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Birth Control and Sterilization

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Birth Control

There are multiple approaches to birth control, and our physicians will work with you to determine a method that is right for you. We have extensive experience with options such as IUD, hormone implant, vaginal ring, permanent sterilization for women and more. Your doctor can advise you both medically and personally to find the right method.


  • Barrier methods. These methods include male and female condoms, which block sperm’s ability to enter the cervix and fertilize an egg.
  • Oral contraceptives or birth control pills. Birth control pills are taken daily to prevent ovulation and usually contain the hormones estrogen and some form of progesterone. In addition to prevention of pregnancy, oral contraceptives have several health benefits including regulating menstrual cycles and decreasing the amount and length of menstrual periods. This can help increase iron stores in women with iron deficiency associated with excessive bleeding. Prevention of certain ovarian and endometrial cancers is a significant benefit of the use of oral contraceptives.
  • Mini-pill. Unlike the combination oral contraceptive, the mini-pill has only one hormone, a progesterone called Norethindrone. This pill is taken daily and thickens cervical mucus to prevent the sperm from reaching the egg. It can decrease the flow of your period and protect against pelvic inflammatory disease and ovarian and endometrial cancer. The mini-pill is not as effective at pregnancy prevention as combination oral contraceptives, and as a result is recommended only if a woman cannot use combination oral contraceptives.
  • Intrauterine device (IUD). An IUD is placed in the uterus and works by thickening cervical mucus to make it difficult for sperm to enter the cervix or by preventing the fertilized egg from attaching to the wall of the uterus. IUDs containing hormones are called intrauterine systems and must be replaced every 5 to 8 years, while copper IUDs can last up to 10 years.
  • Implant. A capsule containing the synthetic hormone etonogestrel is implanted under the skin in the upper arm and continuously prevents the ovaries from releasing an egg for up to three years.
  • Injection. A progesterone-like drug is given by injection to prevent pregnancy by stopping ovulation. This method of birth control lasts for about three months after which another injection must be given to continue effectiveness. 
  • Patch. A skin patch worn on the body that releases the hormones estrogen and progestin into the bloodstream. It is most effective in women who weigh less than 198 pounds.
  • Diaphragm or cervical cap. A dome-shaped rubber cup with a flexible rim is inserted through the vagina to cover the cervix. This type of birth control must be inserted prior to having sexual intercourse. 
  • Hormonal vaginal contraceptive ring. A ring is placed inside the vagina around the cervix. The ring releases the hormones estrogen and progestin.

Permanent Sterilization

Permanent sterilization – also known as having your tubes tied – is a safe, highly effective and convenient form of contraception. The fallopian tubes are cut and separated or sealed shut, which prevents pregnancy by not allowing the egg and sperm to join. Women who undergo this type of procedure are no longer able to bear children.


There are different types of laparoscopic, or minimally invasive, sterilization procedures, including:

  • Tubal ligation that blocks or removes a small segment of the fallopian tube. This procedure has been performed for many years.
  • Salpingectomy that completely removes the fallopian tubes and tissue. This procedure cannot be reversed. Studies have shown that this type of procedure may decrease the risk of fallopian tube and ovarian cancer later in life.

Please note, we do not offer hysteroscopic sterilization.

Covenant Health