Contraception is a term used to describe the intentional prevention of conception (pregnancy) through the use of various devices, sexual practices, medications, or surgical procedures.


There are many types of contraception available with varying degrees of effectiveness. Discussing contraception with your physician is important. He or she can explain the various options and help you decide the best birth control method for you based on your age, health and lifestyle.

The most common types of contraception include:

  • Birth control pills, patches and injections
  • Male and female condoms
  • Intrauterine device (IUD) or implant
  • Vaginal ring or diaphragm
  • Sexual practices, such as withdrawal or calendar-based methods
  • Permanent options such as Essure, tubal ligation and vasectomy

Again, discussing contraception with your physician, as well as your partner, is important in order to determine the contraceptive method that is right for you. When speaking with your physician, it’s important to be honest about your medical history and your sexual practices/history. Your birth control method of choice should fit your health, lifestyle and sexual preferences.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some questions you may want to ask your physician about contraceptives:

  • What is the effectiveness?
  • What are the risks?
  • Will it prevent sexually transmitted diseases?
  • How will it impact a future or accidental pregnancy?
  • How will it impact my current or prior health issues?
  • How convenient/easy is it to use?

For more information about contraception, please speak with your physician, or click here to locate a Hoag-affiliated physician near you.

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Women’s Health Institute Support