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Northwestern Women’s Health Associates, S.C
680 N. Lake Shore Drive #1200, Chicago, 60611 | Get Directions

Compare birth control methods and which option suits you best, with your Chicago, IL gynecologist

Birth control is an important part of many women’s family planning and with more options than ever before, it can be daunting to figure out which method is right for you. Below, our team of gynecologists at Northwestern Women’s Health Associates S.C. in Chicago, IL explains the most commonly used forms of birth control, how they work, how long they last, and other important information.

In Chicago area Gynecologist Explains Birth Control Methods and Options

Low maintenance birth control options

The IUD and implant are both very low-maintenance methods of birth control that are 99% effective. The implant lasts up to three years and depending on the type of IUD a woman gets, it can last between three to ten years, making both forms of birth control a great choice for women who want to get a procedure done one time and then forget about it.

The IUD, which stands for intrauterine device, is a small device that a gynecologist places into your uterus, where it slowly releases the hormone progestin, which prevents pregnancy. There are four current brands of FDA-approved hormonal IUDs in the United States right now: Mirena, Liletta, Sklya, and Kyleena. A copper IUD called Paragard is also available, which does not contain any hormones.

A birth control implant is a small rod—approximately the size of a matchstick—that is placed beneath the skin on your upper arm, where it slowly releases the hormone progestin.

Even though the IUD and implant last a long time, they are not permanent, and you can remove them at any time you choose. Typically, it is possible to get pregnant immediately after the device removal.

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Scheduled birth control options

There are a number of birth control options that you use on a schedule—depending on the method, the schedule can range from daily to every three months. These tend to be slightly less effective than long-term options such as the IUD and implant but tend to be cheaper and do not require a medical procedure to be inserted or removed.

  • Pill: Perhaps the most commonly known type of birth control, “the pill” works by releasing hormones into your body that stop you from ovulating and thicken your cervical mucus to prevent pregnancy; it needs to be taken every day
  • Shots: Depo-Provera, or the depo shot, is an injection of progestin that you need to get every three months; like the pill, it prevents you from ovulating and thickens your cervical mucus so that sperm can’t get to the egg
  • Vaginal ring: The NuvaRing is a small ring that you place into your vagina, where it releases both estrogen and progestin to stop pregnancy from occurring; it needs to be replaced every month to work effectively
  • Patch: The inconspicuous birth control patch is worn on your upper arm, back, butt, or belly, where it releases estrogen and progestin to prevent pregnancy; it needs to be replaced once a week for three weeks, then you take a break on the next week and repeat the cycle

Methods you use every time

Methods you use every time in Chicago IL area

Several birth control methods are available that do not involve the use of hormones but need to be used every time you have sexual intercourse. These methods tend to be the cheapest, but are also the least effective, with efficacy rates between 71-88%.

The condom, diaphragm, and internal condom, are all methods of placing a physical barrier between the male’s ejaculate and the female’s egg to prevent them from joining to form a baby. Spermicide is a liquid that is used to kill sperm and can be used either on its own or in conjunction with a barrier method to improve its effectiveness. We always recommend using spermicide with a barrier method at the same time. The birth control sponge is a soft piece of plastic that creates a physical barrier and already contains spermicide when you purchase it.

Permanent methods of birth control

Both men and women have options for birth control that should be considered permanent: tubal ligation for women and vasectomy for men. Both of these are surgical procedures that can cost up to several thousand dollars, and they involve cutting, closing, or otherwise blocking the tubes that carry eggs in women (fallopian tubes) and sperm in men (vas deferens).

Learn more about your options

At Northwestern Women’s Health Associates S.C., we are always happy to take the time to discuss birth control methods and answer any questions that our patients have. Everyone has different bodies and preferences, so there is no one-size-fits-all approach to birth control. If you are in the Chicago, IL area and want to learn more about your birth control options, call us at 312-440-9400 today!


Back To Long Term Birth Control Page

women’s healthcare, our team of experts is dedicated to providing every woman highest level of sensitive, specialized care

At Northwestern Women's Health Associates

your unique needs are our highest priority.

Making use of advanced technology and staying on the cutting edge of women’s healthcare, our team of experts is dedicated to providing every woman who visits our office with the highest level of sensitive, specialized care. At our office in Chicago, you can receive exceptional obstetrics and gynecology (OBGYN) services from any one of our highly skilled doctors, including Stanley Friedell, MD; Marc Feldstein, MD; Abbie Roth, MD; Lisa Brunengraber, MD; Regina Belmonte, MD; Sharon Wise, MD; Julianne Morton, MD; Whitney Dunn, MD; and Aleena Lakhanpal, MD. With their combined expertise, this team of board-certified doctors at Northwestern Women's Health Associates makes it possible for you to receive efficient, personalized care from the preeminent women’s hospital in the Midwest.

Success Stories

  • 5 Star Review
    "Wonderful experience with Dr. Julianne Morton @ NW Women's Associates. I've recommended her to countless girlfriends. Being a first time mom, I went through many physical symptoms and emotions that accompany pregnancy. She is extremely thorough, patient, and has wonderful bedside manner. I felt confident going into delivery with Dr. Morton taking the lead with my delivery. Wonderful practice!"

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  • 5 Star Review
    "Dr. Morton is absolutely amazing. She cared for me throughout my first pregnancy and we found her to be kind and caring and straightforward - could not have asked for a better experience! Dr. Dunn ended up being on call during my delivery and she was great as well. I have always found the nurses and office staff to be friendly and on top of things - very happy with the practice!"

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  • 5 Star Review
    "I had to have a laproscopic hysterectomy done by Dr. Friedell and all went fabulously! They were very detailed in pre-op which made a lot of difference. I came out of surgery feeling great and post op I was back to work within two weeks. Everyone at the practice, at the hospital, at pre-op were incredible."

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  • 5 Star Review
    "Dr.Julianne Morton is amazing! I was recommended by a friend when I moved to the Chicago area and was looking for an OB-GYN. I have seen her for two years in Chicago for my yearly exam. She is beyond kind and great at what she does. Dr.Morton makes you feel very comfortable and is such an incredible doctor! I have recommended her to all of my friends as well who need a new gyno/OB-GYN."

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  • 5 Star Review
    "Dr. Morton is a really great doctor. She has an incredible bedside manner and makes you feel comfortable. She makes sure to ask if you have any questions and will happily answer all of them with you. Would highly recommend!"

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  • 5 Star Review
    "Dr. Friedell is amazing! He helped delivered my first baby and the whole process was super smooth and stress free. All the staff in the office are super friendly too. Highly recommend!"

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  • 5 Star Review
    "I visited Dr Feldstein office yesterday. All of his stuff was very kind and nice to me. He has a professional-team, so I know I have nothing to be afraid of. Just wanted to say thanks to all the people I meet. I am in good hands."

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  • 5 Star Review
    "Dr Freidell is extremely knowledgeable, thorough and really cares about his patients. He is very good at getting to the root of the problem, especially with overlapping symptoms. He guided me through all my options and their implications. I will highly recommend him and his team."

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  • 5 Star Review
    "I love Dr. Belmonte. I have been going to her since 2006! She rocks!!! She is straight to the point, I love that about her. When I leave her office after seeing her I always feel great, like a just left a good friends house or something!"
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  • 5 Star Review

    "I can not tell you how wonderful my experiences have been. Dr. Sharon Wise is my doctor and she is fantastic. She is straightforward and honest about treatments and procedures. I enjoy her sense of humor, and I found her bedside manner when delivering my son to be excellent. "

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