URL of this page: https://medlineplus.gov/birthcontrol.html

Birth Control

Also called: Contraception

Summary

Birth control, also known as contraception, is designed to prevent pregnancy. Birth control methods may work in a number of different ways:

  • Preventing sperm from getting to the eggs. Types include condoms, diaphragms, cervical caps, and contraceptive sponges.
  • Keeping the ovaries from releasing eggs that could be fertilized. Types include birth control pills, patches, shots, vaginal rings, and emergency contraceptive pills.
  • IUDs, devices which are implanted into the uterus. They can be kept in place for several years.
  • Sterilization, which permanently prevents someone from getting pregnant or from being able to get someone else pregnant.

Your choice of birth control should be based on several factors. These include your health, how often you have sexual activity, how many sexual partners you have, and whether you want to have children in the future. Your health care provider can help you select the best form of birth control for you.

NIH: National Institute of Child Health and Human Development

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The information on this site should not be used as a substitute for professional medical care or advice. Contact a health care provider if you have questions about your health.