7 Hormonal birth control options

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Family planning isn’t exactly something you take lightly especially if you need to make special arrangements with your job.

It’s a serious, life altering health condition and that’s why you’re here. Good for you!

The natural route is great, but you may be looking into other options you feel would be more reliable with your work life balancing act.

Life after natural contraception

If you’ve already tried the natural route or you’re just not that into it, then this post will serve you well for more birth control options. You’ve stumbled upon the right post if you’re a working mama in research mode.   

There’s a lot of information out there, so I’m going to cover the different types of birth control that uses hormones and medical devices as easily as possible.

Hopefully this will save you the headache of having to look all over the internet to piece info together.

If you want a refresher on the calendar method which is a natural, non medicinal way of planning pregnancy then check out the tutorial post here.

There’s quite a few options here, so save this post for reference as you think about your options. You should be able to start making some informed decisions.

I suggest you engage in conversation with your health care provider to see what may be the best fit for you.

Let’s clear the air on contraception

Contraceptive means to prevent or delay pregnancy. In other words the methods in this post attempt to create an environment in your body that does not allow pregnancy to happen.

Birth control options in high demand

Okay, so realistically there’s so many options out there. Listed below are the different types of medical contraceptives, but know that there are then different companies that make their own with different hormone levels.

It’s easy to get confused due to all the options and the resulting decision fatigue.

Unfortunately, as a result many women don’t use contraception properly because they’re afraid to choose the wrong thing and end up with unwanted pregnancies.

Let’s prevent that.

Lots of contraceptives

This post is not about pros, cons or opinions. Just some straight forward info so you can start learning about your options.        

Unfortunately health care providers don’t cover all the bases due to lack of time. Many women just know about “the pill” and maybe an IUD and that’s about it, but there’s so much more to choose from.

It would be great if we had the option of a counseling session as part of our annual checkup right?!   

I’m a pharmacist, but a mom and woman first. I work just like you so I understand how important it can be to get some control and predictability around pregnancies.  

7 Hormonal Contraceptive Methods

1. The Pill

An oral pill containing hormones that you take daily. Some are taken daily for 3 weeks and then off on a placebo week and repeated. Some you take for months at a time.

Be sure to review the pattern of use with your health care provider. It’s purpose is to stop ovulation and is over 99% effective.

2. Emergency / morning after :

Most commonly called the morning after pill. It is most effective when taken within 72 hours of unprotected sex, but can be taken up to 5 days after. This option is not as effective as the non emergent contraceptives and is not to be used as your main form of contraception.

It is important to note that the morning after pill is not an abortion pill and is not indicated to terminate the pregnancy if you conceived while taking it.

With that said, you need to be aware that ovulation timing affects the effectiveness of the morning after pill meaning that if you get pregnant before taking it then it’s not going to work.

Pro tip: there is a maximum weight limit for this option, so be sure to discuss this and alternate options with your doctor.

Click here for more info on emergency contraception

Click here for more info on using daily pills for emergency contraception

3. Patch

You’ve probably seen women wearing their patch and didn’t even think twice. It’s a thin, plastic and quite discrete patch that releases hormones on a continual basis.

You just put it on your skin and leave it be. It can go on your butt, lower abdominal area, upper body and outer arm. Don’t fidget with it, because it works best when you let it stay in place on the skin.

Each patch lasts for one week. You will need to change the patch once per week for 3 weeks and then no patch for 1 week. Repeat that cycle with a new patch. It’s about 91% effective when used correctly.

4. Ring

The ring is small and flexible plastic that you insert vaginally. You can do it yourself and don’t need a doctor visit, but it’s best to have them show you to ensure proper placement.

The ring is about 91% effective and is inserted for 3 weeks of continuous use. You then remove it, wait one week and replace with a new ring which stays put for 3 weeks and so on.

5. Shot

Avoids pregnancy by preventing the ovaries from releasing eggs to be fertilized. The hormone shot lasts 3 months and can be given by you or your health care provider. It’s about 94% effective when used and administered properly.

6. Implant

The implant is inserted by health care provider underneath the skin on inner side of the upper non-dominant arm.

It’s plastic, pretty small and flexible about the size of a match and does three things to prevent pregnancy.

It works by preventing ovulation, but it also keeps sperm from fertilizing the egg if needed by thickening cervical mucus.

The third way it prevents pregnancy is by changing the lining of the uterus. The implant is effective for up to 3 years and once it’s settled in you can’t see it. You can have it removed at any time before it expires.

7. Intrauterine Devices (IUDs)

IUD stands for intrauterine device. It’s been known as the “set it and forget it” birth control.

They are small, flexible, T-shaped devices inserted into the uterus by your health care provider.

You have two types. There’s a non hormonal copper IUD and a hormonal version.

The non hormonal copper one releases a small amount of copper into the uterus which prevents pregnancy by creating a reaction in your uterus that is toxic to sperm and eggs. It can also be used as emergency contraception if inserted within 5 days of unprotected sex.  

The hormonal IUD prevents fertilization and ovulation.

Both are highly effective at 99% for 3 to 12 years depending on which one you choose.

Just like the implant you can have the IUD removed at anytime before it expires.

How do you choose?

Like I said, there’s a lot to choose from. Below are some points to think about as you choose, but at the end of the day it’s up to you.

  • Length of contraception
  • Your daily habits
  • Your routines
  • Health status
  • Your weight
  • Age
  • Family status
  • Pros and cons
  • Side effects
  • Personal preference

Bonus – Non hormonal (other than abstinence)

Getting your tubes tied

The medical terms are female sterilization or female tubal ligation.

This is a permanent surgery to block the fallopian tubes through cutting, tying or sealing to prevent fertilization.

Barrier methods

A few methods to keep sperm and the egg separate include condoms, diaphragm, cervical cap, contraceptive shield.

Fight that overwhelm

I know it seems like a lot, but actually there’s really just one permanent birth control mentioned here.

If you feel you made a mistake with the others then speak with your health care provider or pharmacist about switching it up and how to prevent pregnancy (or not) in the meantime.

Be sure to ask about any possible side effects, such as break through bleeding during the transition.

Pro tip : Some medications can decrease the effectiveness of hormonal birth control. Always ask and research the interactions first to avoid unplanned pregnancy.

After the overview of hormonal birth control options

Okay, so now you have a basic overview of the different types of medicinal birth control options. It’s your body, so don’t be intimidated to start the conversation with your health care provider and continue thinking and researching options that are best for you.

Avoid unprepared pregnancy, plan properly, make an informed decision.

Hopefully this post took you from confused to clarity regarding hormonal birth control options. You should be able to have more awareness and predictability to get pregnant or not on your own time.

If you found this post helpful, then please share it and let’s keep empowering women with knowledge to help other women.  


Working moms don’t take family planning and birth control lightly especially if you need to make special arrangements with your job. The natural route is great, but you may be looking into other hormonal birth control options you feel would be more reliable with your work life balancing act. This post will introduce you to 7 different reversible types of hormonal birth control options and one permanent one. You should be able to start making some informed birth control decisions that line up with your daily routines as a working mom.

Sharing is caring!

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