Office: 535 Ocean Avenue, Portland, Maine 04103     Phone: (207) 518-6000     Fax: (207) 518-6001

Contraception / Birth Control

All of our providers are able to consult and work with you to find your best birth control options.

Permanent Contraception

  • Bilateral Tubal Ligation: An out-patient procedure which is immediately effective and has a 3 day recovery time.


  • Oral Contraceptives: or “Birth control pills”  Failure rate 1%
  • Nuvaring: basically the “pill” in a vaginal ring form. More convenient as is changed every three weeks.
  • Birth Control Patch: the pill in patch form that is changed weekly
  • Depo Provera: or “the shot”  Failure rate <1%. Very convenient as is given every 13 weeks. Can cause weight gain.
  • Nexplanon: a small rod that is placed in the arm. Lasts for 3 years.


  • Mirena: has a tiny amount of hormone (progesterone) that is locally effective to cause lining of uterus to be very thin. This causes very positive side effect of little to no bleeding with periods. Effective for 5 years. Very low failure rate (<1%) No adverse effect on future fertility.
  • Skyla: a new IUD that is basically a smaller Mirena.  Its smaller size allows it to be easier to insert and more comfortable for women who have never had a pregnancy.  It has the same low failure rate as the Mirena but unlike Mirena will most likely cause light bleeding that can be irregular.
  • Paragard: No hormones, effective for 10 years, same low failure rate. Can cause periods to be heavier and more painful.

Non-hormonal or “barrier” methods

  • Condoms: Use each time. Ideally used with a spermicide. Failure rate approx. 5%


  • Careful charting of menstrual cycle and cyclic body changes (specifically vaginal secretions and temperature) to determine “safe” and “unsafe” times to have intercourse. In actual use failure rate can be as high as 15-20%.