Hormonal birth control is a reliable method for preventing pregnancy, available in several forms. Each type uses hormones to prevent pregnancy, but they differ in usage, composition, and side effects.

Pills are a popular choice, requiring daily intake. Some packs include hormone-free pills for a monthly period, while continuous dosing options eliminate periods.

  • Pros: High control over timing, can regulate menstrual cycles, reduce menstrual cramps.
  • Cons: Daily commitment, can cause nausea, headaches, or mood changes.

Skin patches (Xulaine, Twirla), changed weekly, are worn on the upper arm, shoulder, back, or hip. They provide a week-off for menstruation and contain both estrogen and progestin.

  • Pros: Weekly application, not daily. Can regulate periods, similar to pills.
  • Cons: Visible on the skin, potential skin irritation, same hormonal side effects as pills.

Vaginal rings (NuvaRing, Annovera) are flexible devices placed in the vagina for three weeks, releasing hormones directly. They are removed during the fourth week for menstruation.

  • Pros: Monthly use, less frequent than pills. Can control periods.
  • Cons: Requires comfort with vaginal insertion, potential vaginal irritation.

Injections (Depo Provera) offer a longer-term solution, with a shot every three months, containing only progestin.  However, these can cause significant weight loss and long-term ovulation suppression.

  • Pros: Long-term (every three months), no daily attention required.
  • Cons: Can cause weight gain, delayed fertility return after stopping.

Implants (Nexplanon), tiny rods inserted in the arm, last up to three years. They are an easy, long-lasting method containing progestin.

  • Pros: Lasts up to 3 years, highly effective.
  • Cons: Invasive insertion process, can cause irregular bleeding.

Hormone-releasing IUDs (Mirena, Skyla, Kyleena, Liletta) are devices placed inside the uterus, lasting 3 to 5 years, also only containing progestin.

  • Pros: Long-term (3-5 years), highly effective.
  • Cons: Invasive insertion, potential for uterine perforation or expulsion.

Choosing the right method involves considering convenience, health, and personal preferences. Some methods are more suited for those who prefer less frequent maintenance, while others offer more control over timing.