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Birth Control

The effectiveness of birth control methods is critically important for reducing the risk of unintended pregnancy.

The Anchorage Public Health Clinic offers a variety of birth control methods. Our providers are happy to discuss birth control options with you as you decide which is best for you. Read below or click here to learn more about different methods and their effectiveness ahead of your visit.

Intrauterine Contraception

  • Copper T intrauterine device (IUD) – This IUD is a small device that is shaped in the form of a “T.” Your provider places it inside the uterus to prevent pregnancy. It can stay in your uterus for up to 10 years. Typical use failure rate: 0.8%. Copper IUDs can also be used as emergency (“morning after”) contraception.
  • Hormonal intrauterine devices (IUDs) – Similar to the Copper IUD, hormonal IUDs are small, T-shaped devices placed inside the uterus to prevent pregnancy. Depending on the device, these IUDs can stay in your uterus for up to 3-7 years. Typical use failure rate: 0.2%.

Hormonal Birth Control Methods

  • The Implant (Nexplanon) – A small device is placed under the skin of the upper arm by your provider. It may remain in place for up to 3 years. Typical use failure rate: 0.05%.
  • The Shot (Depo-Provera) – A shot of medication is given by your provider every 3 months. Typical use failure rate: 6%.
  • The Patch (Ortho Evra)  Apply a new patch at home once a week for three weeks, with no patch during week 4. Typical use failure rate: 9%.
  • The Pill (multiple options) – Birth control pills must be taken daily to be effective. Typical use failure rate: 9%.
  • The Ring (NuvaRing) – A small ring is inserted into the vagina. The ring can be changed at home each month. Typical use failure rate: 9%.
  • Hormonal IUD (multiple options) – IUDs are small, T-shaped devices placed inside the uterus by a provider to prevent pregnancy. Depending on the device, hormonal IUDs can stay in your uterus for up to 3-7 years. Typical use failure rate: 0.2%.

Barrier Methods

  • Male condoms – Condoms are the only form of birth control that provide protection against both pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections. Typical use failure rate for preventing pregnancy: 18%.
  • Female condoms – Typical use failure rate: 21%.
  • Diaphragm – Typical use failure rate: 12%.

Information and Referral

  • Permanent Methods – Our staff can provide information and referral for male sterilization (vasectomy) and female sterilization.
  • Fertility-Awareness Based Methods – Our staff can provide information and referral for those who want to learn more about fertility-awareness based family planning methods.