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Hormonal Contraception


Pregnancy Prevention

To help reduce the risk of unintended pregnancy, there are many options for hormonal methods of birth control.

These methods work similarly - they use synthetic hormones to both prevent ovulation (no egg is released from the ovaries) and thicken cervical mucus, making it more difficult for sperm to traverse the vagina and uterus. Some methods contain both estrogen and progestin, while others are progestin only. These methods can also be used as hormone therapy for trans women. In addition, hormonal contraceptives can help regulate your menstrual cycle, treat acne, make periods less painful, relieve symptoms of endometriosis, PCOS and menstrual migraines, and more!

Hormonal methods of contraception DO NOT prevent STIs. None of these methods are available over-the-counter at this time. Please speak with your healthcare provider if you are interested in trying any of these methods.

See below for a brief overview of each type.

Hormonal Birth Control Options

To learn more about these different types, and for more information on other forms of pregnancy prevention, visit Planned Parenthood's website.

WVU Student Health Services on the Evansdale campus can provide birth control consultation and prescriptions. Visit their website or call their clinic at 304-285-7200.

Like all prescription medication, there are risks of side effects. That is why it's important to work with your healthcare provider to decide what works best for you.

  • Birth Control Implant

    Brand Name: Nexplanon
    A tiny, flexible, thin rod about the size of a matchstick. Check with your insurance company to see if it's covered.
    Duration Good for up to 5 years
    Effectiveness About 99% effective.
    Implementation Must be inserted by a healthcare provider (under the skin in your arm).

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  • Intrauterine Device (IUD)

    Brand Name: Paragard, Mirena, Kyleena, Liletta, and Skyla
    A small piece of flexible, T-shaped plastic that is placed in the uterus. Types Hormonal IUDS and copper IUDS. Paragard is made of copper, and does not contain hormones. It can also last up to 10 years. (The copper IUD can also be used as emergency contraception if inserted within 120 hours after having unprotected sex). Hormonal IUDS are progestin-only.
    Duration Lasts for 3 to 10 years, depending on the type.
    Effectiveness About 99% effective.
    Implementation Must be inserted and removed by a healthcare provider

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  • Birth Control Shot

    Brand Name: Depo-Provera
    Injection you receive once every 3 months by your healthcare provider. Contains progestin.
    Duration Lasts for 3 months.
    Effectiveness About 96% effective.
    Implementation Injected by a healthcare provider.

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  • Birth Control Vaginal Ring

    Brand Name: NuvaRing and Annovera
    Small, flexible ring that is placed in the vagina, around the cervix. Contains both estrogen and progestin. Each NuvaRing can last up to 5 weeks. You replace it about once per month, depending on the ring schedule you choose. Each Annovera ring lasts up to 1 year. You leave it in your vagina for 21 days (3 weeks), then take it out for 7 days and safely store it. After 7 ring-free days, put Annovera back in your vagina.
    Duration 5 weeks - 1 year depending on your preferred ring schedule and brand.
    Effectiveness About 93% effective.
    Implementation Placed in the vagina by patient.

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  • Birth Control Patch

    Brand Name: Xulane and Twirla
    The patch is transdermal - you wear the patch on certain parts of your body and it releases hormones through your skin. You wear the patch on your belly, butt, or back. You can also wear the Xulane patch on your upper arm. Uses estrogen and progestin.
    Duration You change the patch once per week.
    Effectiveness About 93% effective.
    Implementation Placed on the belly, butt, or back by patient.

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  • Birth Control Pill

    Brand Name: Hundreds Available
    Most common form of hormonal contraception. Hundreds of brand names available. Mini pills must be taken at the same time every day to ensure effectiveness. Helpful hint - set a daily alarm on your phone!
    Effectiveness About 93% effective.
    Implementation Taken orally every day around the same time.

    Lean More About Birth Control Pills

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Learn the proper way to store, size and use condoms, to maximize their contraceptive-effectiveness and STI-prevention.

Emergency Contraception

See what options exist for emergency contraception, and get the information you need to make a decision that works for you.