Women often complain about the amount of effort required with most birth control methods. Pills should be taken the same time each day, a diaphragm must be inserted before intercourse, and lovemaking can be interrupted for use of condoms and spermicides.

Depo Provera® – Birth Control Shot

Many women have been pleased with Depo-Provera, also referred to as the birth control shot. Depo-Provera is a long-acting injection given every three months. It provides approximately 98 percent protection against pregnancy. Depo-Provera contains only progesterone, and can be used by nursing mothers and smokers over the age of 35. Most women on Depo-Provera experience very scant periods.

Depo side effects

Some side effects of Depo-Provera may include slight weight gain, irregular periods, headaches, abdominal cramping, vaginal discharge, and breast tenderness. Use of Depo-Provera may also result in the loss of calcium stored in your bones, causing weak and brittle bones that may be more likely to break, especially after menopause.

While using Depo-Provera, you may skip a period, or your periods may stop completely. This is because Depo-Provera causes your ovaries to enter a resting state, where no egg is released and no lining builds up in your uterus.

It may also take some time for the effects of Depo-Provera to wear off after you stop receiving injections. In a study of women who stopped using Depo-Provera in order to become pregnant, it took between 10 and 18 months for them to conceive. The length of time you use Depo-Provera has no effect on how long it will take you to become pregnant after you stop using it.

Women who have a history of breast cancer, stroke, blood clots in the legs, or liver disease should not use Depo-Provera.

NuvaRing® – The Birth Control Ring

The contraceptive ring NuvaRing is a soft silicon ring about 2 inches in diameter that you insert in your vagina. Once in place, the ring molds to your body and begins to release a synthetic estrogen and a progestin, the same hormones found in the Pill. After three weeks, you remove the ring and insert a new one seven days later. This ring-free week is just like the week of “sugar pills” in a pack of birth control pills.

When used as directed, the ring is 99 percent effective in preventing pregnancy. The ring can be removed for very short periods of time if you or your partner desires, although it is not necessary to remove the ring for exercise or intercourse.

NuvaRing side effects

Many women experience fewer side effects with the birth control ring. Because the hormones in the ring are absorbed directly into the bloodstream, there is much less nausea. Some women may experience vaginal irritation, headaches, or slight weight gain while using NuvaRing.

Women who have a history of heart attack, stroke, blood clots in the legs, chest pain, high blood pressure, breast cancer, or cervical cancer should not use NuvaRing.