Birth control is a passion of mine. It is also a HUGE responsibility. Women have made INCREDIBLE strides in reproductive justice since hormonal birth control (such as the pill) was created. Women could and still can choose when to have a baby, how many babies to have, and can be more independent in their right to choose which is the best option for them. I think it has been absolutely liberating! Today, there are hormonal and non-hormonal birth control options.
Hormonal Birth Control:
Implant (typically inserted into your arm on the inside of your bicep, around the part you see when flexing)
Plastic IUD (Intrauterine Device, inserted into the uterus)
The Shot (an injection given by a nurse or doctor)
Vaginal Ring (worn inside of the vagina)
The Patch (worn on the skin of your belly, upper arm, butt, or back)
The Pill (a pill taken orally by a person with female reproductive parts)
Emergency Contraception (Plan B is the most popular brand)
a higher dose of birth control pills can act as backup contraception if you believe that your birth control didn't work because they contain the same hormones as what's in emergency contraception.
*YOU MUST CALL YOUR DOCTOR AS SOON AS POSSIBLE TO FIND OUT HOW MANY BIRTH CONTROL PILLS TO TAKE. DO NOT TAKE THE REMAINDER OF PILLS IN YOUR PACK OR COME UP WITH A NUMBER ON YOUR OWN. YOUR DOCTOR IS THE ONLY ONE WHO KNOWS HOW MANY TO TAKE FOR IT TO BE EFFECTIVE*
Non-Hormonal Birth Control:
Copper IUD (inserted into the uterus)
Male Condom (a person with a penis puts this on before penetration)
Female Condom (a person with a vagina inserts this into their vagina before penetration)
Diaphragm (small saucer placed inside a vagina to cover the cervix before sex, works best when used with spermicide)
Birth Control Sponge (small sponge made of soft plastic to cover the cervix before sex, it contains spermicide)
Cervical Cap (similar to a Diaphragm, but a bit smaller, works best when used with spermicide)
Spermicide (contains chemicals that stop sperm from reaching an egg, must be put into your vagina before penetration)
Fertility Awareness Method (FAMs) *Whole post about this*
Withdrawal or "Pulling Out"
Breastfeeding (a new mom must consistently nurse at least every 4 hours during the day and every 6 hours at night and only breast milk is fed to the baby and a breast pump is not used)
Abstinence (no penetration of any type)
Female Sterilization or "Getting Tubes Tied"
Male Sterilization or Vasectomy
Notice, that the hormonal birth control options are very effective and the most common types that people think of when they hear of birth control. Now, what about non-hormonal? There are quite a bit more than the hormonal list. Does this list sound familiar to you? Do you know of anyone who uses these methods? What side effects have you heard those around you talking about?
*Note: Many of the hormonal birth control options release hormones (progestin in particular), which causes ovulation to stop. Ovulation is part of the menstrual cycle.*
Every person is looking for something different when it comes to birth control. Some are looking for reliability, some are looking for convenience, some don't want to have to worry about doing something every day or every time they have sex. And that is all okay! Trying different birth control options to see what works best for you and your sex life is great. However, I believe that everyone needs ALL of the information on all of these types of birth control to choose their best option. A lot of this information may be omitted from regular sex ed or receives a bad reputation when casually discussing.
For the information above regarding birth control types and effectiveness, I used Planned Parenthood's website on Birth Control options. Here is the link: https://www.plannedparenthood.org/learn/birth-control