Birth Control Pills (BCPs): BCPs are a combination of the hormones estrogen and progestin. They come in packs of 28 pills. One pill taken at approximately the same time every day has over a 99% effectiveness rate. BCPs work by preventing your body from ovulating. Some side effects include headaches, weight gain, and nausea. These are not recommended for smokers and those over the age of 35 due to increased risk of blood clots.
Ortho Evra (the "Patch"): Ortho Evra is a hormonal patch that is worn on the body to prevent pregnancy. It is changed once a week for three weeks and then left off for the fourth week to allow menstruation. It continuously delivers hormones through the skin and into the bloodstream. This contraceptive patch contains hormones similar to those found in BC pills and can have similar side effects.
Depo Provera: Depo Provera ("Depo") is an injectable birth control containing the hormone progesterone. The shot is given every 12 weeks (approx. 4 times per year) so you don't have to deal with birth control on a day-to-day basis. However, it is extremely important to be on time for each scheduled shot. Depo works by preventing ovulation and is 99% effective. Some side effects include weight gain and irregular menstruation.
Nuvaring: The Nuvaring is a small, flexible ring that rests in the vagina, (like a tampon) delivering a steady, low dose of hormones around the clock to help prevent pregnancy. The ring is changed once a month and you get your period monthly. It is easy to insert and remove. Most women and their partners do not feel it. The Nuvaring contains hormones similar to BC pills and can have similar side effects but does not need to be “remembered” on a daily basis, making it more popular than birth control pills.
Nexplanon: A single plastic rod containing progestin placed under the skin in the upper arm. The progestin is released slowly and will last up to three years. Common side effects are spotting and over time periods may get lighter or stop.
An IUD is a small plastic device in the shape of the letter T either containing copper or the hormone Progesterone.
Liletta®, Mirena®, Skyla®
Liletta (progesterone) IUD lasts for 3 years (soon to be 6 years) and Mirena IUD lasts for up to 5 years. . IUDs are 99% effective. Many women and couples who are not ready for a vasectomy or tubal ligation (permanent sterilization) are very satisfied with this form of birth control. Some side effects include cramping during the menstrual cycle, and spotting off and on during the first few months after insertion.
The ParaGard IUD (copper/ non-hormonal) lasts 10 years. IUDs are 99% effective. Many women and couples who are not ready for a vasectomy or tubal ligation (permanent sterilization) are very satisfied with this form of birth control. Some side effects include cramping during the menstrual cycle, and spotting off and on during the first few months after insertion.
Emergency Contraception (EC): It is also called "Morning After Therapy" or the "Morning After Pill". EC was developed to help prevent pregnancy after having sex in situations such as a condom breaking, realizing you missed a birth control pill, your diaphragm slipped or you just didn't use birth control at all. EC is most effective if taken within 72 hours of unprotected sex. If you are already pregnant, it will not stop the pregnancy. If it fails and you do become pregnant, it will not harm the fetus should you choose to continue the pregnancy. The slogan for EC is "It won't hurt, and it might help." It is 75% effective in preventing pregnancy, depending on which brand is taken and how quickly it can be taken (it is most effective in the first 24 hours after unprotected sex). The most common side effect is nausea and/or vomiting. It is NOT effective as continuous birth control. You do not need a prescription in Washington State for EC. It’s available in all pharmacies without a prescription.
We do not offer these procedures in the clinic but will gladly provide you with referrals.
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