A woman surrounded by many different birth control methods to represent a guide to birth control

A Quick Guide to Birth Control for Women

At Raleigh OB/GYN Centre, we believe that patient education is an invaluable tool, and this education includes providing information about the various birth control options available. It can be overwhelming when selecting a contraceptive option, so we wanted to give you a quick guide to birth control that summarizes some of the most popular methods. Schedule an appointment with your provider for more detailed information about a specific form of birth control or to discuss if the contraceptive is right for you. Whether you’re just getting started, interested in a change, or just looking for some more information, here is our comprehensive guide to birth control.

Consider Your Lifestyle

When selecting a birth control method, you should choose a contraceptive that will align with your lifestyle, not the other way around. The main elements to consider when choosing a contraceptive are safety, effectiveness, and availability. In our guide to birth control, we will list out the different options available to you, as well as the administration methods, the general effectiveness, and other important factors that would help you decide which option could work for you. Depending on your individual circumstances, your doctor can provide more information about side effects, contraindications, and other considerations to help inform your decision.

The Pill

The birth control pill is arguably the most well-known form of birth control. Also referred to as an oral contraceptive, the birth control pill contains the hormones estrogen and progestin and is taken at the same time daily for three weeks. The birth control pack’s final week includes sugar pills that do not contain hormones, which allows the body to menstruate.


The birth control patch is another form of hormonal birth control prescribed by a doctor. This skin patch is worn on the lower abdomen, buttocks, or upper body but should not be placed on the breasts. The patch releases hormones progestin and estrogen into the bloodstream. The patch is changed weekly for three weeks, and then during the fourth week, it is removed to allow for menstruation.


The hormonal vaginal ring is placed inside of the vagina, is worn for three weeks, and then removed during the fourth week to have a period. The ring works by releasing estrogen and progestin into the body to prevent pregnancy. Birth control pills, patches, and the ring are all about 91% effective in preventing pregnancy.


The birth control shot is an injection administered in a doctor’s office every three months. The recipient can choose to have the progestin injection in either their arm or buttocks. The shot is about 96% effective in preventing pregnancy.


An intrauterine device (IUD) is a small “t” shaped device placed inside the uterus by a doctor. The hormonal version releases a small amount of progestin each day to keep you from getting pregnant. A non-hormonal copper IUD is similar to a hormonal IUD, minus the progestin. IUDs have gained popularity over the year because of their effectiveness (99%) and convenience.  


With similar effectiveness as IUDs, the birth control implant is a small, thin rod inserted under the skin of a woman’s upper arm. It prevents pregnancy by slowly releasing progestin into the body over the course of three years.

Your Guide to Birth Control at Raleigh OB/GYN Centre

At Raleigh OB/GYN Centre, you have many options for preventing pregnancy, and we are here to support you with a full range of contraceptive options. In addition to prescriptions for birth control, we also offer long-acting contraceptives, including birth control implants and removal, IUD insertion and removal, birth control shots, and sterilization procedures. If you’re still unsure of where to start, consult with one of our providers. We can consider your individual needs and lifestyle and streamline your options into which contraceptive may be the best fit for you. We provide consultations for complex contraceptive care for patients with medical conditions that make contraception a challenge.

About Raleigh OB/GYN Centre

Raleigh OB/GYN has over 45 years of experience serving the women in our communities. We commit to your care in each stage of life. No matter if you are looking for a general guide to birth control or would like to begin or change your contraceptive, we are here to help. Schedule an appointment through our website or give us a call at (919) 876-8225.