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Understanding the Different Types of Birth Control

An estimated 65% of women between the ages of 15 and 49 used birth control, according to a recent year’s data, and women have numerous options available. Not only does birth control prevent pregnancy, but it’s also used for other reasons, such as hormone regulation. 

With so many types out there, how do you know which is best for you? The more you understand about your choices, the easier your decision will be.

At New England Women's Healthcare, our staff has expertise about all kinds of birth control. Our skilled team of doctors is ready to help you with the tricky decision of what birth control option to choose, depending on why you need it.

What is birth control?

Birth control is pretty easily explained: It’s a way to prevent pregnancy when you’re sexually active. Birth control comes in a number of forms, some for men and some for women. 

For example, men can use a condom to not only prevent pregnancy in their partner, but also to protect themselves from sexually transmitted diseases. Female condoms work similarly to male condoms, except they’re made to fit a woman’s anatomy.

Each method of birth control works in a different way to prevent an egg and a sperm from connecting and forming a baby. Other methods use synthetic hormones to prevent you from ovulating, thus preventing pregnancy. 

Different types of birth control

With so many different types of birth control out there, choosing one may seem like a daunting task. Our doctors can help you narrow down your options by providing you with the most up-to-date information on the types of birth control we provide. 


An intrauterine device (IUD) is a type of birth control that lasts years. The IUD is placed in your uterus by one of our doctors in the office. We offer both hormonal IUDs and copper IUDs, which have a spermicidal effect that prevents pregnancy.

Oral contraceptives

This type of birth control needs to be taken every day. It contains hormones that help to prevent pregnancy by not only thickening your cervical mucus, but also stopping ovulation. If you miss a dose, it could change the effectiveness of the pill.


This is an implanted device that goes in your upper arm. The small procedure is performed by one of our doctors in the office. Nexplanon is very safe, and it can last up to three years. It delivers a small amount of progestin daily to prevent pregnancy. 

Permanent birth control

This type of birth control requires surgery. It's also known as tubal ligation, a procedure that alters your fallopian tubes so an egg doesn't get to your uterus. This type of birth control is highly effective if you're certain you don't want any more children.

We offer other types of birth control as well, including the ring and other female contraceptives. It's important to know, though, that the only way to prevent sexually transmitted diseases is with a condom

How do you choose?

Ultimately, of course, your birth control option is up to you. Our providers definitely help you to narrow down the choices, however.

Certain types of birth control may be more appropriate than others, depending on why you want to be on it. For example, your options are endless if you’re using it for pregnancy prevention. 

On the other hand, if you’re using birth control to regulate your hormones due to certain conditions or menopause, there may be better options than others.

Convenience is another factor that can sway your decision on what to use. If you’re OK with taking your medications every day, the pill may be your best option. However, if pills aren’t your thing, you may want to consider the shot or an IUD to make sure you’re covered.

When you want to prevent pregnancy, the right type of birth control is a must. You can make an appointment with us by calling our office in Woburn, Massachusetts, at 781-787-3003. You can also request an appointment online with our booking tool.

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