In the United States, almost half of all pregnancies are unintended.1 Yet, safe and highly effective methods of contraception (birth control) are available to prevent unintended pregnancy. The effectiveness of birth control methods is critically important for reducing the risk of unintended pregnancy.

Contraceptive options include the following:

  • Fertility awareness-based methods
  • Drug-free, cost-free natural family planning and withdrawal
  • Barrier methods that offer protection from STI’s and unintended pregnancy: condoms, sponge, diaphragms, the cervical cap (which is commonly used in combination with vaginal spermicides)
  • Hormones: oral contraceptives (the pill), injections, subdermal implants, transdermal patches, vaginal ring, intrauterine devices (IUD) and the emergency contraceptive pill
  • Sterilization: vasectomy (male) and tubal ligation (female)

In general, the contraceptives may do the following:

  • Block or kill sperm
  • Cause hormonal changes in the woman’s body to help prevent pregnancy

Many women and couples will use several contraceptive methods during their reproductive years. 

For more information on a contraceptive method, click on the link below.

For more information on natural family planning and fertility awareness-based methods: