Women's Center: Birth Control Methods

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Choosing a birth control method

Right now, you have more birth control options than ever before. No matter what stage you’re at in life, you can choose the birth control method that’s best for you.

What are my options and how well do they work?

How well does it work? Birth control method Frequency
Very well Implant Up to 3 years
IUD with hormones 3 to 5 years
Copper IUD 10 years
Sterilization for men and women Forever
Works well when
used as directed
The pill Every day
The patch Every week
The ring Every month
The shot Every 3 months
Not as well Pulling out Every time you have sex
Fertility awareness Every time you have sex
Diaphragm Every time you have sex
Condoms for men and women Every time you have sex

Side effects of birth control

Like all meds, birth control can have side effects. It’s important to learn about potential side effects, but know that not all side effects are negative.

Benefits of birth control

Many types of birth control can make your periods regular or lighter, and help ease PMS (premenstrual syndrome). Also, when used correctly, condoms can help prevent sexually transmitted diseases. Use of condoms in combination with other birth control methods can be more effective in preventing pregnancy.

Questions to consider about birth control

As you think about your birth control options, prepare questions to ask your doctor. You might want to ask:

  • What are potential birth control side effects?
  • How will my periods be affected?
  • Will birth control affect other meds I’m taking?
  • Which methods will help my cramps?
  • How long can I use certain types of birth control?
  • What should I consider if I’m breastfeeding?
  • How often will I need to be checked by my doctor?
  • What are my chances of getting pregnant?

Refill a birth control prescription or schedule an appointment

You can schedule an appointment at the Women’s Center in St. Louis Park and any of our OB-GYN clinic locations: