Choosing the Right Form of Birth Control

Family planning services provide comprehensive educational, medical, and social support to individuals who wish to control the number of children in a family, and the interval between births.

A big part of family planning involves a decision to use some form of birth control. It is estimated that half of the women in the United States of reproductive age (13-44) are in need of some form of birth control; that is, they are sexually active and able to become pregnant, but not trying to. For these women and their partners, there may be several reasons why they do not wish to become pregnant including their current marital status, career goals, or financial situation.

Determining the proper form of birth control that best suits your lifestyle is an important decision. There are various forms of birth control available and not all methods satisfy everyone’s needs. Some of the types of birth control include:

Intrauterine Device (IUD) – A small t-shaped device that is placed in your uterus and is very effective. These devices last for a number of years, are easy to use, and can be removed at any time.

Birth Control Implant – The implant (Nexplanon) is a small rod, about the size of a matchstick that is inserted into your upper arm just under the skin.

Birth Control Shot – A shot that keeps you from getting pregnant, Depo-Provera or “Depo” for short is effective for three months.

Birth Control Vaginal Ring – The ring (NuvaRing) is a small, bendable ring that you insert into the vagina. It can be left in for three weeks and taken out during the fourth week.

Birth Control Patch – The patch is a thin piece of plastic that looks like a bandage and sticks to the skin. Put on the patch once a week.

Birth Control Pill – An oral form of contraception that is taken daily. It should be taken at the same time every day to enhance effectiveness.

Condom – A popular method, the male condom is placed over the penis before sex to prevent sperm from reaching the vagina and helps protect from most STIs (Sexually Transmitted Infections)

Internal (Female) Condom – The female condom is inserted into the vagina before sex to prevent sperm from reaching the vagina and helps protect from most STIs (Sexually Transmitted Infections).

Diaphragm– A diaphragm is a shallow, dome-shaped cup made of silicone that is inserted into the vagina before sex.

Cervical Cap – A silicone cup that is inserted in the vagina to cover the cervix and prevent sperm from reaching the uterus.

Sponge – The sponge is a round piece of plastic foam that is inserted into the vagina prior to sex.

Spermicide – Spermicides include a variety of creams, films, foams, gels and suppositories that are inserted deep in the vagina and contain chemicals to stop sperm from moving.

Sterilization (Tubal Ligation) – A surgical procedure that closes or blocks the fallopian tubes so you can’t get pregnant.

Fertility Awareness  – By carefully tracking your menstrual cycle you can determine the days you can get pregnant. This is not the most effective form of birth control. Talk to your provider for more information on other methods.

Jamaica Hospital’s Contraception and Family Planning Department can offer information on each birth control option. Together, our staff can work with you to determine the best method of family planning to suit your specific needs. To make an appointment, please call 718-291-3276.


All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.