There are so many different forms of birth control on the market today, how do you possibly choose which method is right for you? Here, I break down some of the more popular choices for you (with articles to come taking a closer look at each)!

IUD (intrauterine device): A provider favorite, this “set it and forget it” method is between 99.7%-99.9% effective at preventing pregnancy (that’s as effective as getting your tubes tied!). These devices last between 3-12 years, but can be removed whenever you desire with an immediate return to fertility. They are safe for most patients (but check with your provider first). There are both hormonal (Mirena, Skyla, Liletta) options as well as non-hormonal (Paragard). Pros: super effective Cons: irregular bleeding (although each device has a different bleeding profile, so do your research before choosing!)

Nexplanon: Inserted in-office into the upper arm, this small, hormonal rod is 99.9% effective at preventing pregnancy and lasts for 3 years. It’s another provider favorite, as there is no room for user-error with this device. Safe for most patients, but check with your provider first. Biggest complaint: irregular bleeding. Pros: super effective Cons: irregular bleeding

Combined Oral Contraceptive Pills (“the pill”): About 92% effective, irregular bleeding SE, take at the same time every day. Safety in patients is more limited than nexplanon/IUD, check with your provider to make sure you are a good candidate for the pill. Pros: lighter periods, may help acne Cons: must be taken around the same time every day

Nuvaring: about 92% effective; inserted in the vagina for 3 weeks; remove for 1 week. Pros: doesn’t require a daily effort; periods can be skipped by reinserting a new ring at 3 weeks Cons: must remember when to remove and replace

Condoms: About 82% effective; help prevent sexually transmitted infections (the only one on this list!). Pros: cheap, easy to buy, no provider visit need Cons: lower efficacy, amongst others

Withdrawal: About 78% effective. Not much else to say about it! Pros: no provider needed, free Cons: low efficacy