Birth Control News

Birth control refers to medications, barriers, sexual practices or medical procedures that prevent pregnancy. Various approaches exist for both men and women, and birth control can range from simply choosing not to have sex, called abstinence, to permanent sterilization caused by surgery. The effectiveness varies widely across the different methods, as does the ability to get pregnant at a later date.

Types of Birth Control

Usually the term “birth control” is thought of in regard to birth control pills. These pills are taken by women daily and prevent the ovaries from releasing eggs. There are also patches, injections, vaginal rings and surgical implants available for women that prevent pregnancy in a method similar to birth control pills.

Another category of birth control is often described as “barrier methods.” These are devices used during sex that block the sperm from reaching the egg. Diaphragms, cervical caps, cervical shields, contraceptive sponges and male and female condoms fit into the category of barrier methods of birth control. Male condoms offer additional protection in that they can prevent the spread of sexually transmitted diseases in some cases.

The surest method of birth control is abstinence. Some couples also practice the rhythm method, which involves not having sex or using a barrier on the days during the woman's menstrual cycle when she is the most fertile.

For people who do not want children or do not want any more children, permanent methods of birth control are available. For women, this can be accomplished with a surgery, called a tubal ligation, or an implanted device that blocks the fallopian tubes from releasing eggs. Men can get a procedure performed called a vasectomy that blocks sperm from traveling to the penis.

Emergency contraception, sometimes called “Plan B” or the “morning after pill,” is available to women over-the-counter as another form of birth control. These pills, which come in a one-dose or two-dose treatment, are for women who had unprotected sex and do not desire to get pregnant. The pills prevent the release of an egg from the ovary or prevent sperm from joining with the egg.

SOURCE: U.S. Office on Women's Health

Date Posted
Article Title
'Synthetic Pot' Tied to Risky Sex, Violence and Drug Abuse in Teens

Product has unpredictable, potentially dangerous effects, doctors warn

Ready for Spring Break? Have Fun But Play It Safe

Drinking too much can affect your judgment, increasing your risk for injury, CDC warns

A Plug Instead of a Snip for Male Birth Control?

Monkey study shows injected gel may one day be alternative to traditional vasectomy

FDA Explains Pros, Cons of Permanent Birth Control

A drawback to one form is that it isn't effective until 3 months after placement

Male Birth Control in a Shot: Promising, But More Work Needed

Injections as effective as other contraceptives, but side effects prompted early halt of trial

Birth Control Pills and Mental Health

Does the birth control pill increase risk for depression?

'The Pill' May Raise Depression Risk

Study also ties hormonal patches, IUDs to greater antidepressant use, especially in teens

U.S. Teen Births Hit Another Record Low: CDC

Less sex, more contraception is the 'magic' formula, experts say

Know Your Risk for Ovarian Cancer -- and the Symptoms

Because early signs are often easy to ignore, 140,000 women worldwide die of the disease every year

Are Birth Control Pills Tied to Decline in Ovarian Cancer Deaths?

Rates down 16 percent in U.S., 8 percent in Canada, and 10 percent in Europe over a decade: study

Sex Partner With No Zika Symptoms Transmits Virus: CDC

New report also highlights ties between Zika and Guillain-Barre

Vitamin D Levels May Fall When Women Stop Taking Birth Control

Expectant mothers or those trying to get pregnant should make sure they get enough of the nutrient, researchers say

Put Birth Control in Place Right After Childbirth

Placement of IUD, contraceptive implant after delivery helps prevent accidental pregnancy, doctors advise

How Safe Is Condomless Sex When Partner With HIV Takes Meds?

Study suggests transmission risk is low if infected person adheres to treatment

HPV-Linked Cancers Still Climbing in U.S.

Majority of 39,000 annual cases are preventable, CDC says

Many Smartphone 'Fertility Apps' May Not Work

In study, only 6 had perfect score in predicting fertile days

Report Hints Zika Can Spread Through Oral Sex

French finding adds to growing evidence that sexual transmission of the virus more common than thought

U.S. Teen Birth Rate Continues to Fall, Hits New Record Low

CDC statistics for 2015 show another 8 percent drop

Some Teen Girls Coerced Into Pregnancy: Study

Small review finds high schoolers as young as 14 have had boyfriends who control their reproductive choices

Teen Birth Rate at Record Low in U.S.

They're delaying sex, using more effective birth control, CDC researcher says

Contraception Safety Program for Acne Drug Failing in Canada

Accutane raises risk of birth defects, but many women taking it don't follow guidelines to avoid pregnancy, study finds

New Guidelines Issued on Breast, Genital Plastic Surgery for Teen Girls

Leading ob/gyn group says growing interest in procedures prompted recommendations

Life-Saving Health Care in Poor Nations Would Cost $5 Per Person: Study

Money could expand basic health care services for mothers, babies and children in 74 nations

Scientists Spot 'Switch' That Helps Sperm Penetrate Egg

Finding could eventually lead to unisex birth control, or infertility treatments, researchers say

Birth Control Pills Linked to Fewer Severe Knee Injuries in Teen Girls

Study reinforces theory that estrogen may be why females suffer more ACL problems than males

Condom Use Falls When Teen Girls Opt for IUDs vs. The Pill

Experts say young women need to remember that STDs are still a danger

Steep Decline in Unintended Pregnancies in U.S., Study Finds

Falloff may be attributed to growing IUD use

FDA Orders 'Black Box' Warning Label on Essure Long-Acting Contraceptive

Agency says device remains 'appropriate' for many women, but also cites reports of serious complications

Study: You Can Predict Which Male Teens Will Live With Their Future Kids

Beliefs about risky sex, pregnancy, birth control foretell what kind of fathers they will be, researchers contend

Birth Control Pills and Pregnancy

Oral contraceptive use during early pregnancy does not increase risk of birth defects, new study finds

No Link Between 'the Pill' and Birth Defects: Study

Findings should reassure women and their doctors, experts say

The Pill, Hormone Therapy Safe for Women Taking Blood Thinners: Study

Finding may lay to rest the notion that hormonal treatments raise odds for recurrent clots, expert says

Girls Given Risky Meds Don't Get Contraceptive Advice

Study examines young women taking drugs that cause birth defects and finds most aren't cautioned

U.S. Abortion Rate Hits Record Low: CDC

Greater use of more effective birth control may help explain trend, expert says

Teens More Cautious About Sex When Parents Set Rules, Study Finds

Kids tend to delay sex if Mom and Dad keep an eye on what they're doing, who they're with

Teens Do Listen to Parents' Advice About Sex: Study

Discussions may help kids delay sexual activity, and use condoms or other birth control

Giving Birth, Breast-feeding May Help Women's Long-Term Health

Researchers find link between childbirth and lower risk of death from cancer or heart disease

Study Ties Essure Birth Control Implant to Greater Need for Reoperation

Device is already under scrutiny by FDA due to complaints of complications

Could Injection Be Used Someday to Spay or Neuter Pets?

Mouse study shows promise for alternative to surgical sterilization for dogs, cats

Mouse Study Hints at New 'Male Contraceptive'

Discovery could lead to a reversible, non-hormonal form of birth control for men, scientists say

Could Oral Contraceptives Help Ease Rheumatoid Arthritis?

Only association was seen, and older women shouldn't take the pill to treat symptoms, experts say

U.S. Teens Waiting Longer to Have Sex: CDC

Report finds less than half of those aged 15 to 19 have had intercourse

Women Spend Far Less on Birth Control Because of 'Obamacare'

Out-of-pocket costs for 'the pill' fell 38 percent between 2012 and 2013, study finds

Obese Teens Less Likely to Use Birth Control

Heavy adolescent girls at greater risk for unintended pregnancy, study shows

Newer Birth Control Pills May Slightly Raise Blood Clot Risk

Study finds effect with brands such as Yaz, Yasmin and Desogen, but risk to any one user remains very low

Teen Use of Long-Term Contraception Rising, But Remains Low

U.S. government report says implants and IUDs are effective and safe options

Use of Long-Acting Birth Control Rises Fivefold in a Decade: CDC

IUDs and implants among the safest, most effective forms of contraception, experts say

IUDs, Contraceptive Implants Work Longer Than Thought, Researchers Report

Ongoing study shows they prevent pregnancy at least one year beyond their approved use

Better Contraceptive Knowledge Can Aid in Safe Use of Acne Drug: Study

Effective birth control key in using the medication, which is linked to birth defects