Birth Control (Contraception)
At the OHSU Center for Women’s Health, we work with you to match your birth control to your health and lifestyle needs.
- Emergency contraception, such as a morning-after pill.
- Care and options for patients with complex needs.
- Doctors who are leading specialists and researchers in family planning and women’s health.
- Sedation and pain control, if needed, for inserting and removing birth control devices.
- Services for teens.
Our doctors are experts in birth control. Our services include the following. See the chart below for more details.
- Combined hormonal methods: We offer options that use two hormones to prevent pregnancy, mainly by stopping your ovaries from releasing eggs. You can choose the pill, a patch or a vaginal ring.
- Gel: We offer a hormone-free gel you place in the vagina with an applicator. The gel makes it hard for sperm to reach an egg.
- Diaphragm fitting: We help you find the diaphragm that’s best for your body. A diaphragm is a soft silicone dome that covers the cervix to block sperm from entering the uterus. It is used with spermicide.
- Emergency contraception: We can provide morning-after pills, such as Plan B. The pills prevent pregnancy by delaying eggs from leaving your ovaries. A non-hormonal IUD placed within five days can also greatly lower risk of pregnancy.
- Implant placement and removal: We offer pain relief options as needed to place and remove implants. An implant is a small plastic rod, placed under the skin of your upper arm, that releases hormones to prevent pregnancy.
- IUD placement and removal: We offer pain relief options such as numbing medication, pain medication taken by mouth, relaxing medications, and, if needed, sedation to place and remove intrauterine devices (IUDs). An IUD makes it harder for sperm to enter the uterus and fertilize eggs. An IUD also makes it harder for an egg to attach to the uterus.
- Injections (shots): We offer birth control shots to stop eggs from leaving your ovaries.
- Sterilization: We provide sterilization surgery to end your ability to get pregnant. This is also known as getting your tubes tied (tubal ligation) or permanent contraception. We provide surgery regardless of age, marital status or prior pregnancies.
- Counseling: We also provide information about fertility, including fertility in the weeks after giving birth (postpartum).
Patients with complex needs
Some medical conditions can affect your choice of birth control. Our experts have deep experience caring for patients with:
- Clotting or bleeding disorders
- Heart disease
- High blood pressure
- Kidney disease
- Lung disease
- Neurologic disorders such as migraines or seizure disorders
- Organ transplants
- Spinal cord injury
- Weakened immune system
- Prior difficult IUD placement or removal
Talking with your provider
We focus on shared decision-making. You’ll find individual care from experts who will:
- Answer your questions about different methods.
- Work with you to choose birth control that works for your health, age and life.
- Guide you in how to use the method you choose.
Tell your doctor:
- If and when you plan to get pregnant.
- If and when you were last pregnant or had an abortion, miscarriage or stillbirth.
- If you have any major health problems or allergies.
- How old you are and if you smoke; women older than 35 who smoke may have health concerns with hormonal methods.
- About any problems you or your partner have had with birth control.
- What matters most to you in a birth control method, including your prior experiences. Topics might include:
- How effective it is
- When it starts working
- If it is permanent or reversible
- If you can use it privately (only you know if you are using it)
- If you can stop using it whenever you want
- If it requires little effort
- If you can get pregnant quickly after you stop using it
- If you can avoid frequent trips to the doctor or pharmacy
- If it contains hormones
- If it is unlikely to change your weight
- If it helps with acne
- If it offers protection against STIs (sexually transmitted infections)
- If it gets in the way during sex
- If it affects mood
Questions to consider asking your doctor:
- Is this method safe for me?
- What side effects might I have?
- What will it cost, and will my health plan cover it?
- What do I need to do to help make sure this method works?
- Can I have a prescription for the morning-after pill in case I need it later?
Choosing birth control
Your birth control may change as your life changes. We can help you make the best decisions for your circumstances and well-being.
Birth control resources:
- Contraception: How to Choose, OHSU
- Contraception and Birth Control, Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (Español: Anticoncepción y control de la natalidad: Generalidades)
- Contraception, CDC
- Bedsider.org, a birth control resource for women ages 18-29 (Español: Besider.org/es)
- Which birth control is right for me? Planned Parenthood quiz
Birth control research
Our doctors are researching ways to improve birth control options. Look for a clinical trial.
Make an appointment
Log in to MyChart to see test results, set appointments and communicate with your team.
Kohler Pavilion, seventh floor
808 S.W. Campus Drive
Portland, OR 9729
Free parking for patients and visitors
Refer a patient
- Refer your patient to OHSU.
- Call 503-494-4567 to seek provider-to-provider advice.
- Email our care coordinator at cwhfamplancarecoord