Birth control, also known as contraception, is designed to prevent pregnancy. Birth control methods may work in a number of different ways. These include:

  • Preventing sperm from getting to the eggs - condoms, diaphragms and intrauterine devices (IUDs) work this way
  • Keeping the woman's ovaries from releasing eggs that could be fertilized - birth control pills work this way
  • Sterilization, which permanently prevents a woman from getting pregnant or a man from being able to get a woman pregnant

Your doctor can help you select the best form of birth control for you. 

Types of Birth Control

Contraceptive Effectiveness by Method

Contraceptive Failure rate


From: Contraception. 2011 May; 83(5): 397–404.


Can I Get Pregnant If

Other Methods