Hormonal contraceptive methods contain synthetic hormones and include pills, patches, hormonal rings, subdermal implants, and injections (Economidis & Mishell,

2005) . By changing hormonal levels, production of ova can be interrupted, and fertil­ization and implantation can be also be prevented. Hormonal methods have been found to be effective, safe, reversible, and acceptable to most women. However, for protection against STIs, condoms must also be used. Also, women who use hormonal methods of contraception should always inform their healthcare providers about their contraceptive use, especially in the event of surgery.

Combined-Hormone Methods

Combined-hormonal methods use a blend of hormones (including estrogen and proges­terone) to suppress ovulation and thicken the cervical mucus to prevent sperm from joining the ovum. Combined-hormone methods include most birth control pills, injec­tions, vaginal rings, and patches. Some birth control pills are progestin-based methods and do not include estrogen. We will discuss progestin-only methods later in this chap­ter. Here we’ll concentrate on combined-hormonal methods.