Birth control, also known as contraception, is designed to prevent pregnancy. Birth control methods may work in a number of different ways:
- Preventing sperm from getting to the eggs. Types include condoms, diaphragms, cervical caps, and contraceptive sponges.
- Keeping the woman's ovaries from releasing eggs that could be fertilized. Types include birth control pills, patches, shots, vaginal rings, and emergency contraceptive pills.
- IUDs, devices which are implanted into the uterus. They can be kept in place for several years.
- Sterilization, which permanently prevents a woman from getting pregnant or a man from being able to get a woman pregnant
Your choice of birth control should depend on several factors. These include your health, frequency of sexual activity, number of sexual partners and desire to have children in the future. Your health care provider can help you select the best form of birth control for you.
NIH: National Institute of Child Health and Human Development