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What prescription birth control methods are available?
Prescription birth control is available through your doctor or a women’s health clinic.
Intrauterine device (IUD)
An intrauterine device (IUD) is a device a doctor implants in your uterus. The procedure is well tolerated, and hospitalization isn’t required. The IUD prevents pregnancy by various mechanisms. It has a 99 percent rate of effectiveness, according to Planned Parenthood.
Birth control implant
Several birth control methods affect hormone levels in your body, so you’re less likely to get pregnant. The most effective is a birth control implant, also called Nexplanon.
This is a very small plastic stick that’s inserted under the skin of your arm. Implants stay in place for up to three years. They have a 99 percent rate of effectiveness.
Birth control pills, shots, and patches also affect your hormone levels. They have an effectiveness rate of 91 to 94 percent. Examples of available brands include:
The diaphragm and cervical cap (FemCap) are devices you place in your vagina when you’re going to have sex. They block sperm from entering your uterus. The effectiveness of these devices is 71 to 88 percent.
What over-the-counter birth control methods are available?
You can also buy over-the-counter birth control at a pharmacy and some supermarkets. These methods are not as effective as prescription birth control, but they do reduce your chance of getting pregnant.
Proper use of a condom can keep you from getting pregnant. When used correctly, condoms also protect you from many sexually transmitted infections (STIs). The effectiveness of condoms is 85 percent.
Birth control sponge
Sponges treated with spermicide also block sperm from entering your uterus. Used properly, these methods prevent pregnancy with an effectiveness of 76 to 88 percent.
This medicine contains hormones that prevent your body from releasing eggs into your uterus and cause the lining of the uterus to shed, inhibiting implantation.
Eggs have to come into contact with sperm for you to get pregnant and need to implant in order to start developing properly.
The morning-after pill might be a good choice for you if you think your regular birth control didn’t work or you weren’t using birth control. Women 17 and older do not need a prescription for the morning-after pill.
The effectiveness of the morning-after pills is 75 to 89 percent if taken within three days of having unprotected sex, according to Planned Parenthood.