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Some birth control methods are more convenient to use than others. Consider the following when choosing a birth control method:
Permanent or longer-term methods such as tubal ligation or vasectomy, the intrauterine device (IUD), the hormonal implant, the shot, and the hormone patch or vaginal ring offer the most convenience for many people. With these methods, you do not have to take a pill daily, keep a birth control method handy for when you have sex, or carefully monitor your menstrual cycle.
All users of long-term methods who have any risk of sexually transmitted infection (STI) exposure should use a condom. Most spermicides contain a chemical called nonoxynol-9, which may increase the risk of getting HIV/AIDS from an infected partner.
Birth control pills may be convenient for women who are able to remember to take a pill daily. The pill does not have to be taken at the time of sexual activity, which may allow for spontaneity. Also, with certain pills you can have fewer or no periods.
Barrier methods—such as spermicide with condoms, the cervical cap, the -shield, and the diaphragm—require that couples have the methods readily available and have them in place just before having sexual intercourse.
Last Revised: May 3, 2012
Author: Healthwise Staff
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