Sexual Health
Numerous options are available to prevent pregnancy. Generally contraception methods fall into three categories: non-hormonal methods, hormonal methods and permanent sterilization. Most experts no recommend long-acting reversible contraception for females wishing to prevent pregnancy. This category of highly effective, low-risk methods includes intrauterine devices and contraceptive implants. Discuss the risks and benefits of each type of contraception with your care provider to decide what is best for you.


Non-hormonal contraceptive methods vary greatly in effectiveness, safety, and cost. They include:

  • Natural family planning
  • The condom (both male and female)
  • The diaphragm
  • The cervical cap
  • An intrauterine device (IUD)


Hormonal contraceptive methods are generally safe and very effective in preventing pregnancy. However, women with certain medical conditions are not candidates for these methods. Hormonal methods include:

  • The birth control pill
  • The birth control patch
  • The vaginal ring
  • Hormonal injections
  • Hormone-releasing intrauterine device
  • Contraceptive implant


Both male and females can undergo procedures to ensure permanent sterility. The male sterilization procedure, a vasectomy, is performed in an office setting with local anesthesia. Bilateral tubal ligation is the female sterilization procedure commonly referred to as “tying the tubes.” It is performed in an operating room and may require general anesthesia. Both the male and female sterilization procedures are associated with some risks. Contact your care provider to discuss these risks based on your individual situation.