Listed below are the most common forms of birth control. Family Tree can provide many of these and other methods including information on abstinence and spermicides.
Barrier methods prevent pregnancy by stopping the sperm from reaching the egg. These methods include the condom, diaphragm, Lea’s Shield, Femcap, and the female condom.
Hormonal birth control methods prevent pregnancy several ways: by preventing the release of an egg (ovulation); by thickening cervical mucus to stop sperm from joining the egg; or by changing the uterine lining to prevent a fertilized egg from attaching to the uterus. Hormonal birth control does not protect against STIs.
Hormonal birth control methods are prescription medications. To get a prescription, a woman should have an annual medical exam. These prescriptions include: the Pill, Depo Provera, the Mirena IUD, the Patch (Ortho Evra), the vaginal ring (nuva ring) and emergency contraception (EC).
The copper IUD is a non-hormonal device placed in the uterus to prevent sperm from fertilizing an egg. Fertility awareness means knowing when there’s a chance of pregnancy and avoiding unprotected sex during that time. Tubal ligation and vasectomy are permanent ways of preventing pregnancy. Family Tree does not provide these services. Call the Minnesota Family Planning and STD Hotline, 1–800-78-FACTS for referrals to clinics that provide those services.
|Method||Effectiveness||Protection Against STIs|
|Abstinence||Moderate to High*||Yes, if used perfectly|
|Condom||Moderate to High*||Yes|
|Female Condom||Moderate to High*||Yes|
|Fertility Awareness Method||Moderate to High*||None|
|The Vaginal Ring||High||None|
|Safer Sex||Moderate to High*||Yes|
|Standard Days Method||Moderate to High*||None|
|Tubal Ligation||Very High||None|
*Depends on how consistently method is used
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