Combined Hormonal Birth Control Methods

Birth control pills, the birth control patch, and the vaginal birth control ring are combined hormonal birth control methods. They contain two hormones: estrogen and progestin.

How do combined hormonal methods prevent pregnancy?

Combined hormonal birth control methods release estrogen and progestin into the whole body. These hormones prevent pregnancy mainly by stopping ovulation (the release of an egg from one of the ovaries). They also cause other changes in the body that help prevent pregnancy. The mucus in the cervix thickens, making it hard for sperm to enter the uterus. The lining of the uterus thins, making it less likely that a fertilized egg can attach to it.

How effective are combined hormonal birth control methods?

With typical use—meaning that the method may not always be used consistently or correctly—9 women out of 100 (9%) will become pregnant during the first year of using these methods. With perfect use—meaning that the method is used consistently and correctly each time—fewer than 1 woman out of 100 will become pregnant during the first year.

What are the benefits of combined hormonal methods?

Combined hormonal methods have several benefits in addition to protecting against pregnancy:

  • They may make your period more regular, lighter, and shorter.
  • They help reduce menstrual cramps.
  • They decrease the risk of cancer of the uterus, ovary, and colon.
  • They may improve acne and reduce unwanted hair growth.
  • They can be used to treat certain disorders that cause heavy bleeding and menstrual pain, such as fibroids and endometriosis.
  • Used continuously, they can reduce the frequency of migraines associated with menstruation (although they should not be used if you have migraines with aura). They also can be used to treat heavy bleeding and pain by stopping the menstrual period.

Long-Acting Reversible Contraception (LARC) Methods

Long-acting reversible contraception (LARC) methods include the intrauterine device (IUD) and the birth control implant. Both methods are highly effective in preventing pregnancy, last for several years, and are easy to use. Both are reversible—if you want to become pregnant or if you want to stop using them, you can have them removed at any time.

How effective are LARC methods?

The IUD and the implant are the most effective forms of reversible birth control available. During the first year of typical use, fewer than 1 in 100 women using an IUD or an implant will become pregnant. This rate is in the same range as that for sterilization.

How do LARC methods compare with other methods of contraception?

Over the long term, LARC methods are 20 times more effective than birth control pills, the patch, or the ring.

What is the intrauterine device (IUD)?

The IUD is a small, T-shaped, plastic device that is inserted into and left inside the uterus. There are two types of IUDs:

1. The hormonal IUD releases progestin. Different brands of hormonal IUDs are approved for use for up to 5 years and for up to 3 years.

2. The copper IUD does not contain hormones. It is approved for use for up to 10 years.

How does the IUD work?

Both types of IUDs work mainly by preventing fertilization of the egg by the sperm. The hormonal IUDs also thicken cervical mucus, which makes it harder for sperm to enter the uterus and fertilize the egg, and keep the lining of the uterus thin, which makes it less likely that a fertilized egg will attach to it. .

What are the benefits of the IUD?

The IUD has the following benefits:

  • Once it is in place, you do not have to do anything else to prevent pregnancy.
  • No one can tell that you are using birth control.
  • It does not interfere with sex or daily activities.
  • It can be inserted immediately after an abortion, a miscarriage, or childbirth and while breastfeeding.
  • Almost all women are able to use an IUD.
  • If you wish to become pregnant or if you want to stop using it, you can simply have the IUD removed.
  • The hormonal IUD helps decrease menstrual pain and heavy menstrual bleeding.
  • The copper IUD also is the most effective form of emergency contraception.

Contraceptive Implants

What is Implanon?

Implanon, also know as Nexplanon, is a type of birth control implant that is a low-dose, progestin-only method, meaning there is no estrogen in it. The implant is a thin rod of flexible plastic, about the size of a matchstick. It is safe, and a highly effective birth control method, 99.9% effective.

How is Implanon inserted?

Implanon is inserted just under the skin on the inner side of your upper arm. It requires a local anesthetic and only takes a few minutes.

How long will Implanon last?

Implanon is good for three years of protection against pregnancy. It can be removed before the three years is up.

What are the advantages of Implanon?

Implanon allows for continuous, long-lasting birth control. It is convenient and hassle-free. It is a good option for women who can’t take estrogen, or are breastfeeding.

What are the disadvantages of Implanon?

Irregular bleeding is the most frequent side effect. 30% of women have no periods at all after one year of use. Your provider must remove the Implanon, and complications occurred in 1.7% of patients.

For more information visit:

Call our office today or contact us online to make an appointment to discuss your options for contraception. 269-372-7800

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