There are several types of birth control medications available, each with its own method of preventing pregnancy. Here are some common types:
1. Combined Oral Contraceptives (COCs): These contain both estrogen and progestin hormones. They work by suppressing ovulation, thickening cervical mucus to prevent sperm from reaching the egg, and thinning the lining of the uterus. They are commonly known as "the pill."
2. Progestin-Only Pills (Mini Pills): Unlike COCs, these pills contain only progestin. They primarily work by thickening cervical mucus and altering the lining of the uterus to prevent pregnancy. They are particularly suitable for women who cannot take estrogen.
3. Contraceptive Patches: These are adhesive patches that release estrogen and progestin through the skin into the bloodstream. They work similarly to COCs but are applied once a week.
4. Vaginal Rings: These flexible rings are inserted into the vagina, where they slowly release estrogen and progestin. They function similarly to COCs but are used on a monthly basis.
5. Contraceptive Injections: These are progestin injections administered by a healthcare professional every few months. The hormone is slowly released into the bloodstream, preventing pregnancy.
6. Implants: Small, flexible rods containing progestin are inserted under the skin of the upper arm. They can provide protection against pregnancy for several years.
7. Intrauterine Devices (IUDs): These are small, T-shaped devices inserted into the uterus. There are two types: hormonal IUDs, which release progestin, and copper IUDs, which do not contain hormones. They work by affecting sperm mobility and survival, as well as altering the uterine lining.
It's important to note that birth control medication should be prescribed and chosen in consultation with a healthcare professional, as they can