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Which Method of Birth Control Should I Use? Part II

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The second part of a two part series on the pros and cons to consider when choosing the right birth control method for you!

Part one is available here.

The Sponge:

The Deal: I've written about the sponge before and its recent comeback in American markets.

The Pros: Non-hormonal, available over the counter, more affordable than other birth control options, provides 24-hour protection after inserted

The Cons: Some women experience irritation as a result of the spermacide, some find it difficult to remove; does not prevent against STDs, only 89-91% effective

Contraceptive Vaginal Ring:

The Deal: a flexible plastic ring that you insert into your vagina once a month for three weeks at a time which releases low doses of progestin and estrogen to stop ovulation, thicken your cervical mucus and help prevent fertilization

The Pros: 99% effective when used correctly; it only needs to be inserted once a month and can be done by you; can help you if you have heavy periods and bad cramps

The Cons: it can get expensive (ranging from $20-$50 a month); it is a hormonal drug which can cause a range of side effects; it's available only with a prescription; unlike other methods, it can increase some people's risk of serious issues like strokes or heart attacks; does not prevent against STDs


The Deal: I've detailed the use, pros and cons of IUDs, in a previous Empowher post, available here.


The Deal: Male and female sterilization procedures are usually surgical and are used to permanently prevent pregnancy.

The Pros: It's 98-99% effective in prevent pregnancy, depending on the procedure; doesn't affect sexual pleasure; no long term side effects

The Cons: It's difficult to reverse; does not prevent against STDs, requires surgery or doctor's visit, can have painful short term side effects, complications can arise, expensive

Withdrawal Method:

The Deal: A male withdraws his penis from the female's vagina before ejaculation. According to Planned Parenthood, 35 million couples worldwide practice this form of birth control.

The Pros: It's free; it's non-hormonal and doesn't require doctor visits or prescriptions;

The Cons: You have to trust that withdrawal will happen successfully; does not prevent against STDs; given all the factors that can prevent effective withdrawal, it is 73-96% effective

For a full list of birth control methods and more information about each option, talk to your doctor or check out sites like Planned Parenthood!

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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