What are the different methods of birth control?

Oral Contraceptives:

This is a series of pills that a woman takes once each day for a month. At the end of the month, she starts a new package of pills. The pills have hormones much like those a woman's body makes to control her menstrual cycle. They work by keeping the ovaries from releasing eggs or by changing the lining of the uterus or the mucus of the cervix.

Depo-Provera:

A method of birth control given in the form of a shot. The shot gives protection for up to 12 weeks. It does not contain estrogen so there are no side effects from that hormone. It works by keeping the ovaries from releasing eggs or by changing the lining of the uterus or the mucus of the cervix.

Contraceptive Patch:

A method of birth control that is a small, thin and smooth patch and is put on a woman's skin. The woman can choose where she wears the patch: the buttocks, the shoulder, the upper arm, front or back, but not on the breasts. It releases hormones every day for three weeks so the woman's ovaries don't produce eggs. It can stay on the body for one week. You change it once a week and on the fourth week, you don't wear a patch but you will still be protected. You can swim, bathe, shower and wear it in warm humid weather.

Contraceptive Ring:

A method of birth control in the form of a soft ring that fits deep inside the vagina. It releases low-dose hormones everyday for three weeks so the woman's ovaries don't produce eggs. It can stay in the vagina for up to three weeks and provides protection for one month; the exact position in the vagina is not important.

Intrauterine Device (IUD):

A small device made of plastic. Some contain copper, or a hormone. A clinician chooses the right type for a woman, and inserts it into her uterus. Some can stay there for 4 years; copper IUDs may be left in place up to 8 years. IUDs prevent a woman's egg from being fertilized by the man's sperm, and change the lining of her uterus.

Implanon:

Implanon is a small, thin, implantable hormonal contraceptive that provides effective protection for up to three years.  Implanon must be removed by the end of the third year and can be replaced by a new Implanon if contraceptive protection is still needed.  This contraceptive method must be inserted and removed by a trained healthcare provider.

Diaphragm/Cervical Cap:

A soft rubber barrier in a woman's vagina, used with a contraceptive cream or jelly. The diaphragm or cervical cap is put into a woman's vagina before intercourse. It covers the entrance to her uterus, and the cream or jelly stops the man's sperm from moving. The diaphragm can be put in the vagina 6 hours ahead of intercourse, and left in or 24 hours. The cervical cap can be left in her vagina for up to 48 hours.

Male Condom:

It is a sheath of latex that a man can wear over his penis during intercourse. The condom catches the semen that comes out of a man's penis before, during and after he ejaculates. This keeps his sperm from getting into the woman's vagina. Latex condoms also help protect against some infections, including HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.

Female Condom:

It is a loose-fitting sheath that fits inside the woman's vagina. It catches the semen that comes out of a man's penis when he ejaculates. It covers the cervix, the opening to the uterus, so sperm can't get through. It also protects against some infections including HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.

Fertility Awareness:

A woman can watch changes in her body to see when she is able to get pregnant.

Sterilization:

This is a surgical procedure and is intended to be a permanent method of birth control. There is no guarantee that it can be reversed.

Tubal Ligation:

This surgical procedure blocks the fallopian tubes of a woman and prevents an egg from being fertilized by the man's sperm.

Vasectomy:

This a surgical procedure for men. It cuts the vas deferens, the tube that carries sperm from inside a man's body through the penis and out. It does not affect sexual function.