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1) Barrier Methods
The Male Condom
Male Birth Control Pill
The Female Condom
Cervical cap
Contraceptive Sponge

2) Hormonal Methods
Implants (Norplant)
Shots (Depo-Provera)
Birth Control Pills
Chewable Birth Control Pill

3) IUDs (Intrauterine Devices)

4) Emergency Contraception
    New Emergency Contraceptive Ella

Norplant (Implants)

      Norplant requires a surgical procedure using a local anesthetic where non biodegradable silicone rubber capsules are implanted beneath the skin on the arm. The implant process usually takes under 10 minutes and is painless. Progestin is slowly and steadily released at a rate that decreases over time. Norplant is immediately effective for birth control if it is implanted in the first 7 days of the menstrual cycle. Otherwise, it becomes effective within 24 hours.
Norplant has proven to be a very effective method of birth control, with effectiveness rates considered to be around 99%. The implants usually stay in place for a period of 5 years, at which time a new set of capsules can be implanted. Norplant has been shown to be most effective for women whose weight is under 155 pounds. Norplant's effectiveness decreases over time. There are a variety of reasons why some women are not good candidates for Norplant, and a complete medical history should be considered by a doctor prior to the procedure.

Advantages of Norplant

- Norplant implants are highly effective and have been shown to be 99.99% successful
- No daily pills or requirements prior to having intercourse
- Require only one visit to the doctor yearly for a regular check up
- Women using Norplant lose less menstrual blood

Disadvantages of Norplant

- Norplant will likely cause irregular menstrual periods
- Some weight gain has been associated with Norplant
- Some women lose hair while using Norplant
- Implants can cause slight discomfort in the area of the arm where they are implanted
- No protection from sexually transmitted diseases

Visit the Reproductive Health Online website, sponsored by Johns Hopkins University for more information about reproductive health and birth control methods.

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