Birth control: Hormonal methods

The Pill

Birth control pills contain hormones similar to those produced by a woman’s body. The Pill is the most common form of contraception among college-aged woman. There are many different types of birth control pills; it is important for a woman to find what type will be best for her, depending on her needs. The Pill must be taken around the same time each day in order for it to be as effective as possible.

The Ring

The ring prevents pregnancy by transferring hormones into your body through the vaginal lining. This method uses a 28-day cycle. A ring is inserted and left in the vagina for 3 weeks (21 days). The ring is removed after 21 days and your period should start during this ring-free week.

The Patch

The birth control patch prevents pregnancy by transferring hormones to your body through your skin. This method uses a 28-cycle. You apply a new patch each week for 3 weeks (21 total days). No patch is applied the 4th week and your period should start during this patch-free week.

The Shot

The shot is an injectable form of birth control that lasts for 3 months; a woman gets a shot every 3 months.  As long as a woman gets her shot on time, there is no hormone-free interval, so many women find they no longer have periods or that their periods are much lighter when on the shot.  This form is reversible by stopping the shot. 


The contraception implant is a match-stick size plastic rod that is inserted under the skin of the arm.  Hormones are absorbed into the body through the blood stream.  It lasts for up to 3 years. It must be inserted and removed by a health care provider.

Intrauterine System

The intrauterine system (IUS) is a T-shaped device that is placed inside the uterus and delivers hormones into the body through the uterus.  This is also known as a hormonal intrauterine device (IUD). This method lasts for up to 5 years, and must be inserted by a medical professional.

Page last updated: 4/7/2016 12:37:24 PM