Oral contraceptives are not your only choice for preventing pregnancy. Other nonsurgical options include abstaining from sexual intercourse, using spermicides or condoms, an implant containing the synthetic hormone etonogestrel, injection of a progesterone-like drug, a birth control patch, a diaphragm or cervical cap, a hormonal vaginal contraceptive ring, a hormonal IUD, and intrauterine system, nonsurgical sterilization and natural family planning (i.e., the “rhythm method,” which is not nearly as successful as these other methods).
Surgical options include a hysterectomy, a permanent method of birth control in which the uterus and fallopian tubes are removed; vasectomy, a procedure in which the man’s vas deferens, which carry sperm from the testes, are cut or clamped; and a tubal ligation or occlusion, surgery to cut, cauterize or band the fallopian tubes. While certain types of tubal ligations can be reversed, this procedure is not always successful.
There are also a number of methods of birth control that are sometimes suggested to work but often don’t. These include having the man withdraw before ejaculation (i.e., “pulling out”), sexual intercourse during menstruation, and having the woman stand up immediately after intercourse or douche after intercourse.