Birth control is available in a variety of methods and types. The method of birth control varies from person to person, and their preferences to either become pregnant or not. Examples of barrier methods include barrier methods (sponge, spermicides, condoms), hormonal methods (pill, patch), surgical sterilization (tubal ligation, vasectomy), natural methods, and the morning after pill. Side effects and risks of each birth control option should be reviewed prior to using any birth control method. Read more: Birth Control Options Article
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The Surprising Health Benefits of Sex
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Female Sexual Dysfunction: Treatment for Women's Sexual Disorders
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Related Disease Conditions
Thrush (Oral Candidiasis)
Thrush is an infection of the mouth caused by the Candida fungus. Symptoms of thrush include pain or difficulty swallowing, a feeling that food gets stuck in the throat, and fever.
Spotting vs. Period
Menstruation (a female's "period") occurs due to the shedding of the lining of the uterus. Menstrual bleeding lasts about three to five days, and the bleeding is heavy the first couple of days and then it lessens. Spotting is vaginal bleeding between periods.
STDs in Men
Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are infections transmitted during sexual contact. They may be caused by viruses, bacteria, or parasites. STDs in men cause no symptoms or symptoms like genital burning, itching, sores, rashes, or discharge. Common infections that are sexually transmitted in men include gonorrhea, chlamydia, syphilis, hepatitis C and B, genital warts, human papillomavirus (HPV), and genital herpes. Some STDs in men are treatable while others are not. STDs are diagnosed with tests that identify proteins or genetic material of the organisms causing the infection. The prognosis of an STD depends on whether the infection is treatable or not. Use of latex condoms can help reduce the risk of contracting an STD but it does not eliminate the risk entirely.
Sexually Transmitted Diseases in Women (STDs)
Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are among the most common infectious diseases in the United States. STDs can be spread through any type of sexual activity involving the sex organs, the anus or mouth, or through contact with blood during sexual activity. Examples of STDs include, chancroid, chlamydia, gonorrhea, granuloma inguinale, lymphogranuloma venereum, syphilis, genital herpes, genital warts, trichomoniasis, pubic lice (crabs), and scabies. Treatment is generally with antibiotics; however, some STDs that go untreated can lead to death.
Melasma is a patchy brown discoloration of the skin on the face. When it occurs in pregnancy, it's called chloasma. Melasma is commonly treated with hydroquinone creams.
Why Did I Miss My Period on Birth Control?
Missed periods on birth control are a common issue that affects many women. Learn why you missed your period on birth control, how your doctor will diagnose why, and how you can treat your missed period.
Cervical dysplasia is a condition in which the cells of the inner lining of the cervix have precancerous changes. There are two types of cervical dysplasia: squamous intraepithelial lesion and cervical intraepithelial neoplasia. Cervical dysplasia is caused by infection of the cervix with HPV (human papillomavirus). There are various diagnostic measures for cervical dysplasia. Treatment generally depends upon the progression of the dysplasia: mild, moderate, or severe.
Birth Control Pill vs. Depo-Provera Shot
Birth control pills (oral contraceptives) and the Depo-Provera shot are two hormonal methods of birth control. Both methods work by changing the hormone levels in your body, which prevents pregnancy, or conception. Differences between "the pill" and "the shot." Birth control pills are available as combination pills, which contain the hormones estrogen and progestin, or mini-pills that only contain progestin. In comparison to the Depo-Provera injection, which prevents pregnancy for three consecutive months. Both methods of birth control are very effective in preventing pregnancy. Both the combination pill (if you take them as directed) and shot are up to 99% effective in preventing pregnancy. While the mini-pill is only about 95% effective in preventing pregnancy. Both methods cause weight gain, and have other similar side effects like breast pain, soreness or tenderness, headaches, and mood changes. They may lead to decreased interest in sex in some women. There are differences between the other side effects of these methods (depending upon the method) that include breakthrough bleeding or spotting, acne, depression, fatigue, and weakness. Both oral contraceptives and the Depo-Provera shot have health risks associated with them, such as, heart attack, stroke, blood clots, and cervical cancer. Birth control pills appear to increase the risk of cervical cancer. Talk with your OB/GYN or other doctor or health care professional about which birth control method is right for you.
Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS)
Toxic shock syndrome (TSS) is an infection caused by Streptococcus or Staphylococcus. Toxic shock syndrome symptoms include low blood pressure, fever, and a rash with peeling skin. Treatment involves IV fluids to treat the shock, IV antibiotics, cleaning infected wounds, and hospitalization in the intensive care for other assorted treatments.
Women's health is an important topic area to guide a woman through the stages of her life, as well as knowing the conditions and diseases that may occur. Educating yourself so that the transitions into different phases of life is key to a healthy, happy, and productive life.
DVT and Birth Control Pills (Oral Contraceptives)
Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is a blood clot that has traveled deep into the veins of the arm, pelvis, or lower extremities. Oral contraceptives or birth control pills can slightly increase a woman's risk for developing blood clots, including DVT. DVT symptoms and signs in the leg include leg or calf pain, redness, swelling, warmth, or leg cramps, and skin discoloration. If a blood clot in the leg is not treated, it can travel to the lungs, which can cause a pulmonary embolism (blood clot in the lung) or post-thrombotic syndrome, both of which can be fatal if not treated immediately. Increased risk factors for DVT and birth control pills include over 40 years of age, family history, smoking, and obesity. Other medical problems that increase the risks of blood clots, for example, lung or heart disease, or inflammatory bowel disease or IBD (Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis (UC). Other options for preventing pregnancy include IUDs, birth control shots, condoms, diaphragms, and progestin-only oral contraceptives.
Which Birth Control Has Least Side Effects?
No form of birth control is free of side effects, but there are some that have the least noticeable ones.
Dry eyes are caused by an imbalance in the tear-flow system of the eye, but also can be caused by the drying out of the tear film. This can be due to dry air created by air conditioning, heat, or other environmental conditions. Treatment may involve self-care measures, medications, or rarely, surgery.
How Do Female Condoms Feel?
A female condom is a barrier method of contraception. Female condoms are not tight on the penis, and they don’t inhibit or dull sensation like male condoms. Hence, it is believed that they feel more natural compared to wearing male condoms.
What Does Birth Control Do to Your Body?
Different birth control methods work in different manners. No birth control method is perfect and every procedure or method has a side effect.
Breast Cancer Prevention
Lifestyle changes, a healthy antioxidant-rich diet, exercise, and weight reduction can help reduce a woman's risk of developing breast cancer. It's important to be aware of how risk factors such as family history, lifestyle factors, breast conditions, radiation therapy, and hormonal factors may influence your chances of developing breast cancer. Mammography and breast self-examinations are crucial steps in breast cancer prevention.
Sexually Transmitted Diseases and Pregnancy (STDs)
When you are pregnant, many sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) can be especially harmful to you and your baby. These STDs include herpes, HIV/AIDS, genital warts (HPV), hepatitis B, chlamydia, syphilis, gonorrhea, and trichomoniasis. Symptoms include bumps, sores, warts, swelling, itching, or redness in the genital region. Treatment of STDs while pregnant depends on how far along you are in the pregnancy and the progression of the infection.
Can You Lose Weight While on the Birth Control Pill?
It is possible to lose weight while on the birth control pill, but every woman's body is different and reacts differently to hormones. Eating a sensible diet and adopting a regular workout regimen will help you maintain a healthy weight.
Reproductive health encompasses the beginning of menstruation for women, choosing the right birth control method for you and your partner, preventing contracting sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), and for women, ending with the menopausal transition.
Sexual health information including birth control, impotence, herpes, sexually transmitted diseases, staying healthy, women's sexual health concerns, and men's sexual health concerns. Learn about the most common sexual conditions affecting men and women.
Is Tubal Sterilization Reversible?
Tubal ligation is technically reversible. However, the procedure is complicated and the results are not guaranteed. Though it is possible to reverse a tubal ligation, it is a major surgery that doesn’t always work, it is rarely covered by insurance and it is not recommended.
Is It Painful to Have an IUD Inserted?
Gynecologists insert a T-shaped device into the woman’s uterus (womb). This process is quick and not very painful. However, some pain is inevitable, and pain experience is different for every woman. It is normal to feel some discomfort when the opening of the womb (cervix) is stretched. For most women, this only lasts for a few seconds and may be felt as a sharp pain.
How Does Tubal Sterilization Work?
Tubal sterilization is also called tubal ligation. It is a form of permanent birth control for women. Tubal sterilization works to permanently prevent pregnancy by cutting and tying or clipping the fallopian tubes, hence preventing the egg from traveling from the ovaries through the fallopian tubes. It also blocks the sperm from entering the fallopian tubes to fertilize the egg.
How Are Intrauterine Devices Fitted?
Inserting an intrauterine device (IUD) is a simple procedure that takes a few minutes. An IUD is a small, T-shaped device made from plastic or copper that is placed in a woman's womb to prevent pregnancy. The coil is inserted through the cervix
What Is the Best Form of Birth Control?
What's "best" among birth control methods differs from person to person. What's right for one person may not be right for others. And a person’s needs may also change over time.
Is It OK To Skip the 7-Day Break on the Pill?
There seems to be no additional risks associated with using the pill to suppress the seven-day break (beyond the health risks already linked to hormonal pills or devices).
Local ResourcesFind a local Obstetrician-Gynecologist in your town
Treatment & Diagnosis
- Triglycerides (Tests and Lowering Your Triglyceride Levels)
- Natural Birth Control
- Douching (Vaginal Douche)
- Hormonal Methods of Birth Control
- IUD (Intrauterine Device for Birth Control)
- Chemical Peel
- Birth Control: Surgical Sterilization
- Contraceptive Measures after Unprotected Sex
- Barrier Methods of Birth Control Side Effects, Advantages, and Disadvantages
- What Are the Methods of Permanent Contraception?
- How Painful Is Getting an IUD?
- What Are the Natural Contraception Methods?
- Early Pregnancy Symptoms FAQs
- Sex & Love FAQs
- STD FAQs
- Puberty In Girls FAQs
- Pregnancy Myths and Facts FAQs
- Birth Control FAQs
- Pharmacy Visit, How To Get The Most Out of Your Visit
- Birth Control Prescribed by Pharmacists
- Do Antibiotics Interfere With Birth Control Pills?
- Can Birth Control Pills Cure PCODS?
- Do I Need Birth Control After Menopause?
- Birth Control: The Contraceptive Patch
- How Do You Know if You Are Pregnant?
- Birth Control Types
- Ask The Experts: Women's Health
Medications & Supplements
- Birth Control Pills (List of Oral Contraceptives and Side Effects)
- Birth Control Pills vs. Nuvaring
- sildenafil (erectile dysfunction) - oral, Viagra
- valacyclovir - oral, Valtrex
- medroxyprogesterone acetate (contraceptive) - intramuscular, Depo-Provera
- tadalafil (erectile dysfunction) - oral, Cialis
- vardenafil - oral, Levitra
- Ethinyl Estradiol-Cyproterone-Oral
- Birth Control Pills vs. Condoms
- Birth control pills (oral contraceptives) vs. Plan B (levonorgestrel)
- ORAL CONTRACEPTIVES
- Plan B One-Step (levonorgestrel, Next Choice One Dose, My Way)
- norethindrone (Nor QD, Nora-BE, Ortho Micronor)
- What Are Hormonal Methods of Contraception?
- Side Effects of Plan B One-Step (levonorgestrel)
- Birth Control Pills (Oral Contraceptives) vs. Patch (Ortho Evra)
- Side Effects of Depo-Provera (medroxyprogesterone)
- etonogestrel/ethinyl estradiol ring - vaginal, Nuvaring
- Birth Control Pills (Oral Contraceptive) vs. Depo-Provera (medroxyprogesterone injection)
- levonorgestrel/ethinyl estradiol 13 week contraceptive - oral, Seasonale
- medroxyprogesterone (Depo-Provera)
- norethindrone/ethinyl estradiol - oral, FemHRT
- Side Effects of Ortho Micronor (norethindrone)
- levonorgestrel-implant, Norplant
- What Are the Barrier Methods of Contraception?
- levonorgestrel-releasing 5 year system - intrauterine, Mirena
- hydroquinone/sunscreen - topical
- ethinyl estradiol/drospirenone - oral, Yasmin 28
- fluocinolone/tretinoin/hydroquinone - topical, Tri-Luma
- norelgestromin/ethinyl estradiol patch - transdermal, Ortho Evra
- hydrocortisone/yerba santa drops - otic, Earsol-HC
- What Are Intrauterine Devices?
- Plan B One-Step
- Plan B
- Ortho Tri-Cyclen
- Ortho Tri-Cyclen Lo
- Athentia Next
- Junel FE
- Estrostep Fe
- Loestrin Fe
- Larin Fe
- Ortho Evra
- Ortho Micronor
Prevention & Wellness
- Obamacare's Birth Control Coverage May Have Reduced Unplanned Pregnancies
- Most U.S. Women Under 50 Use Contraception: Report
- Fewer Tiny Newborns in States With More Reproductive Rights: Study
- Employers Can Refuse to Provide Birth Control Coverage: U.S Supreme Court
- How Does Your Choice of Birth Control Affect Sexual Desire?
- A Birth Control Pill You Take Just Once a Month?
- Birth Control Pill May Alter Part of Women's Brains
- Long-Acting Birth Control in a Patch?
- Depressive Symptoms More Common in Teen Girls Who Take Birth Control Pills: Study
- Before Choosing an IUD for Birth Control, Know the Facts
- Pregnancy Much More Likely for Teen Girls With ADHD
- Make All Hormonal Birth Control Available Without Prescription, Doctors' Group Says
- Is It Safe to Order Your Birth Control Online?
- Family Planning Clinics Given Longer to Comply With New Abortion Rule
- Longer Rx for Birth Control Pills a Smart Idea for Female Vets: Study
- Health Tip: IUD Fast Facts
- Birth Control Pills May Protect Against Most Serious Ovarian Cancer: Study
- 'Male Pill' Makes Another Advance
- Are Some Birth Control Methods Doomed to Fail?
- Surge in Long-Term Birth Control After Trump's 2016 Win
- 'Cocktail' Approach Offers Early Hope for New Male Contraceptive
- New Birth Control Skin Patch Being Developed
- Teen Birth Control Use Up, But Still Too Many Unwanted Pregnancies
- FDA Announces Safety Monitoring Measures for Essure Birth Control Device
- Tubal Ligation Most Common Birth Control Method Used by U.S. Women
- Insights Into Women and Stroke Risk
- Birth Control Coverage Opt-Out Finalized by Trump Administration
- Vaginal Ring That Targets Pregnancy, HIV Seems Safe: Study
- Self-Lubricating Condom Might Increase Its Use
- Newer Birth Control Pills Tied to Lower Odds for Ovarian Cancer
- Health Tip: Understanding Vasectomy
- Bayer Stops U.S. Sale of Essure Birth Control Implant
- Birth Control Pills Recalled Over Potential Pregnancy Risk
- U.S. Fertility Rates Hit Record Low in 2017
- Big Decline in Births to Girls Under 15, CDC Says
- Some HHS Funding for Pregnancy Prevention Program to Continue
- Male Birth Control Pill Shows Early Promise
- Health Tip: Vasectomy Has Some Risks
- 'March Madness' a Peak Time for Vasectomies
- Birth Control Pill Tied to Slight Rise in Breast Cancer Risk
- White House to Roll Back Birth Control Mandate in Employers' Health Care Plans
- 6 in 10 of America's Single Guys 'Take Responsibility' for Contraception
- Controversial Inmate Birth Control Program Halted
- Trump Administration Moves to Reverse Birth Control Requirement for Religious Employers
- A Plug Instead of a Snip for Male Birth Control?
- Dutch Government Launches Birth Control Fund for Women in Developing Nations
- FDA Explains Pros, Cons of Permanent Birth Control
- Male Birth Control in a Shot: Promising, But More Work Needed
- U.S. Teen Births Hit Another Record Low: CDC
- 'The Pill' May Raise Depression Risk
- Monthly Vaginal Ring May Help Protect Against HIV
- Couples Exposed to Zika Should Wait on Pregnancy
- Male Birth Control: More Options Soon?
- Obese Women on Birth Control Pills May Face Higher Risk of Rare Stroke
- FDA Orders 'Black Box' Warning Label on Essure Long-Acting Contraceptive
- No Link Between 'the Pill' and Birth Defects: Study
- Study Ties Essure Birth Control Implant to Greater Need for Reoperation
- Mouse Study Hints at New 'Male Contraceptive'
- Birth Control Pills May Cut Women's Odds for Uterine Cancer
- Women Spend Far Less on Birth Control Because of 'Obamacare'
- Obese Teens Less Likely to Use Birth Control
- Newer Birth Control Pills May Slightly Raise Blood Clot Risk
- Teen Use of Long-Term Contraception Rising, But Remains Low
- Use of Long-Acting Birth Control Rises Fivefold in a Decade: CDC
- IUDs, Contraceptive Implants Work Longer Than Thought, Researchers Report
- Better Contraceptive Knowledge Can Aid in Safe Use of Acne Drug: Study
- Modern Birth Control Methods Could Avoid 15 Million Unwanted Pregnancies: Report
- Use of 'the Pill' Tied to Higher Risk for Rare Brain Cancer
- The Pill Remains Most Common Method of Birth Control, U.S. Report Shows
- Free, Long-Acting Contraceptives May Greatly Reduce Teen Pregnancy Rate
- The 'Hobby Lobby Ruling' and What It Means for U.S. Health Care
- Majority of Americans Support Obamacare Birth Control Provision: Survey
- Obesity, 'The Pill' May Raise MS Risk, Research Suggests
- Obama Administration Stands by Contraception Rule
- 1 in 3 Young U.S. Women Uses 'Withdrawal' for Birth Control
- White House Unveils Final Plan on Coverage for Contraception
- FDA OKs Sale of 'Morning-After' Pill Without Age Limit
- U.S. Ends Effort to Limit Access to 'Morning-After' Pill
- Court OKs Non-Prescription Sale of Certain 'Morning-After' Pills
- U.S. Teen Birth Rate Plummets: Report
- Low-Dose 'Pill' Linked to Pain During Orgasm, Study Finds
- White House to Challenge Ruling on Unlimited Access to 'Morning-After' Pill
- FDA Approves 'Morning-After' Pill Without a Prescription
- IUDs Safe Contraceptives for Teens, Study Finds
- Judge: Make Morning-After Pill Available to All Females
- Repeat Births by Teen Girls Still Too High: CDC
- Consensual Sex Typically Doesn't Begin Before Teen Years, Study Finds
- Millions Still Lack Access to Modern Contraception, Study Says
- Teen Pregnancy-Prevention Program Works, Study Says
- Use of Morning-After Pill on the Rise: CDC
- Bishops Reject Latest Proposal on Controversial Contraception Mandate
- Obama Administration Revises Controversial Contraception Mandate
- Many Women Victims of 'Contraceptive Sabotage,' Experts Say
- Give Teens Access to Emergency Contraception, Pediatricians Say
- Medical Group: Sell the Pill Without Prescription
- Extra Pounds Linked to Rheumatoid Arthritis Risk in Women
- Mother's Menopause May Influence Her Daughter's Fertility
- Poor Reading Skills Linked to Teen Pregnancy Risk
- Smartphones Linked to Sexual Activity in Teens: Study
- IUDs Increasingly Popular Form of Birth Control
- Vaginal Ring Delivers HIV Drug in Animal Study
- Social Media Could Boost Condom Use, Study Suggests
- Which Birth Control Methods Are Best for Teens?
- 2 in 5 Women Don't Use Birth Control
- Treated Vaginal Ring Prevents HIV in Monkeys
- Health Tip: Am I at Risk for Gallstones?
- Progress Toward Male Birth Control Pill?
- Health Reform: No-Cost Contraception Starts Today
- Teens' Lifestyle Choices Affect Their Blood Pressure
- Gel Shows Promise as Future Male Contraceptive
- Study: Heart Attack, Stroke Risk Low with Birth Control Pills
- Discovery of Gene May Lead to New Male Contraceptive
- IUD Beats Pill at Preventing Pregnancy
- Birth Control Pills, HRT Tied to Digestive Ills
- Blood Clot Risk Linked to Some Non-Pill Contraceptives
- IUDs Work as Emergency Contraceptive: Review
- IUD Use Tied to Modest Weight Loss
- Fewer Teens Are Having Sex
- Health Highlights: May 1, 2012
- Health Tip: Talk to Your Doctor Before You Are Pregnant
- New Warning for Some Birth Control Pills
- Teen Births Hit All-time Low
- Sex Ed Becoming Less Prevalent in Grades 6-12
- Depo-Provera Birth Control Might Raise Breast Cancer Risk
- 1 in 5 Pharmacies Hinders Teens' Access to 'Morning-After' Pill: Study
- College Women's Condom Use Falls in Freshman Year
- Prescription Meds Can Put on Unwanted Pounds
- New Birth Control Pill Recall
- Health Highlights: Feb. 24, 2012
- Condom Knowledge Not Common Knowledge
- Contraceptives Work Well in Obese Women, But Hormone Levels Lower
- New Guidelines to Help Breast Cancer Survivors
- White House Alters Controversial Birth Control Rule
- Health Highlights: Feb. 8, 2012
- 1 Million Birth Control Pill Packs Recalled
- Health Highlights: Jan.30, 2012
- Ultrasound As a Male Contraceptive?
- CDC: Many Teen Moms Didn't Think They Could Get Pregnant
- 'The Pill' Can Help Ease Period Pain, Study Finds
- Endometriosis Tied to Higher Risk of Crohn's, Colitis
- FDA: Stronger Labeling Needed for Newer Contraceptives
- Plan B: Sebelius Overrules FDA, Nixes Sale Without ID
- FDA Panels to Weigh Safety of Newer Forms of the 'Pill'
- New Version of Contraceptive Implant Is Easier to Insert
- Newer 'Pill' May Raise Blood Clot Risk
- More Teen Males Using Condoms When They First Have Sex: Survey
- Recall of Birth Control Pills
- Eating Disorders Affect Fertility, Pregnancy
- No More Co-pay for Birth Control
- Panel: Drop Co-Pay for Women's Birth Control
- FDA Investigates Newer Birth Control Pills
- Serena Williams' Pulmonary Embolism, Hematoma: FAQ
- Birth Control Myths
- Pregnancy: Home Pregnancy Test Kit Recalled
- Spermicides for Birth Control
- Public Health - Top Ten Achievements Of The Century!
- Condom Quiz: How Much Do You Know?
- FDA Strengthens Warning on RU-486
- Stopping Sperm in Their Tracks
- Sexual Infections with Depo Provera?
- Contraceptive: Fake Contraceptive Patches Warning
- FDA Approves First Chewable Oral Contraceptive Tablet
- New Pill, Fewer Periods
- Birth Control Pills & Antibiotics
- Birth Control, Coil Foils Pregnancy
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