Birth Control: Time-Release Hormones
Certain hormones can help prevent pregnancy. Hormones like the ones used in birth control pills can be taken in other forms. These must be prescribed by your healthcare provider. Because there’s very little for you to do, you may find one of these methods easier to stick to than pills. Side effects for this method will vary depending on the type of time-release hormone you use. Talk to your healthcare provider for more information.
Talk to your health care provider about the effectiveness of this birth control method.
Using time-release hormones
Methods to deliver hormones include:
A skin patch placed on your stomach, buttocks, arm, or shoulder. You replace the patch weekly.
A ring that you insert in your vagina, leave in for 3 weeks, and remove for 1 week.
Injections given in your arm or buttocks once every 3 months by your healthcare provider.
An implant placed under the skin in the upper arm by your healthcare provider. This can be left in place for up to 3 years.
The projestin IUDs placed by your healthcare provider. These can be left in place for 3 to 5 years depending on which one is chosen.
Lowest pregnancy rate of the birth control methods that can be reversed
No interruption to sex
Easy to use
Don’t require taking a pill each day
May decrease menstrual cramps, menstrual flow, and acne
Do not protect against sexually transmitted infections (STIs)
May cause irregular periods
May cause side effects such as nausea, weight gain, headaches, breast tenderness, fatigue, or mood changes (These often go away within 3 months)
May take up to a year for you to become fertile (able to get pregnant) after stopping injections
May increase the risk of blood clots, heart attack, and stroke
Time-release hormones may not be for you if:
You are a smoker and over age 35
You have high blood pressure or gallbladder, liver, certain lipid disorders, cerebrovascular disease, or heart disease
You have diabetes, migraines, thromboembolic disorder (clot in vein or artery), lupus, or take medications that may interfere with the hormones
In these cases, discuss the risks with your healthcare provider.