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different types of birth control


With the Supreme Court recently overthrowing Roe V. Wade, understanding your options when it comes to pregnancy prevention is more important than ever. Depending on who you ask, some people might tell you there are anywhere from 11 to 22 types of birth control. Much of the discrepancy boils down to whether or not you count non-medical forms like the pull-out method, fertility tracking and abstinence. But if you’re looking at just the types of birth control that you’d get from a pharmacy or doctor, there is still a lot to choose from, and it’s far from one type suits all.

You have the power to choose. Here is a guide to help you choose the best birth control for you.


Hormonal Vs Non-Hormonal Birth Control

Woman holding birth control pills at home

Source: Mindful Media / Getty

Hormonal birth control methods will contain either progestin, progesterone, estrogen or a combination of these. Most forms work by preventing or reducing ovulation. They can also prevent pregnancy by thickening cervical mucus and stopping sperm from getting into the uterus. Additionally, they can thin the lining of your uterus, minimizing the chances that an egg can attach.

Hormonal birth control methods are some of the most effective forms of birth control. Most see an effectiveness rate of 99 percent with perfect use around 94 percent with typical use in preventing pregnancy.  Effectiveness rates drop significantly for non-hormonal forms. However, some women don’t want to take hormonal birth control because it can have side effects including:

  • Weight gain
  • Mood swings
  • Irregular periods
  • Nausea
  • Acne
  • Headaches
  • Low libido


Alternatively, some women take hormonal birth control specifically because it helps manage many of the symptoms listed above – specifically irregular periods, mood swings and acne.


MADAMENOIRE breaks down each type of birth control, as well as cost. These costs have been sourced from Planned Parenthood.

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