Types of Hormonal Birth Control Methods

Jun 17, 2009

The birth control pill

Nowadays, birth control pill is often prescribed for women to prevent unwanted pregnancy. It is also used for treatment of some conditions, like acne, hormonal disorders, premenstrual syndrome, endometriosis and others.

The birth control pills can be divided into two basic groups: combination birth control pills and mini-pills or progestin-only pills.

Combination birth control pills have estrogen in combination with progesterone. They are usually indicated to young women who have only started to use oral contraception. In their turn combination birth control pills are classified into monophasic, biphasic and triphasic pills. Combination birth control pills provide safe contraception and are usually well tolerated.

Mini-pills contain only progestin, a synthetic analogue of the hormone progesterone. Their contraceptive effect is based on the modification of the mucous membrane of the uterus, which prevents an egg from attaching to the uterine lining. Thus, mini-pills have a slightly less effective birth control effect (they have a 95-percent effectiveness, while combined birth control pill – 99 percent). The birth control pills should be administered regularly and may cause side-effects during the first months of their use.

Injectable contraceptives

Injectable contraceptives or birth control shots like Depo-Provera is a hormonal birth control method that is considered to be convenient for women who cannot use the pills or for women with contraindication to estrogen, since birth control shot contains only synthetic progesterone of prolonged action.

They don't have any effect on the quality of sex and have a therapeutic effect in certain health conditions.However, women who use this method of hormonal birth control need regular visits to the doctor for the injections and may need more time to restore their fertility (up to 2 years).

The implants

The implants represent plastic or silicone rods implanted under the skin. They provide a contraceptive effect up to 3 or 5 years by constantly releasing small doses of hormones into the blood. They can be removed anytime to restore the reproductive function.

Intrauterine device (IUD)

IUD represents intrauterine T-shaped device, like Mirena, which delivers small amounts of progestin hormone. The hormones are gradually released into a woman's body, which provides higher contraceptive effect. This method of birth control is often suitable for more women who already have children.

The hormonal ring

The vaginal hormonal ring represents a flexible contraceptive ring, which contains small doses of estrogen and progesterone. It is inserted inside the vagina during the first days of the periods and the ring is removed after 3 weeks.

The hormonal ring can cause such side-effects, as nausea or mid-cycle spotting.It is important to remember that hormonal birth control methods don't protect you from sexually transmitted diseases. To choose the right method of birth control  you need to consult your doctor for prescription and advice.