The 15 different types of contraception available

There are currently around fifteen different types of contraception available. Here we have compiled a list with a brief explanation of each one. We recommend finding out more information on the one considered most suitable for each circumstance.

1- Barrier contraceptives


There are no contraindications for these. The best method for preventing sexually transmitted diseases and vaginal infections.


This acts as a chemical barrier, preventing sperm from reaching the uterus. It must be used in conjunction with another method, because its effectiveness is low when used on its own.

Female condoms

These are made from nitrile rubber. They protect the user from unwanted pregnancy and from STDs. They are less effective than the male version.

The diaphragm

A flexible silicone dome that is positioned against the cervix. It does not cover the mucous membrane of the vagina and therefore it is not recommended for avoiding STDs.

The vaginal sponge

This is a device made from polyurethane foam containing spermicide. It should only be removed after 6 hours have elapsed since having sex. It does not prevent STDs.

2- Hormonal contraceptives

The pill

This should only be taken with a prescription from a doctor. It can help with several problems, but it can also have side effects.

The progestogen-only mini pill

This emerged as a result of the side effects caused by the pill due to oestrogens. It has to be taken every day at the same time.

The morning-after pill (MAP)

Due to its high dose of hormones, this should only be administered on an occasional basis and within 72 hours of having sex.

The contraceptive patch

This is a simple adhesive patch that is applied to the skin and needs to be changed once a week.

The vaginal ring

This is a ring made of an ethylene-vinyl acetate copolymer that releases oestrogen and progesterone. It can be inserted by the woman herself. It lasts for three weeks.

The contraceptive injection

This has similar benefits and side effects to the pill. The injection is given in a gynaecology consultation.

The contraceptive implant

This is highly effective as a contraceptive. A subcutaneous implant of a small plastic tube that releases hormones. It lasts for three years.

3- Intrauterine Contraceptives

Intrauterine device (IUD)

It is a small plastic device that is inserted into the uterus. It is a safe and effective long-term method. The placement is performed by the gynecologist during an office visit. The approximate duration for the hormonal IUD (Mirena) is 5 years and for the T-shaped copper device 10 years.

4- Permanent contraception


A simple surgical procedure in which the vas deferens, which transport sperm, are severed.

Tubal ligation

This is carried out by means of a surgical procedure or by endoscopy.

Finally, we recommend that if you have any questions or concerns, you should see a gynecologist in order to choose the most suitable contraceptive method for each individual situation. Here at IVI we will be delighted to help you.