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Prescription and Permanent Birth Control Methods


What contraception is only available through your doctor? Find out which contraceptives, like hormonal birth control and some barrier methods are considered to be prescription contraception. Permanent birth control also requires a prescription. And, as long as it’s legal, abortion falls into this category as well.
  1. Birth Control Pills
  2. Pill Questions
  3. Brands of Birth Control Pills
  4. Extended Cycle Pills
  5. NuvaRing
  6. Ortho Evra Patch
  7. Intrauterine Devices (IUDs)
  8. Emergency Contraception
  9. Diaphragms and Cervical Caps
  1. Depo Provera Shot
  2. Nexplanon/Implanon
  3. Vasectomy
  4. Tubal Ligation
  5. Contraceptive Injections
  6. Abortion
  7. Progestin in Birth Control
  8. Hormonal Contraception

Birth Control Pills

The pill is the nickname for oral contraceptives. Birth control pills are arguably the most researched drug - ever. The FDA-approval of the pill created the beginning of the rigorous testing drugs must go through today. The pill has allowed women to control their fertility and take charge of their lives. It is safe, effective, and popular… and best of all, most of its success has been due to the women who helped create it, to those who volunteered for its earliest trials to the millions of you who use the pill today!

Pill Questions

Even though birth control pills are extremely popular, you may still have some questions about this hormonal method.

Brands of Birth Control Pills

There are many birth control pill brands to choose from: combination pills have estrogen and progestin while brands only contain progestin. Pills come in monophasic, biphasic or triphasic formulas as well as in 28-, 24-, and 21-day packs. Continuous cycle pills can contain 3 months worth of pills or even a whole year! Besides pregnancy protection, some pill brands even offer non-contraceptive health benefits.

Extended Cycle Pills

Extended cycle pills offer more pills per pack (typically a 3 month or one year supply). These pills allow you to completely skip your period or reduce the number of times you get a period. And if you are wondering if extended cycle pills are safe, studies show that using hormonal contraception to stop monthly periods is a safe way to prevent pregnancy. They can provide great convenience and can improve the quality of life for many women.


FDA-approved and marketed in over 35 countries,the NuvaRing is catching attention! This clear, bendable ring (about 2 inches in diameter) is exciting women who want a hassle-free (once-monthly) hormonal method that is just as effective as the pill with less worries. The ring slowly secretes a low dose of estrogen and etonogestrel to protect against pregnancy for one month. Put it in and then go live your life... with no worries!

Ortho Evra Patch

Simplify your life by using the once-weekly Ortho Evra Patch. No matter where your week takes you, the patch will have you covered! This thin, beige patch stays put (even in the shower). The sticky side that you attach to your skin slowly releases the hormones norelgestromin and ethinyl estradiol. The patch is just as effective as the pill without the need to remember to take pills everyday. If you can use a band-aid, check out the Ortho Evra Patch!

Intrauterine Devices (IUDs)


The IUD is a small, T-shaped device that is inserted into the uterus. One of the greatest hurdles facing IUD use is that many of you have been lead to believe inaccurate information about them. You may not feel they are safe, are afraid to have an IUD inserted or fear its removal. IUDs, like Mirena and ParaGard are one of the most effective birth control methods available. They last from 5-10 years(with virtually no maintenance) and your fertility can be completely restored upon having your IUD removed. Most women report being highly satisfied with their IUD decision.

Emergency Contraception

Emergency contraception (EC) is an option that reduces the risk of pregnancy, if taken up to 5 days (120 hours) after unprotected sexual intercourse or contraceptive failure. Emergency contraceptives have been available for more than 30 years and are a safe and effective method of contraception. EC is available in three forms: Plan B One-Step (progestin-only branded product), oral contraceptives (either progestin-only birth control pills or combined oral contraceptives), and the ParaGard IUD. The sooner it is obtained, the better the chances of preventing pregnancy.

Diaphragms and Cervical Caps

The diaphragm is latex or silicone, dome-shaped cup with a flexible rim. It is inserted securely in the vagina and becomes a barrier which covers the cervix. It is put in place before intercourse and needs to be left in place for 6 to 8 hours after ejaculation. The diaphragm blocks the opening to the uterus while the spermicide hinders the sperm's movement. A cervical cap is also a barrier birth control device, fitted by your doctor and is used to prevent unplanned pregnancies. It is similar to the diaphragm (only smaller). The Femcap and Lea's Shield are two types of cervical caps

Depo Provera Shot

The depo shot, also known as DMPA, is an injectable form of progestin (one of the same synthetic hormones found in the pill). A woman must receive the shot every 3 months as this method will only provide optimal pregnancy protection for that amount of time. Two versions are available -- the Depo Provera shot and the Depo-subQ Provera injection.


Nexplanon is the newest version of Implanon. Both are considered newer types of progestin-only contraceptive implants. With very little differences between them, they both consist of a thin, flexible plastic implant that is inserted under the skin in the arm. Nexplanon and Implanon both provides up to 3 years of pregnancy protection.


A vasectomy is a surgical procedure - traditional vasectomies include a tiny cut in the upper part of the scrotum. No-scalpel vasectomies puncture the scrotum in lieu of an incision. Either approach allows the surgeon to cut, tie off or cauterize the vas deferens. After a vasectomy, men will still make semen, but it will be sperm-free.

Tubal Ligation

Tubal ligation offers surgical and nonsurgical options that permanently sterilize a woman. Both of these approaches work by sealing off or blocking the fallopian tubes - thus preventing an egg from meeting up with a sperm.

Contraceptive Injections

Birth control shots deliver synthetic hormones via an injection and are reversible birth control methods. Pregnancy protection ranges 30 days to14 weeks depending on the shot. Depo Provera and the Depo-subQ 104 Injection are progestin-only shots. Noristerat is another progestin injection but isn't available in the United States. Combined contraceptive injections contain both estrogen and progestin.


Abortion means ending a pregnancy. Given that unintended pregnancy is an issue that affects thousands of people each year, abortion is one of the most common medical procedures performed in the United States. There are several types of abortion procedures, depending upon the stage of pregnancy. Learn about abortion facts, reasons for abortion, and the various abortion methods available.

Progestin in Birth Control

Progestin is a common hormone found in birth control pills and hormonal contraception. What is it? Learn about the differences between progestins as well as the various progestin types. Information about the estrogenic effects, androgenic effects, and progestational selectivity for each type of progestin is discussed

Hormonal Contraception

Discussion and definition of hormonal birth control as well as the issues surrounding it. Learn about estrogen and progestin and how these hormones prevent ovulation. Discover how hormonal birth control methods, like the Pill, Depo Provera Shot, Patch, Ring, and Implants work to protect against pregnancy. Details about common side effects and medical risk factors are also included.

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