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Symptom Checker

Step 4: Read and complete the decision guide to learn more about your symptoms.

Birth Control (Contraception) for Women

You have multiple options for very effective pregnancy protection.

You can take a pill every day, wear a skin patch, get a shot once a month or once every three months, place a ring in your vagina once per week, have removable hormonal implants placed under the skin or have an IUD (intra-uterine device) inserted. These are the most effective methods of birth control.

Barrier methods provide less reliable pregnancy protection. Barrier methods include male condoms, a diaphragm, cervical cap, sponges and spermicides. Combining two barrier methods can offer extra protection against unwanted pregnancy. For example, a male condom with a spermicide is a popular contraceptive method.

The only barrier method that can't be used with a male condom is the female condom. Male condoms should not be used at the same time with female condoms because their surfaces will rub and cause one or both to slip out of position or completely slip off.


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