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Abstinence

Effectiveness (chances of NOT


getting pregnant): 100%
What is Abstinence?
Refraining from vaginal, anal, or oral
intercourse.
Advantages of Abstinence:

No risk of unintended
pregnancy.

No risk of becoming infected


with a sexually transmitted
disease.

Opportunities to express
feelings and affection for
another in other ways.
Disadvantages of Abstinence:

Both partners must agree to


honor this choice.

Partners must have excellent


communication skills; yes
must mean yes and no must
mean no.

May need emergency


contraceptive method if this
method fails.
How do I decide?

Are you comfortable


expressing your feelings for
another in nonsexual ways?

Is your partner in agreement?

Does this method fit with


your religious or moral
beliefs?

Is abstinence the best


decision for you?

Do you want to discuss this


method with your clinician,
family planning clinic staff,
husband, partner, friend, or
family member?
In the Philadelphia area, click here for
a list of local family planning clinics.
Outside of Philadelphia, please click
here for a clinic near you.

It is a barrier contraceptive
method.

A soft rubber cup like device


that fits snuggly around the
base of the cervix.

It is used with spermicide for


prolonged and additional
pregnancy prevention.
What are the advantages of the
cervical cap?

Simple to use.
No serious side effects.
Does not require partner
involvement.

Good for persons who do not


have sex on a regular basis.

May decrease risks of some


sexually transmitted diseases.

Provides contraceptive
protection for up to 48 hours,
no matter how many times
lovemaking occurs.

Does not interrupt


lovemaking.

Does not interfere with


breast-feeding.
What are the disadvantages of
the cervical cap?

Consistent and correct use is


required to prevent
pregnancy.

Persons with allergies to latex


or spermicides cannot use.

Remains in vagina for at least


6 hours after intercourse.

Possible risk of Toxic Shock


Syndrome, if worn longer
than 48 hours.

May experience vaginal odor


with prolonged use.
How Do I Decide?

Click here to download PDF fact


sheet
top of page

Cervical Cap
Effectiveness (chances of NOT
getting pregnant): 60-90 %
What is the cervical cap?

Are you comfortable inserting


a medical device into your
vagina?
Do you have sex frequently
(more than three times
weekly)? If so, you may want
to use another method.
Are you sensitive or allergic to
latex or spermicidal
products?
Does this method fit with
your religious or moral
beliefs?
Is the cervical cap the best
method for you?
Do you want to discuss this
method with your clinician,
family planning clinic staff,
husband, partner, friend, or
family member?

In the Philadelphia area, click here for


a list of local family planning clinics.
Outside of Philadelphia, please click
here for a clinic near you.
REMINDER: This method does not
provide any protection against sexually
transmitted diseases (STD's)
including HIV and Hepatitis B. Using
a condom consistently can help to
protect you from STD's.
Click here to download a PDF fact
sheet
For more information click here
top of page
Condom (Male)
Effectiveness (chances of NOT
getting pregnant): 86 - 97%
What is a male condom?

Made out of latex (rubber),


but polyurethane and tactylon
(both plastic) are available.

Over the counter barrier


method of birth control.
Advantages of the male condom:

Easy to get and relatively


inexpensive.

Can be discontinued at any


time.

Provides some protection


from sexually transmitted
diseases and HIV.

Reliable method for people


who cannot use hormonal
birth control methods.

Responsibility of both
partners.

Can be purchased without a


prescription.

Does not interfere with


breast-feeding.
Disadvantages of the male
condom; you may experience the
following:

Non-cooperative partner.
Some irritation or sensitivity
to latex.
Difficulty using condoms
correctly.
Must use a new condom with
every sex act.
Some men say it reduces
sexual feelings.

Must be rolled onto an erect


penis before sexual
intercourse, can interrupt
foreplay.

Spillage or leaking of sperm is


possible if condom is put on
or removed incorrectly.
How Should I decide?

Will you remember to use it


every time you have sex?

Will your partner be


cooperative in the use of this
method?

Can you or your partner


maintain an erection?

Does this method fit with


your religious or moral
beliefs?

Is the condom the best


method for you?

Do you want to discuss this


method with your clinician,
family planning clinic staff,
partner, friend, or family
member?
In the Philadelphia area, click here for
a list of local family planning clinics.
Outside of Philadelphia, please click
here for a clinic near you.
Click here to download PDF fact
sheet
top of page
Depo-Provera ("The Shot")
Effectiveness (chances of NOT
getting pregnant): More than 99%
What is Depo-Provera?

It is an injection given every 3


months.

It contains synthetic
progesterone.

It stops ovulation, and/or


thickens the cervical mucus to
prevent sperm from passing
through.

It is a reversible method of
birth control given only by
prescription.
Advantages of Depo-Provera:

Does not interfere with sex.


Only need to get a shot 4
times a year.
May stop menses or make
them very light.
Excellent alternative for
women 35 and older who
smoke.

Reduces the risk of ovarian


and endometrial cancer.
Disadvantages of Depo-Provera:

Irregular or unpredictable
bleeding or spotting.

Possible hair loss.

Weight gain, especially right


after pregnancy.

It may delay your chances of


getting pregnant after the
shots are stopped. It can take
between six and eighteen
months for menstruation and
ovulation to return
consistently. This does not
mean that you are protected
from pregnancy during this
time. Use alternate
protection, such as condoms.

Does not protect against


sexually transmitted diseases
(see warning below).

You must go to the clinic or


doctor's office 4 times a year.
How Do I Decide?

Is getting a shot a problem for


you?

Do you have any medical


problems that will prevent
you from taking DepoProvera?

Do you have liver disease,


breast cancer or blood clots in
your arms, legs or lungs?

Do you have sex frequently or


not very often, if not very
often do you want extra
hormones in your body all the
time?

Does this method fit with


your religious, or moral
beliefs?

Is the Depo-Provera shot the


best decision for you?

Do you want to discuss this


method with your clinician,
family planning clinic staff,
husband, partner, friend, or
family member?
In the Philadelphia area, click here for
a list of local family planning clinics.
Outside of Philadelphia, please click
here for a clinic near you.
REMINDER: This method does not
provide any protection against sexually
transmitted diseases (STD's)
including HIV and Hepatitis B. Using
a condom consistently can help to
protect you from STD's.
Click here to download PDF fact
sheet

For more information click here


top of page
Diaphragm
Effectiveness (chances of NOT
getting pregnant): 80-94% (during
first year of use and whether or not you
have delivered a child)
What is a diaphragm?

Barrier type birth control


method prescribed by your
family planning clinician.

A dome shaped rubber cup


with flexible rim that covers
the cervix and is inserted into
the vagina before intercourse.

Used in combination with


spermicidal jelly or cream.
Advantages of the diaphragm:

Simple to use.
No serious systemic side
effects.

Does not require partner


involvement.

Good for persons who do not


have sex on a regular basis.

Decreases risk of some


sexually transmitted diseases.

Does not interrupt


lovemaking.

Decreases risk of cervical


cancer.

Does not interfere with


breast-feeding.
Disadvantages of the diaphragm:

Consistent and correct use is


required to prevent
pregnancy.

Persons with allergies to latex


or spermicides cannot use.

Increased risks for developing


urinary tract infections
(UTI's).

Remains in vagina for at least


6 hours after intercourse.

Repeated sexual intercourse


requires additional
spermicide.

Must remove within 24 hours


to avoid risk of toxic shock
syndrome (TSS).

Must replace diaphragm


every two years.
How Do I Decide?

Are you comfortable touching


your vagina?

Are you comfortable inserting


a medical device into your
vagina?

Do you have sex frequently


(more than three times
weekly)? If so you may want
to use another method.

Are you sensitive or allergic to


latex or spermicidal
products?

Does this method fit with


your religious or moral
beliefs?

Is the diaphragm the best


method for you?

Do you want to discuss this


method with your clinician,
family planning clinic staff,
husband, partner, friend, or
family member?
In the Philadelphia area, click here for
a list of local family planning clinics.
Outside of Philadelphia, please click
here for a clinic near you.
REMINDER: This method does not
provide any protection against sexually
transmitted diseases (STD's)
including HIV and Hepatitis B. Using
a condom consistently can help to
protect you from STD's.
Click here to download PDF fact
sheet
For more information click here
top of page
ECP or Emergency Contraceptive
Pills
Effectiveness (chance of NOT getting
pregnant): 74 % - 89%

Interferes with egg


development.

Prevents or delays ovulation.

Inhibits fertilization.
Advantages of ECP or Emergency
Contraceptive Pills:

Only method of contraception


used to prevent pregnancy
after unprotected sex.

Only method used to prevent


pregnancy after male condom
slipped, broke, or leaked.

Only method used to prevent


pregnancy after a woman's
diaphragm or cervical cap was
inserted incorrectly, removed
too early, or found to be torn.

Only method used to prevent


pregnancy after a woman has
missed one or more of oral
contraceptives.

Only method used to prevent


pregnancy when a female
condom was inserted or
removed incorrectly.

Method may be obtained


ahead of time from a family
planning clinician to be used
when needed. Plan B, a brand
name for ECP, is also
available at a pharmacy.
Women and men who are 18
or older can now purchase
Plan B over the counter with
proof of age. In most states,
including Pennsylvania,
women 17 or under will still
need a prescription from a
clinician for Plan B or other
ECP methods.
Disadvantages of ECP or
Emergency Contraceptive Pills:

What is the ECP or Emergency


Contraceptive Pills?

An emergency contraceptive
method used after sexual
intercourse to prevent
pregnancy.
Is most effective when used
within 12 hours of
unprotected intercourse or
contraceptive accident.
ECP can be used up to 72
hours or three days after
unprotected sex.
ECP only works if a woman is
not already pregnant.

Does not work if already


pregnant.
Limited time frame (ECP
must be used within 72 hours
or three days after
unprotected sex). Is not an
ongoing method of
contraception.
Nausea occurs in 23% to 50 %
of women who use this
method (medications to
prevent nausea are available).
Vomiting occurs in 5 to 25%
of women who use this
method (medications to
prevent vomiting are
available).
Ectopic (tubal) pregnancy
may be a possible result.
ECP changes the amount,
duration, and timing of the
next menstrual period in

about 10 to 15% of women


treated.

There is still a chance of


pregnancy. If menstrual cycle
does not start in 7 days,
consider pregnancy and
contact your family planning
clinician.

Does not provide protection


from sexually transmitted
diseases.
How do I decide?

Do you want to be pregnant?


Do you understand that there
is a possibility of pregnancy
after taking ECP?

Do you have unprotected sex


frequently?

Is 72 hours enough time for


you to make a decision and
get ECP?

Does this method fit with


your religious or moral
beliefs?

Do you want to discuss this


method with your clinician,
family planning clinic staff,
husband, partner, friend, or
family member?
For more information about ECP,
check out Not-2-Late.com, 1-888NOT-2-LATE or 1-800-330-1271. In
the Philadelphia area, click here for a
list of local family planning clinics.
Outside of Philadelphia, please click
here for a clinic near you.
Visit ec.princeton.edu to see the list of
resources.
REMINDER: This method does not
provide any protection against sexually
transmitted diseases (STD's)
including HIV and Hepatitis B. Using
a condom consistently can help to
protect you from STD's.
Click here to download PDF fact
sheet
For more information click here
top of page
Female Condom
Effectiveness (chances of NOT
getting pregnant): 79% - 95%
What is the female condom?

Over the counter barrier


method of birth control.
It is polyurethane (plastic)
sheath with an inner ring that

fits inside the vagina, around


the cervix (like the
diaphragm) and an outer ring
that covers the outside labia.

After the man ejaculates, you


must twist the end closed and
gently pull from the vagina.
Advantages of the female
condoms:

Can be inserted into the


vagina up to eight hours
before sexual intercourse.

Can be used with spermicides


to increase STD protection.

Provides protection against


some sexually transmitted
diseases and HIV.

Can be used by people allergic


to latex or spermicides or by
those who can't take
hormones.

Made from polyurethane


plastic, which conducts body
heat.

Erection unnecessary to keep


female condom in place.

Some women and men have


an increased sensitivity or
"natural" feel compared to
male condoms.

Can be purchased without a


prescription.

Does not interfere with


breast-feeding.
Disadvantages of the female
condoms:
You may experience the following:

Difficulty inserting and/or


keeping in place.

Cannot be combined with


male condoms as they pull
each other off.

May be noisy (add more


lubricant if this is a problem).

May irritate vagina or penis.

More expensive than male


latex condoms.

Must be used every time you


have sex.

After the man ejaculates, you


must twist the end close and
gently pull from the vagina.
How do I decide?

Are you comfortable touching


your vaginal area?
Will you remember to use it
every time you have sex?
Does this method fit with
your religious or moral
beliefs?
Is the female condom the best
method for you?

Do you want to discuss this


method with your clinician,
family planning clinic staff,
husband, partner, friend, or
family member?
In the Philadelphia area, click here for
a list of local family planning clinics.
Outside of Philadelphia, please click
here for a clinic near you.
REMINDER: This method provides
some protection against sexually
transmitted diseases (STD's) including
HIV and Hepatitis B. Using condoms
consistently can help provide
protection from STD's.
Click here to download PDF fact
sheet
top of page
Female Sterilization
Effectiveness (chances of NOT
getting pregnant): More than 99%
What is female sterilization?
A surgical intervention that
mechanically blocks the fallopian tube
to prevent the sperm
and egg from uniting.
Advantages of female
sterilization:

Very reliable and effective


method of contraception.

Permanent method.

No long term side effects.

Does not interrupt


lovemaking.

Does not require partner


involvement.

Nothing to remember or buy.

Does not interfere with


breast-feeding.
Disadvantages of female
sterilization:

Permanent method.
Difficult and expensive to
reverse surgical procedure.

Requires skilled surgeon to


perform procedure.

Expensive procedure.

Possible ectopic (tubal)


pregnancy if method fails.

No protection against
sexually transmitted diseases.
How do I decide?

Are you sure you do not want


any more children?

Are you willing to have an


operation to prevent
pregnancy?

Have you considered other


methods?

Does this method fit with


your religious or moral
beliefs?

Your decision for female


sterilization should be what is
best for you.

Do you want to discuss this


method with your clinician,
family planning clinic staff,
husband, partner, friend, or
family member?
In the Philadelphia area, click here for
a list of local family planning clinics.
Outside of Philadelphia, please click
here for a clinic near you.
REMINDER: This method does not
provide any protection against sexually
transmitted diseases (STD's)
including HIV and Hepatitis B. Using
a condom consistently can help to
protect you from STD's.
Click here to download PDF fact
sheet
top of page
Intrauterine Device ("IUD")
Effectiveness (chances of NOT
getting pregnant): 98% - 99%
What is an IUD?

Small plastic device which is


placed in the uterus by a
clinician.

Prevents sperm from


fertilizing egg.

Some contain synthetic


progesterone others have
copper on them.

It is a reversible method of
birth control given only by
prescription.
Advantages of the IUD:

Easy to use, low maintenance


method.
Easily inserted and removed
in a clinic or doctor's office.
Has no systemic side effects.
Depending on the type they
can be left in place 1, 5, or 10
years.

Reduces the risk of tubal


pregnancy.

Does not interfere with


breast-feeding.
Disadvantages of the IUD:

Must be inserted and


removed in a clinic or doctor's
office.

Easily inserted and removed


in a clinic or doctor's office.

May be some cramping or


pain at the time of insertion.

May experience increased


bleeding or cramping during
periods.

May experience spotting


between periods.

Should not be used by women


with multiple sex partners
because this increases
exposure to STD's, which
significantly increases the risk
of pelvic inflammatory
disease (PID).
How do I decide?

Does this method fit with


your religious or moral
beliefs?

Do you have sex frequently?


(The IUD functions 24 hours
a day.)

Decide if it fits your birth


control needs.

Is the IUD the best method


for you?

Do you want to discuss this


method with your clinician,
family planning clinic staff,
husband, partner, friend, or
family member?
In the Philadelphia area, click here for
a
list of local family planning clinics.
Outside of Philadelphia, please click
here for a clinic
near you.
REMINDER: This method does not
provide any protection against sexually
transmitted diseases (STD's)
including HIV and Hepatitis B. Using
a condom consistently can help to
protect you from STD's.
Click here to download PDF fact
sheet
For more information click here
top of page
Norplant

Effectiveness (chances of NOT


getting pregnant): More than 99%
What is Norplant?

Six capsules containing


synthetic hormones inserted
under the skin of your upper
arm.

Capsules slowly release


hormones into the
bloodstream over a 5-year
period.

These hormones stop the


ovaries from releasing an egg
each month.

Hormones also thicken


mucus in the cervix (opening
to the uterus), stopping
sperm from entering it.

Reversible method of birth


control.
Advantages of Norplant:

Long term method can stay in


for 5 years.

After 12 to 18 months of using


this method, periods usually
stop.

Can be removed anytime, and


the woman can become
pregnant right away.

Does not interfere with sex.

Reduces risk of ovarian or


endometrial cancer.
Disadvantages of Norplant:

You may experience spotting


between periods, light
periods, longer periods, or no
periods.

You may experience weight


gain and hair loss.

It is expensive anywhere
between $500 and $700
depending on where you go
(at a Title X Federally
supported family planning
clinic fees are based on family
size and income, so fees could
range from $0 to $700).

It requires minor surgery for


insertion and removal of the
capsules (done in the clinic or
doctor's office).

Effectiveness is lowered by
most antiseizure medications.
How do I decide?

Is having a small scar and


having the capsules in your
body a problem for you?
Do you have any medical
problems such as breast
cancer, liver, or heart disease

that will prevent you from


using this method?

Does this method fit with


your religious or moral
beliefs?

Do you have sex frequently or


not very often? If not very
often, do you want
extrahormones in your body
all the time?

Is the Norplant method best


for you?

Do you want to discuss this


method with your clinician,
family planning clinic staff,
husband, partner, friend, or
family member?
In the Philadelphia area, click here for
a list of local family planning clinics.
Outside of Philadelphia, please click
here for a clinic near you.
REMINDER: This method does not
provide any protection against sexually
transmitted diseases (STD's)
including HIV and Hepatitis B. Using
a condom consistently can help to
protect you from STD's.
Click here to download PDF fact
sheet
top of page
NuvaRing ("The Ring")
Effectiveness

99% chance of NOT getting


pregnant

Less than 1 per 100 women


may become pregnant with
proper use.
What is the NuvaRing?

The NuvaRing is a
comfortable, flexible
contraceptive ring that is
about two inches in diameter
and contains synthetic low
dose hormones (progestin
and estrogen); these
hormones are similar to those
produced by a womens body.
The NuvaRing is placed
directly into the vagina;
hormones are released from
the ring and are directly
absorbed through the walls of
the vagina then distributed
into the bloodstream.
Pregnancy is prevented
because the ring prevents the
ovaries from producing
mature eggs.

The ring is a reversible


method of birth control
available only by
prescription.
Advantages of NuvaRing

Does not interfere with sex.


Ability to remove the ring at
leisure.

No need to remember to put


it on daily/weekly. Month
long protection (3 weeks in, 1
week out)

Exact positioning of the


NuvaRing is not critical;
however the ring should be
placed high in the vault of the
vagina.

Muscles within the vagina


allow the ring to stay in place
during sex and/or exercise.

Reduces menstrual flow and


cramping.

Decreases acne outbreaks.

Reduces the risk of ovarian


and endometrial cancer.

Ability to become pregnant


immediately after
discontinued use, if seeking
pregnancy.
Disadvantages of NuvaRing

Not a good choice if patient is


uncomfortable with touching
herself.

Increased risk of heart attack,


stroke, or blood clots (in
lungs, legs, or arms),
especially if you smoke more
than 15 cigarettes a day, or
are over 35 and smoke.

Patient may experience


vagina discomfort and
discharge.

If the ring is kept out of the


vagina longer than 3 hours on
any day during the 21 day
period (3weeks) pregnancy
can occur; therefore a backup method (condoms) is
recommended for 7 days.

Does not prevent sexually


transmitted diseases (see
warning below).
For more detailed information and
how to use the ring click here.

Do you have liver disease,


breast cancer and/or blood
clots in lungs, legs, or arms?

Are you taking any


medications that may
interfere with the
effectiveness of the ring?
(Consult with a clinician)

Does this method fit with


your religious or moral
beliefs?
In the Philadelphia area, click here for
a list of local family planning clinics.
Outside of Philadelphia, please click
here for a clinic near you.
REMINDER: This method does not
provide any protection against sexually
transmitted diseases
(STD's) including HIV and Hepatitis B.
Using a condom consistently can help
to protect you from STD's.
Click here to download PDF fact
sheet
For more information click here
top of page

Ortho Evra ("The Patch")


Effectiveness

95% - 99% chance of NOT


getting pregnant

Between 1 and 5 per 100


women may become pregnant
with proper use.
What is the Patch?

How Do I Decide?

Are you comfortable touching


your genitalia to place and
remove the ring?
Are you smoking more than
15 cigarettes a day? If yes this
method may not be good for
you.

The Patch contains synthetic


hormones (progesterone and
estrogen); these hormones
are similar to those produced
by a womens body.
The patch is placed directly
on the skin; these hormones
are released from the patch
directly through the skin into
the bloodstream.
Pregnancy is prevented
because the patch stops
ovulation and/or thickens the
cervical mucus and stops
sperm from passing through.
The patch is a reversible
method of birth control
available only by
prescription.
The patch is less effective in
women weighting more than
198lbs.

Advantages of the Patch

Does not interfere with sex.


No need to remember to put
it on daily. Apply a new patch
once a week.

Reduces menstrual flow and


cramping.

Decreases acne outbreaks.

Reduces the risk of ovarian


and endometrial cancer.

Ability to become pregnant


immediately after
discontinued use, if seeking
pregnancy.
Disadvantages of the Patch

May cause slight skin


irritation at the patch site.

Increased risk of heart attack,


stroke, or blood clots (in
lungs, legs, or arms),
especially if you smoke more
than 15 cigarettes a day, or
are over 35 and smoke.

Possible mood swings or


depression.

Women are encouraged not to


use creams, lotions, or oils
near the patch site these
agents may cause the patch to
detach.

Does not prevent sexually


transmitted diseases (see
warning below).
Recent news stories
overstate the blood clot risk
from the Ortho Evra
contraceptive patch, experts
tell WebMD. For more
information visit:
http://www.my.webmd.com/content/
Article/108/109067.htm
http://www.orthoevra.com/about/ma
nufacturing_statement.html
How Do I Decide?

Can you remember to put on


a new patch once a week?
Are you smoking more than
15 cigarettes a day? If yes this
method may not be good for
you.
Do you have liver disease,
breast cancer and/or blood
clots in lungs, legs, or arms?
Does this method fit with
your religious or moral
beliefs?

REMINDER: This method does not


provide any protection against sexually
transmitted diseases
(STD's) including HIV and Hepatitis B.
Using a condom consistently can help

to protect you from STD's.


Click here to download PDF fact

sheet
For more information click here
top of page
Oral Contraceptives ("The Pill")
Effectiveness

95% - 99% chance of NOT


getting pregnant.

Between 1-5 per 100 women


may become pregnant with
proper use.
What is the Pill?

Synthetic hormones
(progesterone and/or
estrogen) like those produced
by the body to regulate the
menstrual cycle.

Pregnancy is prevented
because the pill stops
ovulation and/or thickens the
cervical
mucus by stopping sperm
from passing through.

Reversible method of birth


control given only by
prescription.
Advantages of the Pill:

Doesn't interfere with sex.


Regulates the menstrual
cycle.

Reduces menstrual flow and


cramping.

Decreases acne outbreaks.

Reduces the risk of ovarian


and endometrial cancer.

Most popular method used.


Disadvantages of the Pill:

How do I decide?

Must be taken every day at


the same time each day.
Increased risk of heart attack,
stroke, or blood clots (in
lungs, legs, or arms),
especially if you smoke more
than 10 cigarettes a day, or
are over 35 and smoke.
Possible mood swings or
depression.
May decrease sexual desire.
Can not be used if you are 35
or older and smoke.
Does not prevent sexually
transmitted diseases (see
warning below).

Can you remember to take a


pill every day?

Do you have sex frequently or


not very often?If not very
often, do you want to take a
pill every day?

Are there some medical


problems that prevent you
from taking the pill?

Do you have liver disease,


breast cancer and/or blood
clots in lungs, legs, or arms?

Does this method fit with


your religious or moral
beliefs?

Is the pill the best method for


you?

Do you want to discuss this


method with your clinician,
family planning clinic staff,
husband, partner, friend, or
family member?
In the Philadelphia area, click here for
a list of local family planning clinics.
Outside of Philadelphia, please click
here for a clinic near you.
REMINDER: This method does not
provide any protection against sexually
transmitted diseases (STD's)
including HIV and Hepatitis B. Using
a condom consistently can help to
protect you from STD's.
Click here to download PDF fact
sheet
For more information click here
top of page

(condom, diaphragm, cervical


cap).

May lower the chance of


becoming infected with a
bacterial sexually transmitted
disease.

Can be purchased without


prescription.

Depending on the amount


purchased is relatively
inexpensive.

Immediate protection is
available.

Good method for persons


who have sexual intercourse
infrequently or not very often.

Simple back up method for


women waiting to start the
pill or have an IUD inserted,
or for forgetting to take pill or
running out of pills.

Provides lubrication during


intercourse especially with
condom use.

Male partner does not need to


be involved in decision to use
product.

Does not interfere with breast


feeding.
Disadvantages of vaginal
spermicides:

Allergic reactions or
hypersensitivity to
ingredients may occur.

Some persons may have


difficulty inserting properly.

Abnormal vaginal anatomy


(e.g. prolapsed uterus) may
interfere with proper
insertion.

Poor protection from HIV


exposure.
How do I decide?

Vaginal Spermicides

Effectiveness (chances of NOT


getting pregnant): 50-95% (among
typical users in the first year of use)

What are vaginal spermicides?

A chemical birth control


method that kills sperm and
prevents pregnancy.

Comes in the form of gel,


foam, cream, film,
suppository, or tablet.
Advantages of vaginal
spermicides:

A relatively safe contraceptive


method when combined with
the use of a barrier method

Are you sensitive or allergic to


ingredients in product?
Do you have sexual
intercourse infrequently?
This may a good choice for
you.
Are you comfortable touching
your vagina?
Do you want to use vaginal
spermicides as a backup?
Does this method fit with
your religious or moral
beliefs?
Your decision should be what
is best for you.
Do you want to discuss this
method with your clinician,
family planning clinic staff,
husband, partner, friend, or
family member?

In the Philadelphia area, click here for


a list of local family planning clinics.
Outside of Philadelphia, please click
here for a clinic near you.
REMINDER: This method does not
provide any protection against sexually
transmitted diseases (STD's)
including HIV and Hepatitis B. Using
a condom consistently can help to
protect you from STD's.
Click here to download PDF fact
sheet
top of page
Vasectomy (Male Sterilization)
Effectiveness (chances of NOT
getting pregnant): 99% or more
What is a Vasectomy?
A surgical procedure that prevents
pregnancy by blocking the passage of
sperm into the
ejaculated seminal fluid (cum).
Advantages of Vasectomy:

Permanent method of
contraceptive.

Highly effective method.

Very safe surgical procedure.

Removes the responsibility of


contraception from the
woman.

No significant long term side


effects.

Does not interrupt


lovemaking.

Highly acceptable method.

A no scalpel Vasectomy is also


available.
Disadvantages of Vasectomy:

Protection for the male only


(females are at risk for
pregnancy).
Usually irreversible.
Requires skilled medical
personnel.
Lack of protection from
sexually transmitted diseases
and infections, including HIV.
Initial cost may be expensive,
some times considered an
elective procedure, and
requires self-pay. However,
the long term cost benefits
are great.
Although unproven, serious
long-term effects are possible.

How do I decide?

Are you sure you do not want


any more children?

Can you tolerate a surgical


procedure?

Can you afford the


procedure?

Have other methods been


considered?

Does this method fit your


religious or moral beliefs?

Is a Vasectomy the best


decision for you?

Do you want to discuss this


method with your clinician,
family planning clinic staff,
partner, friend, or family
member?
In the Philadelphia area, click here for
a list of local family planning clinics.
Outside of Philadelphia, please click
here for a clinic near you.
REMINDER: This method does not
provide any protection against sexually
transmitted diseases (STD's)
including HIV and Hepatitis B. Using
a condom consistently can help to
protect you from STD's.
Click here to download PDF fact
sheet
top of page
Withdrawal (Coitus Interruptus)
Effectiveness (chance of NOT getting
pregnant): 81% - 96%
What is Withdrawal?

A contraceptive method that


prevents fertilization by
preventing the contact
between the sperm and egg.

Couple engages in penilevaginal intercourse until


ejaculation is about to occur.

The male partner withdraws


his penis from the vagina and
away from the external
genitalia of the female
partner.
Advantages of Withdrawal:

Costs nothing.

Requires no devices.

Involves no chemicals.

Available in any situation.


Disadvantages of Withdrawal:

Chances of getting pregnant


with this method are much
higher than with any other
method.

Some men have difficulty


telling when they will
ejaculate.

Some men may not withdraw


in sufficient time.

Interruption of the
excitement or plateau phase
of the sexual response cycle
may
decrease pleasurable
experience.

High risk of contracting


sexually transmitted diseases
and infections.
How do I decide?

Is the risk of getting pregnant


too large?
What about the risk of
contracting a sexually
transmitted disease?
Does the method fit with your
religious or moral beliefs?
Do you want to discuss this
method with your clinician,
family planning clinic staff,
husband, partner, friend, or
family member?

Key facts
An estimated 225
million women in
developing countries
would like to delay
or stop childbearing
but are not using
any method of
contraception.
Some family
planning methods,
such as condoms,
help prevent the
transmission of HIV
and other sexually
transmitted
infections.
Family planning /
contraception
reduces the need for
abortion, especially
unsafe abortion.
Family planning
reinforces peoples
rights to determine
the number and
spacing of their
children.

By preventing
unintended
pregnancy, family
planning
/contraception
prevents deaths of
mothers and
children.

Family planning allows


people to attain their
desired number of children
and determine the spacing
of pregnancies. It is
achieved through use of
contraceptive methods and
the treatment of infertility
(this fact sheet focuses on
contraception).
Benefits of family
planning / contraception
Promotion of family
planning and ensuring
access to preferred
contraceptive methods for
women and couples is
essential to securing the
well-being and autonomy of
women, while supporting
the health and
development of
communities.
Preventing pregnancyrelated health risks in
women

A womans ability to choose


if and when to become
pregnant has a direct
impact on her health and
well-being. Family planning
allows spacing of
pregnancies and can delay
pregnancies in young
women at increased risk of
health problems and death
from early childbearing. It
prevents unintended
pregnancies, including
those of older women who
face increased risks related
to pregnancy. Family
planning enables women
who wish to limit the size of
their families to do so.

Evidence suggests that


women who have more
than 4 children are at
increased risk of maternal
mortality.
By reducing rates of
unintended pregnancies,
family planning also
reduces the need for
unsafe abortion.
Reducing infant mortality

Family planning can


prevent closely spaced and
ill-timed pregnancies and
births, which contribute to
some of the worlds highest
infant mortality rates.
Infants of mothers who die
as a result of giving birth
also have a greater risk of
death and poor health.
Helping to prevent
HIV/AIDS

Family planning reduces


the risk of unintended
pregnancies among women
living with HIV, resulting in
fewer infected babies and
orphans. In addition, male
and female condoms
provide dual protection
against unintended
pregnancies and against
STIs including HIV.
Empowering people and
enhancing education

Family planning enables


people to make informed
choices about their sexual
and reproductive health.
Family planning represents
an opportunity for women
to pursue additional
education and participate
in public life, including paid
employment in non-family
organizations. Additionally,
having smaller families
allows parents to invest
more in each child. Children
with fewer siblings tend to
stay in school longer than
those with many siblings.

Reducing adolescent
pregnancies

Pregnant adolescents are


more likely to have preterm
or low birth-weight babies.
Babies born to adolescents
have higher rates of
neonatal mortality. Many
adolescent girls who
become pregnant have to
leave school. This has longterm implications for them
as individuals, their families
and communities.
Slowing population growth

Family planning is key to


slowing unsustainable
population growth and the
resulting negative impacts
on the economy,
environment, and national
and regional development
efforts.
Who provides family
planning /
contraceptives?
It is important that family
planning is widely available
and easily accessible
through midwives and
other trained health
workers to anyone who is
sexually active, including
adolescents. Midwives are
trained to provide (where
authorised) locally available
and culturally acceptable
contraceptive methods.
Other trained health
workers, for example
community health workers,
also provide counselling
and some family planning
methods, for example pills
and condoms. For methods
such as sterilization,
women and men need to be
referred to a clinician.
Contraceptive use
Contraceptive use has
increased in many parts of
the world, especially in Asia
and Latin America, but

continues to be low in subSaharan Africa. Globally,


use of modern
contraception has risen
slightly, from 54% in 1990
to 57.4% in 2014.
Regionally, the proportion
of women aged 1549
reporting use of a modern
contraceptive method has
risen minimally or
plateaued between 2008
and 2014. In Africa it went
from 23.6% to 27.6%, in
Asia it has risen slightly
from 60.9% to 61.6%, and
in Latin America and the
Caribbean it rose slightly
from 66.7% to 67.0%.
Use of contraception by
men makes up a relatively
small subset of the above
prevalence rates. The
modern contraceptive
methods for men are

Method

limited to male condoms


and sterilization
(vasectomy).
Global unmet need for
contraception
An estimated 225 million
women in developing
countries would like to
delay or stop childbearing
but are not using any
method of contraception.
Reasons for this include:
limited choice of
methods;
limited access to
contraception,
particularly among
young people,
poorer segments of
populations, or
unmarried people;
fear or experience of
side-effects;
cultural or religious
opposition;
poor quality of
available services;

How it
Description works

Effectivene
ss to
prevent
pregnancy

>99% with
correct and
Contains two
consistent
Combined
hormones
Prevents the use
oral
(estrogen
release of
contraceptiv and
eggs from
92% as
es (COCs) or progestogen the ovaries
commonly
the pill
)
(ovulation)
used

Comments

Reduces risk of
endometrial
and ovarian
cancer

99% with
correct and
consistent
use

Thickens
cervical
mucous to
block sperm
Progestogen Contains
and egg
-only pills
only
from
(POPs) or
progestogen meeting and 9097% as
"the
hormone,
prevents
commonly
minipill"
not estrogen ovulation
used

Can be used
while
breastfeeding;
must be taken
at the same
time each day

Implants

Health-care

Small,

Thickens

>99%

users and providers


bias
gender-based
barriers.
The unmet need for
contraception remains too
high. This inequity is fuelled
by both a growing
population, and a shortage
of family planning services.
In Africa, 23.2% of women
of reproductive age have
an unmet need for modern
contraception. In Asia, and
Latin America and the
Caribbean regions with
relatively high
contraceptive prevalence
the levels of unmet need
are 10.9 % and 10.4%,
respectively (World
Contraceptive Reports
2013, UNDESA).

Contraceptive methods
Modern methods

Method

How it
Description works

flexible rods
or capsules
placed under
the skin of
the upper
arm;
contains
progestogen
hormone
only

Effectivene
ss to
prevent
pregnancy

provider must
insert and
remove; can
be used for 3
5 years
depending on
implant;
irregular
vaginal
bleeding
common but
not harmful

cervical
mucous to
block sperm
and egg
from
meeting and
prevents
ovulation
>99% with
correct and
consistent
use

Injected into
the muscle
every 2 or 3
Progestogen months,
only
depending
injectables
on product

Injected
Monthly
monthly into
injectables
the muscle,
or combined contains
injectable
estrogen
contraceptiv and
es (CIC)
progestogen
Combined
contraceptiv
e patch and
combined
contraceptiv
e vaginal
ring (CVR)

Continuously
releases 2
hormones
a progestin
and an
estrogendirectly
through the
skin (patch)
or from the
ring.

Comments

Thickens
cervical
mucous to
block sperm
and egg
from
meeting and 97% as
prevents
commonly
ovulation
used

Delayed return
to fertility
(about 14
months on the
average) after
use; irregular
vaginal
bleeding
common, but
not harmful

>99% with
correct and
consistent
use
Prevents the
release of
eggs from
97% as
the ovaries
commonly
(ovulation)
used

Irregular
vaginal
bleeding
common, but
not harmful

Prevents the
release of
eggs from
the ovaries
(ovulation)

The Patch and


the CVR
provide a
comparable
safety and
pharmacokinet
ic profile to
COCs with
similar
hormone
formulations.

The patch
and the CVR
are new and
research on
effectiveness
is limited.
Effectiveness
studies
report that it
may be more
effective
than the
COCs, both
as commonly

Effectivene
ss to
prevent
pregnancy

Comments

>99%

Longer and
heavier
periods during
first months of
use are
common but
not harmful;
can also be
used as
emergency
contraception

Suppresses
the growth
of the lining
of uterus
(endometriu
m)
>99%

Decreases
amount of
blood lost with
menstruation
over time;
Reduces
menstrual
cramps and
symptoms of
endometriosis;
amenorrhea
(no menstrual
bleeding) in a
group of users

Method

How it
Description works

Intrauterine
device
(IUD):
copper
containing

Small
flexible
plastic
device
containing
copper
sleeves or
wire that is
inserted into
the uterus

A T-shaped
plastic
device
inserted into
the uterus
that steadily
releases
Intrauterine small
device (IUD) amounts of
levonorgestr levonorgestr
el
el each day

Male
condoms

Sheaths or
coverings
that fit over
a man's
erect penis

Female
condoms

Sheaths, or
linings, that
fit loosely
inside a
woman's
vagina,
made of
thin,
transparent,
soft plastic
film

Copper
component
damages
sperm and
prevents it
from
meeting the
egg

Forms a
barrier to
prevent
sperm and
egg from
meeting

98% with
correct and
consistent
use
85% as
commonly
used

Also protects
against
sexually
transmitted
infections,
including HIV

90% with
correct and
consistent
use
Forms a
barrier to
prevent
sperm and
egg from
meeting

79% as
commonly
used

Also protects
against
sexually
transmitted
infections,
including HIV

Method

How it
Description works

Permanent
contraceptio
n to block or
cut the vas
deferens
tubes that
Male
carry sperm
sterilization from the
(vasectomy) testicles

Female
sterilization
(tubal
ligation)

Permanent
contraceptio
n to block or
cut the
fallopian
tubes

Lactational
amenorrhea
method
(LAM)

Temporary
contraceptio
n for new
mothers
whose
monthly
bleeding has
not returned;
requires
exclusive or
full
breastfeedin
g day and
night of an
infant less
than 6
months old

Emergency
contraceptio
n
(levonorgest

Progestogen
-only pills
taken to
prevent

Effectivene
ss to
prevent
pregnancy
>99% after
3 months
semen
evaluation

Comments

Keeps
sperm out of 9798% with
ejaculated
no semen
semen
evaluation

3 months
delay in taking
effect while
stored sperm
is still present;
does not affect
male sexual
performance;
voluntary and
informed
choice is
essential

Eggs are
blocked
from
meeting
sperm

Voluntary and
informed
choice is
essential

>99%
99% with
correct and
consistent
use

Prevents the
release of
eggs from
98% as
the ovaries
commonly
(ovulation)
used
Prevents
ovulation

If all 100
women used
progestinonly

A temporary
family
planning
method based
on the natural
effect of
breastfeeding
on fertility
Does not
disrupt an
already
existing

Method

Standard
Days
Method or
SDM

How it
Description works

Women
track their
fertile
periods
(usually
days 8 to 19
of each 26 to
32 day
cycle) using
cycle beads
or other aids

Woman
takes her
body
temperature
at the same
time each
morning
before
getting out
of bed
observing
Basal Body
for an
Temperature increase of
(BBT)
0.2 to 0.5
Method
degrees C.
TwoDay
Method

Women
track their
fertile

Prevents
pregnancy
by avoiding
unprotected
vaginal sex
during most
fertile days.

Effectivene
ss to
prevent
pregnancy

Comments

95% with
consistent
and correct
use.

Can be used to
identify fertile
days by both
women who
want to
become
pregnant and
women who
want to avoid
pregnancy.
Correct,
consistent use
requires
partner
cooperation.

88% with
common use
(Arevalo et
al 2002)

99%
effective
with correct
and
consistent
use.

Prevents
pregnancy
by avoiding
unprotected
vaginal sex
during
fertile days
Prevents
pregnancy
by avoiding

75% with
typical use
of FABM
(Trussell,
2009)

96% with
correct and
consistent

If the BBT has


risen and has
stayed higher
for 3 full days,
ovulation has
occurred and
the fertile
period has
passed. Sex
can resume on
the 4th day
until her next
monthly
bleeding.
Difficult to use
if a woman
has a vaginal

Method

How it
Description works

Effectivene
ss to
prevent
pregnancy
use.

periods by
observing
presence of
cervical
mucus (if
any type
color or
consistency)

Symptothermal
Method

Women
track their
fertile
periods by
observing
changes in
the cervical
mucus (clear
texture) ,
body
temperature
(slight
increase)
and
consistency
of the cervix
(softening).

Traditional methods
Tradition
al
Methods

unprotected
vaginal sex
during most
fertile days,

86% with
typical or
common
use.
(Arevalo,
2004)

Comments
infection or
another
condition that
changes
cervical
mucus.
Unprotected
coitus may be
resumed after
2 consecutive
dry days (or
without
secretions)

98% with
correct and
consistent
use.
Reported
98% with
typical use
(Manhart et
al, 2013)
Prevents
pregnancy
by avoiding
unprotected
vaginal sex
during most
fertile

May have to
be used with
caution after
an abortion,
around
menarche or
menopause,
and in
conditions
which may
increase body
temperature.

Women
monitor their
Tradition pattern of
al
menstrual
Methods cycle over 6
months,
subtracts 18
from shortest
cycle length
(estimated 1st
fertile day) and
subtracts 11
Calendar
from longest
method or cycle length
rhythm
(estimated last
method
fertile day)

Withdraw
al (coitus
interruptu
s)

Man withdraws
his penis from
his partner's
vagina, and
ejaculates
outside the
vagina,
keeping semen
away from her
external
genitalia

WHO response
WHO is working to promote
family planning by
producing evidence-based
guidelines on safety and
service delivery of
contraceptive methods,

The couple
prevents
pregnancy by
avoiding
unprotected
vaginal sex
during the 1st
and last
estimated
fertile days,
by abstaining
or using a
condom.

91% with
correct
and
consisten
t use.
May need to
delay or use with
caution when
using drugs (such
as anxiolytics,
antidepressants,
NSAIDS, or
certain
75% with antibiotics) which
common may affect timing
use
of ovulation.
96% with
correct
and
consisten
t use

Tries to keep
sperm out of
the woman's
body,
preventing
fertilization

One of the least


effective
methods, because
proper timing of
withdrawal is
73% as
commonl often difficult to
determine,
y used
(Trussell, leading to the risk
of ejaculating
2009)
while inside the
vagina.

developing quality
standards and providing
pre-qualification of
contraceptive commodities,
and helping countries
introduce, adapt and

implement these tools to


meet their needs. WHO is
also developing new
methods to expand
contraceptive choices for
men and women.