6 Birth Control Options

  • Medical Author:
    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.

  • Medical Editor: Jerry R. Balentine, DO, FACEP
    Jerry R. Balentine, DO, FACEP

    Jerry R. Balentine, DO, FACEP

    Dr. Balentine received his undergraduate degree from McDaniel College in Westminster, Maryland. He attended medical school at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine graduating in1983. He completed his internship at St. Joseph's Hospital in Philadelphia and his Emergency Medicine residency at Lincoln Medical and Mental Health Center in the Bronx, where he served as chief resident.

Quick GuideBirth Control Methods, Side Effects, Effectiveness

Birth Control Methods, Side Effects, Effectiveness

How does birth control work?

Birth control works to prevent pregnancy in different ways.

  • Hormonal birth control methods work by preventing ovulation, so that a woman is temporarily infertile.
  • Barrier methods of birth control to prevents the man's sperm from reaching an egg.
  • Barrier methods include
    • diaphragms,
    • condoms, and
    • cervical caps.
  • Spermicde is a chemical that destroys sperm to prevent them from reaching the egg.
  • Birth control methods such as intrauterine devices work by preventing a fertilized egg from implanting in the uterus and causing a pregnancy. Continue Reading
Reviewed on 4/26/2016

womenshealth.gov. Birth control methods fact sheet.

CDC.gov. Unintended pregnancy prevention.


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  • Birth Control Methods - Types

    What type of birth control do you find most comfortable and effective?

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  • Birth Control Methods: Hormonal

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  • Birth Control Methods: IUD

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  • Birth Control Methods: Surgical Sterilization

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  • Birth Control Options - Experience

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