Hesperian Health Guides

Hesperian Health Guides

New Methods of Family Planning

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HealthWiki > Where Women Have No Doctor > Chapter 13: Family Planning > New Methods of Family Planning


The following new methods of family planning are available or are being developed. They may only be available in some places and may be expensive. We include them here because the more women know about new methods and ask for them, the more likely it is that the methods will become available for everyone and perhaps be less costly. The more methods there are, the more likely it is that every woman who wants to prevent pregnancy will be able to find a method that suits her needs.

The patch is a thin piece of plastic that sticks to the skin and releases both estrogen and progestin into the body. You must put on a new patch once a week for 3 weeks in a row, then no patch for 1 week (the week of your monthly bleeding). You should not use the patch if you have any of these conditions or these conditions. The patch can have the same side effects as combined pills.

Once-a-week birth control pills work by changing a woman’s natural balance of estrogen, which prevents a fertilized egg from attaching to the womb wall. The once-a-week pill is less effective than regular daily birth control pills at preventing pregnancy. Little is known about its side effects.

Vaginal rings slowly release estrogen and progestin, or just progestin, into a woman’s vagina. Vaginal rings come in only one size and a woman can put one in herself. They last from 1 month to 1 year. You can get pregnant as soon as you stop using a ring.