Birth Control: Pros and Cons of Hormonal Methods

multiple contraception methods

Birth control pills, the birth control patch, and the vaginal birth control ring are combined hormonal birth control methods. They contain two hormones: estrogen and progestin. 

Here’s a quick rundown of some pros and cons of using hormonal birth control methods.

Birth Control Pills

Success Rate with Typical Use: 91% to 93%

Pros

Cons

  • Very effective against pregnancy and the chance of pregnancy is very low as long as you take your pill every day.
  • Convenient, affordable, and effective if you follow schedule.
  • No interruption in sexual activity 
  • The hormones in the pill can help with painful, heavy, or irregular periods. It may cause lighter, more regular, and shorter menstrual periods. 
  • Helps to reduce menstrual cramps
  • Makes you less susceptible to ovarian and uterine cancer, pelvic inflammatory disease, bone thinning, cysts in your breasts and ovaries, and anemia
  • Doesn’t protect against STIs (sexually transmitted infections.)
  • Has to be used on a schedule. The pill needs to be taken correctly — every single day at the same time — to prevent unplanned pregnancy.
  • Can’t be used by women with having medical problems such as high blood pressure, liver disease, migraine, diabetes, and other serious heart ailments.
  • Can’t be used by women taking certain medications
  • Can occasionally cause side effects such as headache, nausea, sore breasts, increased appetite, and, very rarely, blood clots
  • Prescription needed

 

Hormonal Patch

Success Rate with Typical Use: 91% to 92%

Pros

Cons

  • Very effective against pregnancy.
  • The chance of pregnancy is very low if used as on schedule.
  • Can help with painful, heavy, or irregular periods. It may cause lighter, more regular, and shorter menstrual periods. 
  • Helps to reduce menstrual cramps 
  • Makes you less susceptible to ovarian and uterine cancer, pelvic inflammatory disease, bone thinning, cysts in your breasts and ovaries, and anemia
  • Doesn’t protect against STIs (sexually transmitted infections.)
  • Still needs condom protection to lower the risk of STIs
  • Can’t be used by women with having medical problems such as high blood pressure, liver disease, migraine, diabetes, and other serious heart ailments.
  • Can’t be used by women taking certain medications
  • Can occasionally cause side effects such as headache, nausea, sore breasts, and increased appetite.
  • Increased risk of blood clots
  • Prescription needed

 

Vaginal Hormonal Ring

Success Rate with Typical Use: 93% to 97%

Pros

Cons

  • Very effective against pregnancy and the chance of pregnancy is very low if used correctly.
  • Can help with painful, heavy, or irregular periods. It may cause lighter, more regular, and shorter menstrual periods. 
  • Helps to reduce menstrual cramps 
  • Makes you less susceptible to ovarian and uterine cancer, pelvic inflammatory disease, bone thinning, cysts in your breasts and ovaries, and anemia
  • Doesn’t interrupt sexual activity
  • Doesn’t protect against STIs (sexually transmitted infections.)
  • Still needs condom protection to lower the risk of STIs
  • Can’t be used by women with having medical problems such as high blood pressure, liver disease, migraine, diabetes, and other serious heart ailments.
  • Can’t be used by women taking certain medications
  • Can occasionally cause side effects such as headache, nausea, sore breasts, and increased appetite.
  • Increased risk of blood clots
  • Prescription needed

 

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