What Birth Control Options Are There?

November 3, 2020

For sexually active individuals who are not ready to start families, there are several options for birth control.

Condoms are available over the counter either at a drugstore or online, the latter being slightly less expensive. Unlike most forms of birth control, they protect against sexually transmitted diseases, as well as offering a barrier against sperms. Either male or female condoms may be used, but not together. For best results, condoms should be used with a spermicide.

  • Male condoms should be worn over the penis, with a small empty pouch at the end to hold seminal fluid.
  • Female condoms should be inserted with the closed end deep into the vagina, and the open end about an inch outside. They are especially recommended for underwater sex.

Spermicides are available without a prescription. They are available in the form of sponges, foam, gel, suppository, film, and tablet. Spermicides should always be used with a barrier contraceptive, because they are not reliable for killing all sperm cells. Choose the brands with the highest concentration of nonoxynol-9. Spermicides are not recommended for women at high risk for urinary tract infections, at high risk for HIV or who have AIDS, women under 30, patients who will not use them regularly with a barrier,  or women who have sexual intercourse 3 or more times a week.

The Copper Intrauterine Device without hormones produces an inflammatory reaction that prevents fertilization.


Hormonal Contraception

Hormonal Contraception is reliable and easy to use. The two types are oral contraceptives and implants.

The vaginal ring is placed inside the vagina by the patient, who wears it for three weeks, then removes it for one week to have a menstrual period. The ring releases estrogen and progestin.

  • The estrogen and progestin patch is placed onto the skin of the trunk once a week for three weeks, followed by a patch-less week in which menstruation takes place.
  • The progestin Injection may be given into the arm or buttocks by the patient’s physician every 3 months.
  • The progestin implant is the most dependable of the hormonal birth control methods, with a 0.1% failure rate. It is inserted under the skin of the upper arm, where it remains for three years.
  • The levonorgestrel intrauterine device (IUD) is placed into the uterus by the patient’s physician, and remains there, where it remains for 3 to 6 years, releasing progesterone.

At the present time birth control pills are available by prescription only. In some states they can be prescribed by a pharmacist, while in others a physician is required. Three types of birth control pills are available.

  • Progesterone only pills lower the risk of releasing an egg from the ovary, make it difficult for the sperm to swim to the egg, and prevent a fertilized egg from implanting in the uterus.
  • combined estrogen-progesterone pill contains both hormones. Progesterone prevents pregnancy, while estrogen controls menstrual flow. They are the most common types of birth control and consequently there are numerous brands (see comprehensive list below).


Combination Brand Names

  • Apri® (containing Desogestrel, Ethinyl Estradiol)
  • Aranelle® (containing Ethinyl Estradiol, Norethindrone)
  • Aviane® (containing Ethinyl Estradiol, Levonorgestrel)
  • Azurette® (containing Desogestrel, Ethinyl Estradiol)
  • Balziva® (containing Ethinyl Estradiol, Norethindrone)
  • Beyaz® (containing Drospirenone, Ethinyl Estradiol, Levomefolate)
  • Brevicon® (containing Ethinyl Estradiol, Norethindrone)
  • Camrese® (containing Ethinyl Estradiol, Levonorgestrel)
  • Camrese Lo® (containing Ethinyl Estradiol, Levonorgestrel)
  • Cesia® (containing Desogestrel, Ethinyl Estradiol)
  • Cryselle® (containing Ethinyl Estradiol, Norgestrel)
  • Cyclessa® (containing Desogestrel, Ethinyl Estradiol)
  • Demulen® (containing Ethynodiol, Ethinyl Estradiol)
  • Desogen® (containing Desogestrel, Ethinyl Estradiol)
  • Enpresse® (containing Ethinyl Estradiol, Levonorgestrel)
  • Estrostep® Fe (containing Ethinyl Estradiol, Norethindrone)
  • Femcon® Fe (containing Ethinyl Estradiol, Norethindrone)
  • Gianvi® (containing Drospirenone, Ethinyl Estradiol)
  • Jolessa® (containing Ethinyl Estradiol, Levonorgestrel)
  • Junel® (containing Ethinyl Estradiol, Norethindrone)
  • Junel® Fe (containing Ethinyl Estradiol, Norethindrone)
  • Kariva® (containing Desogestrel, Ethinyl Estradiol)
  • Kelnor® (containing Ethynodiol, Ethinyl Estradiol)
  • Leena® (containing Ethinyl Estradiol, Norethindrone)
  • Lessina® (containing Ethinyl Estradiol, Levonorgestrel)
  • Levlen® (containing Ethinyl Estradiol, Levonorgestrel)
  • Levlite® (containing Ethinyl Estradiol, Levonorgestrel)
  • Levora® (containing Ethinyl Estradiol, Levonorgestrel)
  • Lo/Ovral® (containing Ethinyl Estradiol, Norgestrel)
  • Loestrin® (containing Ethinyl Estradiol, Norethindrone)
  • Loestrin® Fe (containing Ethinyl Estradiol, Norethindrone)
  • Loryna® (containing Drospirenone, Ethinyl Estradiol)
  • LoSeasonique® (containing Ethinyl Estradiol, Levonorgestrel)
  • Low-Ogestrel® (containing Ethinyl Estradiol, Norgestrel)
  • Lutera® (containing Ethinyl Estradiol, Levonorgestrel)
  • Lybrel® (containing Ethinyl Estradiol, Levonorgestrel)
  • Microgestin® (containing Ethinyl Estradiol, Norethindrone)
  • Microgestin® Fe (containing Ethinyl Estradiol, Norethindrone)
  • Mircette® (containing Desogestrel, Ethinyl Estradiol)
  • Modicon® (containing Ethinyl Estradiol, Norethindrone)
  • MonoNessa® (containing Ethinyl Estradiol, Norgestimate)
  • Natazia® (containing estradiol valerate and dienogest)
  • Necon®5/35 (containing Ethinyl Estradiol, Norethindrone)
  • Necon® 1/50 (containing Mestranol, Norethindrone)
  • Nordette® (containing Ethinyl Estradiol, Levonorgestrel)
  • Norinyl® 1+35 (containing Ethinyl Estradiol, Norethindrone)
  • Norinyl® 1+50 (containing Mestranol, Norethindrone)
  • Nortrel® (containing Ethinyl Estradiol, Norethindrone)
  • Ocella® (containing Drospirenone, Ethinyl Estradiol)
  • Ogestrel® (containing Ethinyl Estradiol, Norgestrel)
  • Ortho Tri-Cyclen® (containing Ethinyl Estradiol, Norgestimate)
  • Ortho Tri-Cyclen® Lo (containing Ethinyl Estradiol, Norgestimate)
  • Ortho-Cept® (containing Desogestrel, Ethinyl Estradiol)
  • Ortho-Cyclen® (containing Ethinyl Estradiol, Norgestimate)
  • Ortho-Novum® 1/35 (containing Ethinyl Estradiol, Norethindrone)
  • Ortho-Novum® 1/50 [DSC] (containing Mestranol, Norethindrone)
  • Ovcon® (containing Ethinyl Estradiol, Norethindrone)
  • Portia® (containing Ethinyl Estradiol, Levonorgestrel)
  • Previfem® [DSC] (containing Ethinyl Estradiol, Norgestimate)
  • Quasense® (containing Ethinyl Estradiol, Levonorgestrel)
  • Reclipsen® (containing Desogestrel, Ethinyl Estradiol)
  • Safyral® (containing Drospirenone, Ethinyl Estradiol, Levomefolate)
  • Seasonale® (containing Ethinyl Estradiol, Levonorgestrel)
  • Seasonique® (containing Ethinyl Estradiol, Levonorgestrel)
  • Solia® (containing Desogestrel, Ethinyl Estradiol)
  • Sprintec® (containing Ethinyl Estradiol, Norgestimate)
  • Sronyx® (containing Ethinyl Estradiol, Levonorgestrel)
  • Syeda® (containing Drospirenone, Ethinyl Estradiol)
  • Tilia® Fe (containing Ethinyl Estradiol, Norethindrone)
  • Tri-Legest® Fe (containing Ethinyl Estradiol, Norethindrone)
  • TriNessa® (containing Ethinyl Estradiol, Norgestimate)
  • Tri-Norinyl® (containing Ethinyl Estradiol, Norethindrone)
  • Triphasil® (containing Ethinyl Estradiol, Levonorgestrel)
  • Tri-Previfem® [DSC] (containing Ethinyl Estradiol, Norgestimate)
  • Tri-Sprintec® (containing Ethinyl Estradiol, Norgestimate)
  • Trivora® (containing Ethinyl Estradiol, Levonorgestrel)
  • Velivet® (containing Desogestrel, Ethinyl Estradiol)
  • Yasmin® (containing Drospirenone, Ethinyl Estradiol)
  • Yaz® (containing Drospirenone, Ethinyl Estradiol)
  • Zarah® (containing Drospirenone, Ethinyl Estradiol)
  • Zenchent® (containing Ethinyl Estradiol, Norethindrone)
  • Zeosa® Fe (containing Ethinyl Estradiol, Norethindrone)
  • Zovia® (containing Ethynodiol, Ethinyl Estradiol)

Did you know? QuickMD can guide you to find the right birth control option for you. Our doctors can provide you with a birth control prescription online–without insurance needed.

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