Overview of contraception services

Contraception, or birth control, is the use of medication or devices to prevent pregnancy. Some types of contraception are used to treat medical conditions and regulate menstrual periods.

At Dignity Health, we provide expert advice and birth control procedures to help with all of your family planning and personal health needs. Find a Doctor today to learn more about birth control and types of contraception in AZ, CA, and NV.

Considering your contraception options

There are many types of birth control and methods for family planning. Common contraception options include:

  • Birth control pills: You take these pills daily. They contain hormones to block the release of an egg from the ovary. They also make it more difficult for sperm to get to the fallopian tubes.
  • Condoms: Male condoms are flexible coverings worn on the penis to prevent sperm from entering a partner’s body. Female condoms are worn inside the vagina and prevent sperm from reaching the female reproductive tract.
  • Intrauterine devices (IUDs): These are tiny metal devices placed by a doctor inside the uterus. Some contain hormones. An IUD prevents pregnancy for three to 10 years, depending on the type of device.
  • Injectables: These are hormone shots given by a health care professional every three months.
  • Hormone implants: Health care providers implant these tiny hormone-containing rods under the skin. The rods release hormones and prevent pregnancy for up to three years.
  • Patches: Contraceptive patches contain hormones that your skin absorbs. You usually change the patches weekly.
  • Diaphragm: This dome-shaped device goes over the cervix to prevent sperm from reaching an egg. You insert the diaphragm before sex and remove it after sex.
  • Cervical cap: This is similar to a diaphragm. Cervical caps go over the cervix to prevent sperm from reaching an egg.
  • Sponge: This foam device contains spermicide. You place it in the vagina before sex. Unlike diaphragms and cervical caps, you should only use each sponge once.
  • Vaginal ring: This small, flexible device goes inside the vagina and releases hormones to prevent pregnancy. The ring remains in place for three weeks at a time.
  • Withdrawal: This is the practice of voluntarily removing the penis from the vagina prior to ejaculation.
  • Emergency contraception (morning-after pill): This pill can prevent pregnancy when taken within five days of unprotected sex.
  • Spermicide: This substance kills sperm.
  • Sterilization: Different types of surgery serve as permanent methods of birth control, including tubal ligation (for women) and vasectomy (for men).
  • Natural family planning: This practice involves abstaining from sex on days when conception is likely.

Deciding on a form of contraception is a highly personal choice. Your health care provider at Dignity Health can help you choose the method that is best for you, considering your health, medical history, lifestyle, reproductive goals, and personal preferences.