What Are the Names of Types of Birth Control?

By Heather Rutherford

  • Overview

    What Are the Names of Types of Birth Control?
    Picking on the right type of birth control is an important decision. With all the options available, it is wise to be well informed in order to prevent pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). These six types of birth control are the most commonly used methods available today.
  • Abstinence

    Abstinence is the only method of birth control that is considered to be 100 percent effective in preventing pregnancy and STDs. This method works by abstaining, or refraining, from sexual activity that could possibly lead to pregnancy or infection. Those using abstinence as birth control should abstain from all genital contact.
  • Natural Family Planning

    Natural family planning or NFP is also known as the rhythm method. This method charts ovulation and menstruation cycles of women to assess the days that the woman is most likely to conceive. The woman will then abstain from sex on the days she is most fertile. NFP is considered to have a 91 to 99 percent to success rate in preventing pregnancy. One to nine women of every 100 will become pregnant while using this method of birth control.


  • Barrier Method

    The barrier method is a very common type of birth control. This includes both male and female condoms, spermicides, cervical caps, diaphragms, some intrauterine devices (IUD) and the contraceptive sponge. These methods work by preventing the sperm from entering the cervix, which prevents it from ever meeting an egg. For effectiveness, the best options for barrier methods of birth control are condoms. Failure rates for a male condom are only three percent, as opposed to the over 20 percent for the cervical cap. The condom is also able to reduce the likelihood of contracting an STD.
  • Hormonal Birth Control

    Hormonal types of birth control are considered one of the most effective types of birth control following abstinence. Types of hormonal birth control include birth control pills, the hormonal shot, the birth control patch and most IUDs. These hormonal birth control options are given to women to prevent pregnancy. While the effectiveness rate is somewhere near 99 percent, there are a few possible side effects, including nausea, headache, blood clots, heart attack, stroke, mood changes, lowered libido and weight gain. Most of these side effects are considered mild and the occurrence of the severe side effects are very rare. However, because of the risks involved, a prescription is needed for all types of hormonal birth control.
  • Sterilization

    Sterilization is the perfect birth control method for those who do not wish to have any children. Women can undergo a surgery called a tubal litigation. The procedure is performed under general anesthesia and complete recovery takes a few weeks. A male can have a vasectomy in which the vas deferens of the testicles are severed and tied up. The process is accomplished under localized anesthetic and the recovery takes only a few days. Either way the result is a highly effective birth control method. However, reversals are costly and not 100 percent guaranteed effective, so undergoing a sterilization procedure should not be taken lightly.
  • Withdrawal

    The withdrawal method is another type of birth control that is used globally to prevent pregnancy. The withdrawal method involves the man pulling out of the vagina before ejaculation. This prevents the sperm from reaching the egg through limited contact. Withdrawal is certainly not 100 percent effective. Many men do not have the control required to utilize this method effectively. There are also trace amounts of sperm that are released during intercourse that are capable of resulting in a pregnancy. The effectiveness rate is somewhere near 96 percent.
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