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Reversible Contraceptive options


You will not get pregnant if you do not have sex.

Estrogen & Progesterone Together

The pill, the patch, and the ring DO the same thing in the same way. The combination of estrogen and progesterone taken at least 21 days in a row, without more than a SEVEN day break, prevents pregnancy. Smokers over 35 years old should NOT use this method because of an increased chance of having a blood clot in the leg or lung. Women with high blood pressure usually use some other method of birth control. Few women stop the pill/patch/ring because of side effects. Some women have problems with headaches,

The Pill

For comparison, the “regular pill” is effective if you take it daily. It is not sensitive to exactly When you take it and remains effective, even if you miss a single day per month. Patients should take the missed pill As Soon as they remember, or take two pills the next day. Missing two days in a row can lead to pregnancy. Some women take the pill continuously, to prevent getting a period at all. This is called combined continuous contraception. The regular pill may not prevent pregnancy if you miss two pills in one cycle.

ringThe Patch & The Ring

The patch and the ring are medically the same as the regular pill.

The patch gets placed on the skin like a sticker weekly for three weeks, with One week Off. It may not be effective in women who weight more than 198 pounds…[read more]

The ring goes in the vagina (as shown), at the same time each month. It stays there for Three weeks, is removed for One week, and then the next one is placed again. Neither you OR your partner will feel it when you have sex. It does not fall out, but it is easy to put in and take out. It may have the fewest side effects of these three methods…[read more]

Progesterone Only

Some women can not, will not, or should not use estrogen. For these women there is hormonal contraception using ONLY progesterone.

The MINIpill

The progesterone-only birth control pill called Micronor (MINIpill) is the method most likely to fail. Seeing as the goal is to prevent pregnancy, I discourage the progesterone-only “mini-pill.”  What good is a pill that does not reliably prevent pregnancy?  The “issue” with the progesterone-only pill is the Time of Day that you Take the Pill. The progesterone only pill MUST be taken at the same time every day. For example, you probably need to take it between 12p and 1p every day, or it will not reliably prevent pregnancy.

The MINIpill is supposed to be most compatible with breast feeding. The regular birth control pill is simple, safe, effective, etc…but it has been accused of drying up the milk supply, though this is not exactly true. The literature accusing the pill of doing this is not very reliable. So, maybe we just don’t know. In any case, we rarely use the regular pill in breastfeeding women.

The progesterone pill may not prevent pregnancy if you are not able to take it daily, AT THE SAME TIME EACH DAY.

depoProvera Shot

The depoProvera shot is a reversible, “don’t have to remember” method that is effective for 3 months. The shot is totally fine for smokers over age 35, women with high blood pressure, most women with blood clotting problems, and women who are breast feeding. This shot can make periods disappear over about 9 months. In the meanwhile a woman may have daily spotting (not enough to wear a pad), or irregular bleeding. Weight gain is common. A list of Possible side effects can be summarized by saying: some women just do not like how they feel on Depo. I do not recommend Depo for women considering pregnancy in the next One year.


Nexplanon has a similar mechanism to DepoProvera, the MINIpill and the progesterone IUD Mirena. Nexplanon is an implantable medicine stick. It is placed just above the elbow, on the inside of the arm.  It is effective for three years. The primary side effect is light, irregular bleeding. It is similar to Norplant, a method removed from the market because of problems, years ago. They worked out the problems, and now one can enjoy 3 years of safe, effective, estrogen- free contraception. It has MILD progesterone side effects, which may be better than the DepoProvera…[read more]

IUD – Intrauterine Device

mirena-iudThis is a small “device” placed into the uterus during an examination like a pap smear. It can be crampy when placed. Once it is in neither you nor your partner can feel it. When placed, make sure the stings are cut long. There are virtually NO side effects from an IUD. They come out Easier than they go in. You can get pregnant the same month that your IUD is removed, if you wish. You have a choice of IUD: Mirena, Progesterone, works for up to five years…[read more] and T380 Paraguard works for up to ten years and has NO hormones…[read more].



Permanent Birth Control

Permanent birth control or Sterilization is available for those who do not wish to worry about maintaining a contraceptive routine any longer…[read more]

Postpartum Contraception

After the birth of your child you will have several decisions to make from work to day care to strollers. Luckily, birth control isn’t a very difficult one. There are many options available to you when you are ready…[read more]

How to Take the Pill

The “Pill” is a medicine that contains estrogen and progesterone. When taken daily, it prevents pregnancy…[read more]