options and find the method that’s best for you. If you live in New Jersey, eastern Pennsylvania, or the greater New York City area and you want to know more about available birth control options, call or book your appointment online today.

Birth Control Q & A

What are the Various Types of Birth Control?

There are several forms of contraception available, and each comes with its own potential benefits, drawbacks, and rate of effectiveness. The five categories of birth control include:

  • Hormonal Methods: Hormonal birth control prevents ovulation so that your eggs can’t be fertilized. The pill, shot, contraceptive patch, and vaginal ring are common forms of hormonal contraception.
  • Long-Acting Reversible Contraception (LARC): LARC methods include intrauterine devices (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. Women’s Healthcare of Princeton offers advanced Nexplanon® implants, which are 99% effective for up to three years.
  • Barrier Methods: This form of contraception blocks sperm from entering your uterus. Male condoms, female condoms, diaphragms, and cervical caps are barrier methods, as are spermicidal foams, sponges, and films.
  • Lasting Birth Control: Permanent birth control is done surgically by removing the fallopian tubes entirely. This has the additional benefit of reducing the chances of getting ovarian cancer, which often starts in the tubes. 
  • Emergency ContraceptionThe two most effective methods for preventing pregnancy in the hours following unprotected sex or condom breakage include a copper IUD and emergency contraceptive pills.

What Should I Consider When Choosing Birth Control?

Your OB/GYN at Women’s Healthcare of Princeton can help you choose the birth control that best meets your needs after considering the following factors:

  • Your age, overall health, and medical history
  • Your level of comfort with the method or possible side effects
  • Your sexual frequency and number of partners
  • Your future family planning desires

If you don’t want to start a family anytime soon, an IUD may be your best choice; if you have irregular periods, you may benefit most from a hormone-based contraceptive like the pill, which can help regulate your menstrual cycle.

How Effective is Birth Control?

Although each form of birth control has its own rate of effectiveness, it’s important to note that all methods must be used properly to reduce your chances of becoming pregnant.  

Used correctly, IUDs and implants are 99% effective, hormonal birth control shots are 94% effective, and hormonal patches, vaginal rings, and birth control pills are 91% effective. Although male and female condoms are roughly 80% effective when used alone, they’re often used along with another type of birth control to provide added protection.

*Individual results may vary