Uses, risks and benefits of non-pill options


No need to take a pill every day. There are birth control methods which last for weeks, months or even years with little effort on your part and no surgery. They are safe and effective for most healthy women.

Which is best for you?

“The best method of contraception for any woman it is the method she will use correctly and consistently, ”says Elizabeth Micks, MD, MPH, assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Washington University Medical Center.

Find out what’s available, what’s available and how well it works.


It is a small T-shaped device that the doctor places inside the uterus or uterus after doing a checkup. It can stay there for 3 to 10 years, depending on its type.

Once the IUD is in place, you will not need to do anything else to prevent it pregnancy. They are 20 times more effective than pills, patches or rings. Less than 1 in 100 women get pregnant during his first year at the IUD.


Your doctor can easily remove it if you decide you want to get pregnant or you no longer want to use it.

Hormonal IUDs they are plastic and release the hormone progestin. This thickens the mucus of yours cervix (lower part of the uterus), which is maintained sperm to enter. It also thins the walls of the uterus. This prevents a fertilized egg from adhering to it, which is part of pregnancy.

There are four brands of hormonal IUDs available: Kyleena, Liletta, Mirena, i Skyla. They all rely on the same drug, called levonorgestrel. Liletta and Mirena last six years. Kyleena releases the lowest dose of hormones for the longest time. It lasted five years. Mirena can also reduce intense menstrual bleeding by up to 90% after the first 6 months.

“It is so effective in treating women with heavy bleeding, painful periods, even women with endometriosis [a disorder of the uterus], fibroids [noncancerous tumors], and other problems, “says Micks.

The downside for some women is overcoming these first 6 months. “Hormonal IUDs can cause a lot of irregular bleeding at first, which for many women is not really acceptable,” says Micks. “Women don’t like spots (mild bleeding between periods).”


Copper IUD they have no hormones. Copper works as a spermicide and prevents sperm of fertilizing an egg. If an egg is fertilized, it can prevent the implantation of an embryo.

Women who want a hormone-free form contraception (i.e., less potential side effects) usually choose these devices. No hormones Birth control, however, does not have the same effect on the menstrual cycle.

“It’s not true for all women, but overall periods can be a little heavier and tighter with the copper IUD,” Micks says. “It’s not a method we would choose in a woman who already has intense periods“.

Birth control implant

Your doctor inserts this small, thin, flexible plastic wand into your arm. It is the size of a matchstick. As a hormonal IUD, the implant releases progestin into the body. It works for up to 3 years and your doctor can remove it at any time before.

Like IUDs, implants are also 20 times more effective than pads, patches, or rings.


Some women have irregular bleeding during the first 6 to 12 months. For most, periods become lighter and occur less frequently.

“What comes with the implant is that it’s very unpredictable,” Micks says. “Some will stop having periods, but some will have a little more bleeding.”

With his patients, Micks says, “if they don’t look good get pregnant in a year, I recommend they do an IUD or an implant, “he says.” They can remove it at any time, even a day later, a month later, as long as it is. “

The Shot (Depo-Provera)

This method protects against pregnancy for 3 months at a time. Use progestin to do this.

Only 1 in 100 women who receive the shot every 12 weeks will get pregnant. For those who do not get the planned plan, 6 out of 100 will do so get pregnant.

Similar to other progestin methods, the shot can cause irregular bleeding during the first year. About half of women will have less and lighter periods after that. Others may have more severe and longer periods.


The shot can cause bone thinning, which stops after the injection is over. For this reason, women are at risk osteoporosis must use a different form of Birth control.

If you want to use the shot for more than 2 years, you should talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of continuing it. Women with Lung cancer and those who take it medicines for Cushing’s syndrome (a disease for being exposed to high levels of the hormone cortisol) should also not be suffered.

Some women may not want the vaccine because it requires going to the doctor’s office every 3 months. In some areas of the US, women may receive a prescription for an injection that they make themselves. If giving yourself a chance makes you splash, before you decide, find out if there are convenient places to get it (such as a local health center).

If you want get pregnant over the next year, you may consider other methods of birth control. It can take ten months or more to become fertile again after stopping the shoot.

Birth control combination

Like most birth control pills, the patch and the ring prevent pregnancy with the hormones progestin and estrogens. Use the patch and ring for 3 weeks, then stop one. During this “free week”, you will get the period. Some women, who want to stop menstruating completely, do not take a week off.

Women who take the fourth week off usually have lighter periods and fewer symptoms.

You must change the patch or ringer on time. Nine out of every 100 women who do not use them according to the instructions become pregnant.

Like the pill, both the patch and the ring can increase the risk blood clots. Not recommended for women with risk factors stroke, blood clots, o heart disease, such as women over the age of 35 who smoke.

The patch is a thin, beige plastic sticker that you bring with you skin at all times for a week. Stick it on the outside of your arm, back, back, or yours stomach. Replace the patch every week for 3 weeks and you usually take a week off.


Some women complain that the patch falls off or irritates them skin where it applies.

The ring is another option. It is sold under the name Annovera or NuvaRing, is a small ring that you insert into your vagina, similar to a tampon. Leave it for 3 weeks. After that, take a week off so you can experience a period. With Annovera, re-insert the ring. With NuvaRing, insert a new ring.

The ring may fall off before it is time to change it. If this happens, just rinse it off and put it back on. If it is broken, you must insert a new one.

The patch and ring are not as effective as the pill, IUD, implants, or shots. But some women still use the ring and the ring, Micks says, because they feel more controlled by a method they can stop at any time without a doctor’s visit.

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