Starting a family isn’t in your plans — at least not yet. Let us help you navigate the complicated world of birth control and figure out which type is best for you.

Relationships are complicated, and feelings are fickle, but your birth control method shouldn’t have to be.

These days, you have many options when choosing a contraceptive, causing confusion if you don’t know what you’re looking for.

That’s where we come in.

In this blog, our team of birth control experts at Marina OB/GYN walks you through what you should know about the different types of birth control and helps you decide which is right for you.

What are the different types of birth control?

The best part about birth control is that it’s not one-size-fits-all. You have a long list of options that fit your lifestyle, values, and needs. Here’s a closer look.

Permanent birth control

Permanent birth control (also known as sterilization) prevents pregnancy for the rest of your life through a surgical procedure. This completely stops sperm from reaching an egg by cutting or damaging the tubes that carry sperm in men or eggs in women. Sterilization is an option for both women and men.

Long-acting reversible contraceptives (LARC)

Intrauterine devices and hormonal implants deliver long-lasting protection against pregnancy without any action on your part. Depending on which you choose, protection could last for 3-10 years.

LARC methods either prevent your ovaries from releasing eggs, prohibit sperm from getting to the egg, or make implantation of the egg in your uterus unlikely.

Once you’re ready to start a family, we remove the device or implant, and your body naturally reboots your regular menstruation and ovulation cycles.

Short-acting hormonal

Short-acting hormonal methods (pills, mini pills, patches, shots, and vaginal rings) are among the most commonly used types of birth control. They release a steady supply of hormones that prevent your ovaries from releasing eggs or make it difficult for sperm to get to the egg.

We recommend this type only if you can remember to use it properly. Most of these methods require that you take a pill daily or come in for a shot every few months.

Barrier methods

Barrier methods — one of the most basic forms of birth control besides abstinence — work by preventing sperm from reaching the egg. If you opt for this type, you’ll need to head to your local drugstore for condoms, diaphragms, sponges, cervical caps, etc.

You can use barrier methods in addition to your preferred type of birth control for added protection and/or to keep yourself safe from STDs.

Natural rhythm

If you want to go all-natural, the rhythm method might be best for you. This involves keeping a close eye on your cycles and avoiding sex when you’re most fertile. You can buy an ovulation test at the store and track diligently to help determine whether or not it’s safe to have sex.


Of course, you can always opt to avoid pregnancy by simply not having sex. This takes no small amount of willpower, but if you’re not interested in any birth control and don’t want a family, it’s the best option.

How do I know which birth control is right for me?

Our patients often ask us which type of birth control is best, but it’s not always an easy question to answer because choosing birth control is incredibly personal.

Do you want to avoid hormones? Barrier and rhythm methods might be your best fit. Are you looking for the most hands-off approach? You may consider permanent or long-action methods.

A lot goes into creating a contraceptive plan, but don’t get overwhelmed — our experts are standing by to help you decide which type is best for you. We talk to you about:

  • Whether you want to get pregnant soon, in the future, or never
  • Possible side effects
  • How well each method works
  • How often you have sex
  • The number of partners you have
  • Your overall health
  • Your comfort with using a specific method

Have more questions? We would love to talk with you. Call or click to schedule an appointment at our Marina Del Ray, Hawthorne, South Gate, or Carson, California, office today.

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Feel free to contact us anytime for questions, support, or assistance. We're here to help you with any inquiries you have.

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