including both reversible and non-reversible birth control. Reversible birth control falls into two different categories – hormonal and non-hormonal.
Most hormonal contraceptives work by changing someone’s hormones levels so that their body does not release eggs, which prevents pregnancy. This type of birth control comes in many forms, such as pills, injections, patches, implants, contraceptive rings, or small devices called intrauterine devices (IUDs). Most of these are not available over the counter and must be prescribed. Hormonal birth control may also cause side effects that vary greatly by the individual, so it is crucial to work with your doctor to find the method and dosing that is best for you.
Nonhormonal contraceptives generally work by preventing sperm from making contact with an egg, which also prevents pregnancy. These include barrier methods such as condoms, sponges, cervical caps, and spermicides. This category also includes less effective methods such as fertility awareness-based methods and pulling out, both of which should be used with caution.
Non-reversible birth control involves either tying one’s fallopian tubes or getting a vasectomy. These methods are highly effective at preventing pregnancy but are usually permanent.
It is important to note that not all methods equally as effective, and many of these only prevent pregnancy – they do not protect against sexually transmitted diseases. Make sure to properly use the method you’ve chosen and understand its pros and cons.
Check with your provider to see what methods are covered under your health plan. You can also use Health Savings Account, Flexible Spending Account, or Health Reimbursement Arrangement funds toward prescription birth control and condoms.