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What Are the Newer Methods of Birth Control?

Learn what the newer methods of birth control are, and what you need to know about each one to make an informed decision.

By
Sanaz Majd, MD,
December 17, 2010

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Since the invention of the birth control pill about 50 years ago, medical contraceptive technology has advanced quite a bit. Sure the pill is still probably the most common method of birth control, but there are many newer, more advanced methods available nowadays.

What Are the Newer Methods of Birth Control?

I’m always surprised to hear that many people still don’t’ know about these newer methods. Do you know your options? In this article I’ll go over 4 newer birth control options and the pros and cons of them all.

Newer Birth Control Option #1: Implant

The contraceptive implant is a thin 4cm x 2 mm rod that is inserted right under the skin of your upper arm by your doctor. It works by releasing a progesterone-only hormone (meaning, no estrogen). This is 99% effective, and has been FDA approved since 2006 for contraception. It lasts 3 years, and is one of the most effective birth control options out there. After the three years, you must have the implant removed.

Pros of the Implant

The Implant has 3 main pros:

  • It’s discrete. There is no “pill box” to hide. Seems to be a more popular method amongst the younger generation of women in particular, because of this.

  • There’s nothing to remember. You don’t have to worry about taking a pill every day if you tend to forget.

  • It’s long term. You don’t need to worry about birth control for three entire years. 

Cons of the Implant

The Implant is not without its downsides.

  • During the first year, 50% of women report having more bleeding: whether it’s with more frequent periods, longer periods, heavier periods, or bleeding or spotting in between their periods.  After the first year, however, most women report less bleeding overall. 

  • The other con of this birth control method is that it doesn’t protect against Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI’s). Only condoms or abstinence can protect against STI’s. 

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