So I remember I talked last week about short term birth control, and I said I would mention more long term methods this week. So, here is a quick list:

  • Birth Control Implant (Implanon and Nexplanon). This is a small implant that goes into your upper arm and last for about three years. It functions by releasing progestin which keeps eggs from leaving the ovaries.
  • IUD. A T-shaped device that is placed in the uterus, this is a long term solution, lasting up to 12 years. The way this one functions is uber cool. So, there are hormonal IUD’s that function just like the Implanon or Nexplanon, but copper IUDs affect the way sperm move which prevents them from entering the egg. Hormonal IUDs can also help relieve or stop heavy or painful periods.
  • Fertility Awareness-Based Methods (FAMs). Hey fam (haha get it), so this method is based on tracking your fertility – when you’re more likely to become pregnant –  and then planning around that. This doesn’t do anything to relieve periods and doesn’t require any inserts or hormones.

There are a few other such as abstinence, shots that last three months, tubal sterilization, vasectomy for males, and condoms. See Planned Parenthood for information about those.

Keep in mind that these methods don’t protect against sexually transmitted diseases and nothing is 100% effective (except abstinence but … Jane the Virgin). Also, birth control is not solely used to prevent pregnancy. It can help to make periods better, stop them altogether, and treat other uterus and hormone related issues.

Talk to your doctor and do your research before deciding on one of these either long or short term methods.