According to research by Planned Parenthood, approximately 62 million women in the United States are of childbearing ages. Of that 62 million, about 62 percent are using some form of contraception.
Birth control, commonly referred to as contraception, was developed to prevent pregnancy. While all birth controls are designed to prevent pregnancy, the different varieties currently available reflect a woman’s personal choice in regard to her body, her health care provider, and the specific birth control plan intended.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has stated that nearly half of all pregnancies in the United States are unintentional. The birth control pill is by far the most popular form of contraception used by women throughout the United States. Unfortunately, unwanted pregnancies occur when these women neglect to take their pills regularly, causing them to be less effective, or in some cases, entirely ineffective.
The five most common types of contraceptives are pills, sterilization, condoms, vasectomy, and IUDs (intrauterine devices). The largest percentage of women chooses to take the pill as birth control. Birth control pills work by refraining a woman’s ovaries from releasing eggs that have the potential to be fertilized. Currently, estimates have reached 10.7 million in regard to the number of women in the U.S. using some kind of oral contraceptive pill.
While these birth controls are meant to prevent pregnancy, a number of additional side effects have been linked to the use of contraceptives in the U.S. As more and more information becomes available, it is essential that women taking any form of birth control pay careful attention to past and present information regarding side effects and potential hazards.
Types of Birth Control
Currently, there is a wide variety of birth controls available to women in the United States. Generally, these types are split into three categories: hormonal, barrier, and fertility. All three categories entail birth controls that differ in terms of effectiveness based upon the consistency and accuracy of use. The following are some of the most common types of birth control:
This type of birth control refers to a thin rod that is placed in a women’s upper are under the skin. Progestin, which is contained within the rod, is released into the body over a course of 3 years. Implants are 99 percent effective.
Every three months, a woman gets hormonal injections or shots into their arm or buttocks. Injections are 94 to 99 percent effective in preventing pregnancy.
Progestin Only Pill
Commonly referred to as the “mini pill”, progestin only pills only contain a single hormone, progestin. These pills are 91 to 99 percent effective in preventing pregnancy.
Combined Oral Contraceptives
The most commonly used birth control; combined oral contraceptives are often called “the pill”. These contain both progestin and estrogen, making them 91 to 99 percent effective.
Typically worn on the buttocks, upper body, or abdomen, the patch releases progestin and estrogen into the female’s bloodstream. One patch is worn for three weeks at a time and the fourth week during a month no patch is worn at all. Generally, the patch is 91 to 99 percent effective, but studies have pointed to these percentages being lowers for women weighing above 198 pounds.
Hormonal Vaginal Contraceptive Ring
This form of birth control is a ring that is placed inside of the vagina. The ring is worn for three weeks at a time and taken out for the fourth week in the month. A new ring is inserted each month. The hormonal vaginal contraceptive ring is 91 to 99 percent effective in preventing pregnancy.
Levonorgestrel Intrauterine System (IUS)
This is a small t-shaped device that is inserted into the uterus by a medical professional. Releasing a small amount of progestin daily, the IUS can remain in the woman’s body for up to 5 years. The IUS is 99 percent effective in preventing pregnancy.
Copper T Intrauterine Device (IUD)
Also shaped like a “T”, an IUD is a contraceptive device placed in the uterus by a physician. Contrary to an IUS, IUDs can remain in a woman’s body for up to 10 years. An IUD is 99 percent effective in preventing pregnancy.
In addition to the above hormonal contraceptives, barrier methods such as male and female condoms, diaphragms and cervical claps, and spermicides are all used as a form of birth control. If you or a loved one suffered after the use of any of the above birth controls, you may be entitled to compensation.