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Articles » Contraception Center » Hormonal Contraception

Hormonal Contraception

Hormones that prevent pregnancy include the use estrogen and/or progesterone, and are available in a variety of forms, including medications and devices. When a woman takes or uses a hormonal contraceptive method exactly as directed, these are very effective in preventing pregnancy.

Hormonal methods of contraception act by preventing the release of an egg (ovulation), by thickening the mucus around the cervix so it becomes difficult for sperm to enter the uterus, and/or changing the lining of the uterus so an egg cannot attach and grow.

Hormones methods include:

The oral contraceptive pill ("The Pill")

Morning after pill": The hormonal emergency contraception pill ("morning after pill") can be taken up to three days after unprotected intercourse to prevent pregnancy. It is meant for emergencies only and is not used as a regular method of contraception.

The Patch adheres to the skin, slowly releasing a continuous flow of contraceptive hormones into the body.

The contraceptive vaginal ring ("NuvaRing") is a soft plastic ring that is inserted into the vagina and slowly releases low doses of contraceptive hormones into the body.

Depo Provera is a hormonal intramuscular injection given every three months.

Noristerat is a hormonal intramuscular injection given every 8 weeks.

Implanon is a subdermal implant that is inserted by a health care provider just under a woman.s skin to slowly release contraceptive hormones for up to three years.

Serious side effects of hormonal methods of contraception include blood clots to the legs, lungs, heart, or brain. The risk of developing blood clots is significantly higher in women who smoke and/or who are over 35 years or older.

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