Hormonal Methods

Oral Contraceptives or “The Pill” 
With typical use, birth control pills are 92% effective in preventing pregnancy. If used correctly and consistently birth control pills are 99.7% effective. The pill contains synthetic hormones that prevent pregnancy primarily by preventing ovulation. There are many different brands of pills available. Most are combination pills, which include both the estrogen and progestin hormone. Depending on your medical history a mini pill containing progestin only could be prescribed. Some pill regimens include a hormone-free “period week” every 28 days, while others cause a period only four times a year. It is very important to take your pill at the same time every day. The pill does not protect against sexually transmitted infections, and a prescription is required.

The Vaginal Ring (NuvaRing) 
With typical use, the NuvaRing is 92% effective in preventing pregnancy. If used correctly and consistently the NuvaRing is 99.7% effective. The NuvaRing is a thin, clear, flexible ring worn inside the vagina that slowly releases the synthetic hormones estrogen and progestin. Most women cannot feel the NuvaRing once it is in place. The NuvaRing can be left inside the vagina for 3-4 weeks. It does not protect against sexually transmitted infections and a prescription is required.

Intrauterine Device (Mirena & Skyla IUDs)
Both the Mirena and Skyla IUDs are more than 99% effective in preventing pregnancy.  They are small, plastic devices with a string attached and shaped like a T. The IUD releases the synthetic hormone progestin and causes changes in the uterus, cervix, and fallopian tubes to prevent pregnancy. It is inserted through the cervix and into the uterus by a health care provider. The Mirena IUD can last for 5 years and the Skyla can last up to 3 years, but both can be taken out at any time by a provider. The Mirena and Skyla do not protect against sexually transmitted infections.

The Patch (Ortho Evra) 
With typical use, Ortho Evra® is 92% effective in preventing pregnancy. If used correctly and consistently it is 99.7% effective. It is a bandage-like patch that sticks to the skin. The Patch contains synthetic hormones that are absorbed through the skin. Women using the Patch will apply one patch per week for three weeks and then will have a week without the patch, which is when they will get their period. The patch does not protect against sexually transmitted infections and a prescription is required.

The Shot (Depo-Provera) 
With typical use, Depo-Provera is 97% effective in preventing pregnancy.  If used correctly and consistently it is 99.7% effective. It is an injection of synthetic hormones that lasts for 12 weeks (3 months). The Shot requires 4 trips to the health care provider’s office each year to receive the injection. The Shot does not protect against sexually transmitted infections and a prescription is required.

Implant (Nexplanon)
Nexplanon is greater than 99% effective in preventing pregnancy. It is a soft, flexible rod about 1 ½ inches long that slowly releases the synthetic hormone progestin. It is inserted by a health care provider under the skin of a woman’s upper inner arm. Nexplanon lasts three years but can be taken out at any time by a health care provider. Nexplanon does not protect against sexually transmitted infections.

Learn about Long Acting Reversible Contraception (LARCs) and Non-Hormonal Birth Control.

Let us help you determine the right method for your health and life. Call (207) 947-5337 or Email Us to make your appointment today.