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Boynton Health educates its patients about various birth control methods. There are several options, so you should talk with your health care provider and decide which one is the best one for you. Remember that not having sex (abstinence) is the only way to prevent sexually transmitted infections, but condoms are the best way to minimize the risk. We also encourage all University of Minnesota students to contact Boynton’s peer education group, SHADE (Sexual Health and Disease Education) if you would like to talk to another student about birth control options, safer sex strategies, and free condoms.

Visit the Boynton Women's Clinic or Primary Care Clinic to make an appointment for a consult on any of the methods below.

For Women

Barrier Methods

For women, these include vaginal condoms, diaphragms, and cervical caps. These all provide a physical barrier between the sperm and the uterus, and are all more effective when used with a spermicide. You need an appointment to get a diaphragm or a cervical cap but condoms are available without a prescription at Boynton’s pharmacy.

Birth Control Pills, Patch, and Ring

These three methods all contain both estrogen and progesterone and help prevent ovulation. Pills need to be taken daily at about the same time. The patch only needs to be changed once a week, and the ring only needs to be changed once a month. There are multiple doses of the pill, so if one pill doesn’t work, there is a good chance that another pill will work. Most women will ovulate four to six weeks after stopping any of these methods, assuming that they ovulated prior to starting one of these methods. There are other non-contraceptive benefits to these as well. Visit one of our providers to see if this is a good option for you and get a prescription. None of these options protect you from sexually transmitted infections.

Depo-Provera Injections

Depo-Provera shots are given every three months to prevent pregnancy. The progesterone hormone in the shot prevents ovulation, so most women have no periods or light bleeding. It is important to come in on time every three months. It can take nine to 12 months for fertility to resume once you stop the shot. The depo-provera shot does not protect against sexually transmitted infections.

Emergency Contraception

Emergency contraception is not intended to be used as a primary birth control method. It is a back-up in the event that your current method doesn’t work:


Emergency contraception can be used for up to five days after unprotected intercourse but is most effective if used as soon as possible. It does not cause a miscarriage or an abortion but it will prevent ovulation if you haven’t ovulated yet. Even if you are pregnant or become pregnant it will not cause any harm to a developing embryo. It is available over-the-counter at Boynton’s pharmacy. Emergency contraception prevents pregnancy but it doesn’t prevent sexually transmitted infections.

Fertility Awareness or Natural Family Planning (NFP)

This involves tracking normal menstrual cycles, predicting possible days of ovulation, and avoiding intercourse on those days. It is best used by women with regular cycles. There are many books and websites that can help determine which days are best not to have sex. This is an inexpensive, hormone-free option. It does not protect against sexually transmitted infections.

Implants

Nexplanon is the most effective birth control option available. It is a small rod that is inserted in your upper arm between the bicep and triceps muscles. It contains progesterone, a hormone that usually is produced in the ovary. It works by preventing ovulation. Many women have light bleeding and some women stop having a period all together. It lasts for three years but can easily be removed if there are any problems. Insertion and removal are performed in the office by a trained health care provider. A consultation visit with one of our providers is needed to determine if you are a candidate for an implant. The consultation is to help match your needs and to make certain the implant is a safe option for you. It does not protect against sexually transmitted infections.

IUDs

Intrauterine devices (IUDs) are small T-shaped devices that are inserted into the uterus to prevent pregnancy. There are three types available at Boynton. All IUDs interfere with sperm and prevent sperm’s ability to fertilize an egg. The copper IUD (Paragard) prevents pregnancy for 10 years. There are two hormonal IUDs (Mirena and Skyla). Mirena prevents pregnancy for five years and Skyla prevents pregnancy for three years. An IUD needs to be inserted by a trained health care provider and can be removed at any time if pregnancy is desired or if there are any problems. A consultation visit with one of our providers is needed to determine if you are a candidate for an IUD. The consultation is to help match your needs and to make certain an IUD is a safe option for you. IUDs do not protect against sexually transmitted infections.

Sterilization

For women, sterilization is a procedure done by a health care provider outside Boynton that physically interferes with the egg travelling through the fallopian tube. This procedure is meant to be permanent and should only be considered by those who have definitely decided not to have children or are absolutely positive that they wouldn’t have any more children under any circumstance. People who have had sterilizations are still at risk for sexually transmitted infections and should still use condoms.

For Men

Barrier Methods

Male condoms provide a physical barrier between the sperm and the uterus. They are all more effective when used with a spermicide. The male condom is the best method to protect against sexually transmitted infections for anyone who is sexually active.

Sterilization

For men, sterilization is a procedure done by a health care provider outside Boynton that physically interferes with the sperm from travelling through the vas deferens. This procedure is meant to be permanent and should only be considered by those who have definitely decided not to have children or are absolutely positive that they wouldn’t have any more children under any circumstance. People who have had sterilizations are still at risk for sexually transmitted infections and should still use condoms.

For Couples

Abstinence

Abstinence is the decision to not have sex. It is the only way to prevent sexually transmitted infections and pregnancy. Remember that if semen gets near the vagina, pregnancy can still occur even without having penile-vaginal intercourse.

Spermicides

Spermicides contain chemicals that immobilize or kill sperm. They come in a separate tube or can be found in a sponge that can be inserted in the vagina. They are not as effective when used alone and are best used in combination with condoms, diaphragms, and cervical caps. They are readily available without a prescription at Boynton’s pharmacy. Spermicides do not protect you from sexually transmitted infections.

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Boynton Health

410 Church Street S.E.
Minneapolis, MN, 55455

P: 612-625-8400 | F: 612-625-1434