The Pill revolutionized birth control back in the 1960s -- now the contraceptive cosmos is being revolutionized once again! Check out these new products, which represent just a sampling of the many new birth control methods hitting the market.

NuvaRing
What it's like: A flexible ring that contains a combination of progestin and estrogen, two female hormones.
How it works: You insert the ring in your vagina and leave it there for three weeks as it releases a continuous low dose of hormones into your body. You then remove it for a one-week ring-free period. What you should know: NuvaRing is a combination hormonal contraceptive and may have the same health risks that have been found for combination oral contraceptives (i.e., the Pill). Does not protect against sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). 99% effective.
Where to find it: Available by prescription.
More information: www.nuvaring.com

Ortho Evra
What it's like: A thin, beige patch worn on one of four areas of the body: the buttocks, abdomen, upper torso (front and back, excluding the breasts) or upper outer arm.
How it works: The patch is worn for one week at a time and is replaced on the same day of the week for three consecutive weeks. It releases progestin and estrogen at constant and continuous levels each day. As these hormones are absorbed through the skin and pass into the bloodstream, they work just like the Pill to prevent pregnancy. The fourth week is "patch free."
What you should know: Ortho Evra is a combination hormonal contraceptive and may have the same health risks that have been found for combination oral contraceptives (i.e., the Pill). Does not protect against STDs. 99% effective.
Where to find it: Available by prescription.
More information: www.orthoevra.com

Mirena IUD
What it's like: An intrauterine device (IUD) that provides contraception for up to five years or until removed.
How it works: Once inserted by your doctor at a one-time office visit, Mirena works immediately by delivering a low dose of progestin directly to the lining of the uterus. Several mechanisms prevent pregnancy: thickening of cervical mucus, which prevents the passage of sperm; inhibition of sperm mobility; and inhibition of the uterine lining. Unlike traditional copper IUDs that typically cause heavier-than-normal periods, Mirena reduces duration and volume of monthly bleeding after a three- to six-month adaptation period.
What you should know: Use of IUDs is associated with an increased risk of pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). You should have no history of ectopic pregnancy. Does not protect against STDs. More than 99% effective.
Where to find it: Available by prescription
More information: www.mirena-us.com

FemCap
What it's like: Not yet approved for use in the US, FemCap is a silicone barrier device that conforms to the cervix and vagina.
How it works: Inserted with spermicide before intercourse, the brim of the FemCap forms a seal against the vaginal wall and funnels sperm into a groove, where it remains until the FemCap is removed.
What you should know: FemCap should be removed within 48 hours of insertion. Does not protect against STDs. Less effective than hormonal contraception.
Where to find it: Not currently available in the US
More information: www.femcap.com

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