A brief overview of each contraception method and how you can get it.

A brief description of how effective each method is with typical use.

A brief summary of how much attention each method needs

An overview of the hormones included in each method (if any) and where they are released in the body.

A brief description of how each method impacts your period, if at all.

THE IUS
THE IUS
The Hormonal Coil is a small, soft T-shaped plastic frame that releases low levels of a progestin hormone for up to 3 to 5 years. It is given with a prescription and placed in your womb by a doctor or nurse.
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THE IUD
THE IUD
The Copper Coil is a small, T-shaped plastic frame that has a copper wire. It is given with a prescription and placed in your womb by a doctor or nurse, where it prevents pregnancy for up to 5 to 10 years.
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THE IMPLANT
THE IMPLANT
A small, flexible silicone rod that releases hormones for up to 3 to 5 years. It is given with a prescription and placed under the skin of your upper arm by a doctor or nurse.
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THE PILL
THE PILL
A small tablet containing one hormone, or a combined pill containing two hormones, that is self-administered with a prescription and needs to be swallowed at the same time each day.
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THE INJECTION
THE INJECTION
A shot containing hormone(s) that is given with a prescription and administered by a doctor or nurse every 1 or 3 months.
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THE PATCH
THE PATCH
A small, thin, skin-coloured plastic square that sticks to the skin and releases hormones. It is given with a prescription and can be self-administered once a week.
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THE DIAPHRAGM
THE DIAPHRAGM
A silicone cup placed in the vagina that prevents sperm from reaching the womb. Though some are fitted by a doctor or nurse, most are self-administered with a prescription up to 24 hours before sex.
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THE RING
THE RING
A small, flexible ring that is self-administered with a prescription and placed in the vagina, where it releases hormones for 3 weeks.
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THE FEMALE CONDOM
THE FEMALE CONDOM
An internal condom that works in the same way male condoms do, though it is placed in the vagina. It is self-administered and bought over the counter.
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THE MALE CONDOM
THE MALE CONDOM
A sheath placed over the erect penis to stop sperm from reaching the vagina it is also the only method that helps lower the risk of STIs. It is self-administered and bought over the counter.
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THE SPONGE
THE SPONGE
A small, round piece of foam with a nylon loop that is placed in the vagina right before intercourse. It is bought over the counter and is self-administered.
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NATURAL PLANNING
NATURAL PLANNING
Self-directed methods of avoiding pregnancy that include menstrual cycle tracking and body temperature measurements to identify fertile days.
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SPERMICIDE
SPERMICIDE
Creams, films, foams, gels and suppositories that contain chemicals to stop or kill sperm. These are bought over the counter and are self-administered.
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WITHDRAWAL
WITHDRAWAL
Also known as ‘The pull-out method’, this self-directed method involves withdrawing the penis prior to ejaculation to avoid pregnancy.
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FEMALE STERILIZATION
FEMALE STERILIZATION
A medical procedure performed by a doctor or nurse that blocks the fallopian tubes and removes the possibility of pregnancy.
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MALE STERILIZATION
MALE STERILIZATION
A medical procedure performed by a doctor or nurse that blocks the tubes carrying sperm.
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THE IUS
THE IUS
The intrauterine system is small, soft, flexible and long-acting. Once placed it is effective for 3 to 5 years.
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THE IUD
THE IUD
The intrauterine device is long-acting and lasts anywhere between 3 and 10 years once placed.
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THE IMPLANT
THE IMPLANT
The contraceptive implant is long-acting and lasts up to 3 years once placed.
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THE PILL
THE PILL
The pill is intended to be swallowed once a day, at the same time each day.
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THE INJECTION
THE INJECTION
The contraceptive injection is effective for 3 months at a time, but it’s important to get the shot from your doctor or nurse on time, every 1 or 3 months.
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THE PATCH
THE PATCH
The patch needs to be changed weekly in order to be effective.
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THE DIAPHRAGM
THE DIAPHRAGM
The diaphragm needs to be placed in the vagina up to 18 hours prior to intercourse, each time.
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THE RING
THE RING
The ring needs to be left in placed in the vagina for 3 weeks. It is removed during the fourth week, before being replaced at the start of another 4-week cycle.
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THE FEMALE CONDOM
THE FEMALE CONDOM
The female condom needs to be inserted in the vagina prior to intercourse, each time.
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THE MALE CONDOM
THE MALE CONDOM
The male condom needs to be placed over the penis prior to intercourse, each time.
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THE SPONGE
THE SPONGE
The sponge needs to be placed in the vagina prior to intercourse, and can be inserted up to 24 hours in advance.
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NATURAL PLANNING
NATURAL PLANNING
Natural planning methods vary in terms of how much attention they need, but it’s important to be aware of fertile days and to use additional contraception on these days.
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SPERMICIDE
SPERMICIDE
Spermicide needs to be applied prior to intercourse, each time.
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WITHDRAWAL
WITHDRAWAL
Withdrawal needs to be performed during intercourse, each time.
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FEMALE STERILIZATION
FEMALE STERILIZATION
Female sterilization is a permanent procedure. Once it’s done, it’s done.
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MALE STERILIZATION
MALE STERILIZATION
Male sterilization is a permanent procedure. Once it’s done, it’s done.
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THE IUS
99%
The soft, flexible intrauterine system releases a progestin to stop sperm from fertilizing an egg. It is a reversible and highly effective method of contraception.
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THE IUD
99%
The intrauterine device uses copper ions to prevent sperm from moving and fertilizing an egg. It is a reversible and highly effective method of contraception.
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THE IMPLANT
99%
The contraceptive implant releases a progestin to stop sperm from fertilizing an egg. It is a reversible and highly effective method of contraception.
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THE PILL
91%
All contraceptive pills contain a progestin to stop sperm from fertilizing an egg. Some also contain estrogen, which prevents ovaries from releasing an egg. It is very effective when taken exactly as directed.
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THE INJECTION
94%
All contraceptive injections contain a progestin to stop sperm from fertilizing an egg. Some also contain estrogen, which prevents ovaries from releasing an egg. It is very effective if always administered on time.
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THE PATCH
91%
The patch prevents ovaries from releasing eggs. It is very effective with typical use.
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THE DIAPHRAGM
88%
The diaphragm prevents sperm from entering the uterus. It is fairly effective, even more so when used with spermicide.
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THE RING
91%
The ring prevents ovaries from releasing eggs. It is very effective with typical use.
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THE FEMALE CONDOM
79%
The female condom prevents sperm from reaching the uterus. It is less effective than other methods of contraception.
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THE MALE CONDOM
82%
The male condom prevents sperm from reaching the uterus. It is a fairly effective method of contraception.
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THE SPONGE
76%
The sponge blocks the cervix to prevent sperm from entering. It is a less effective method, especially for those who’ve had previous pregnancies.
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NATURAL PLANNING
76%
The efficacy of natural planning depends on the chosen method used. For the most part, it is less effective at preventing pregnancy.
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SPERMICIDE
72%
Spermicide prevents sperm from passing through the cervix, but it is not the most effective when used on its own.
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WITHDRAWAL
78%
Withdrawal must be done properly and in a timely manner, and is therefore less effective as a method of contraception.
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FEMALE STERILIZATION
99%+
Female sterilization is a permanent, non-reversible, and highly effective method of contraception.
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MALE STERILIZATION
99%+
Male sterilization is a permanent and highly effective method of contraception.
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THE IUS
YES
The intrauterine system releases a low dose of a progestin from its small, flexible plastic frame, acting mainly locally within the womb.
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THE IUD
NO
The intrauterine device is hormone-free and releases copper ions, acting mainly locally within the womb.
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THE IMPLANT
YES
The contraceptive implant releases a progestin throughout the entire body.
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THE PILL
YES
The pill contains hormones – either a progestin and estrogen, or only a progestin, depending on the type of pill – which are released throughout the entire body.
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THE INJECTION
YES
The contraceptive injection contains hormones – either a progestin alone, or a progestin and estrogen – that are released throughout the entire body.
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THE PATCH
YES
The patch continuously releases hormones – estrogen and a progestin – throughout the entire body.
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THE DIAPHRAGM
NO
The diaphragm is hormone-free and works best when it is used with spermicide.
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THE RING
YES
The ring releases a low dose of a progestin and estrogen.
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THE FEMALE CONDOM
NO
The female condom is hormone-free.
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THE MALE CONDOM
NO
The male condom is hormone-free.
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THE SPONGE
NO
The sponge is hormone-free, and it continuously releases spermicide.
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NATURAL PLANNING
NO
Natural planning is hormone-free.
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SPERMICIDE
NO
Spermicide is hormone-free, but does contain chemicals.
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WITHDRAWAL
NO
Withdrawal is hormone-free.
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FEMALE STERILIZATION
NO
Female sterilization is hormone-free.
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MALE STERILIZATION
NO
Male sterilization is hormone-free.
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THE IUS
THE IUS
The small and flexible intrauterine system may cause lighter, shorter bleeding, and may lead to a reduction in pain over time.
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THE IUD
THE IUD
The intrauterine device may cause heavier, longer bleeding and cramps.
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THE IMPLANT
THE IMPLANT
The contraceptive implant may cause irregular, lighter bleeding and reduce pain.
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THE PILL
THE PILL
The pill maintains regular bleeding in each cycle, and it may reduce bleeding and pain.
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THE INJECTION
THE INJECTION
The contraceptive injection may cause irregular bleeding. In some cases it may cause shorter, lighter periods, or no periods at all.
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THE PATCH
THE PATCH
The patch may cause disrupted periods, either in the form of irregular bleeding, or regular, lighter periods.
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THE DIAPHRAGM
THE DIAPHRAGM
The diaphragm has no impact on menstruation.
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THE RING
THE RING
The ring may cause temporary irregular bleeding, and may stop menstruation altogether.
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THE FEMALE CONDOM
THE FEMALE CONDOM
The female condom has no impact on menstruation.
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THE MALE CONDOM
THE MALE CONDOM
The male condom has no impact on menstruation.
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THE SPONGE
THE SPONGE
The sponge has no impact on menstruation.
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NATURAL PLANNING
NATURAL PLANNING
Natural planning has no impact on menstruation.
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SPERMICIDE
SPERMICIDE
Spermicide has no impact on menstruation.
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WITHDRAWAL
WITHDRAWAL
Withdrawal has no impact on menstruation.
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FEMALE STERILIZATION
FEMALE STERILIZATION
Female sterilization has no impact on menstruation.
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MALE STERILIZATION
MALE STERILIZATION
Male sterilization has no impact on menstruation.
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