Birth Control Dictionary, N-O Definitions

Contraception Glossary

Looking for a complete birth control dictionary?

Glossary entries and birth control definitions for words beginning with the Letters N and O.
(Need definitions of terms that start with different letters? See the last entry on this list for a link to my complete Birth Control Dictionary.)


Natazia is a different kind of combination birth control pill. It is the first four-phase pill marketed in the US that contains the hormones estradiol valerate and dienogest, delivering varying doses of these hormones at four times throughout each 28-day pack. Natazia may be a good alternative if you are sensitive to estrogen since this pill may be not trigger as many estrogen-related side effects. It is also FDA-approved for helping with heavy periods.

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Natural Birth Control:

Natural Birth Control. Les and Dave Jacobs/Getty Images

Natural birth control is one of the oldest forms of available contraception. These methods consist of behavior that you can naturally do to help prevent an unintended pregnancy. Natural birth control usually don't cost anything and often has no side effects. Some methods included under this category are abstinence, withdrawal, LAM, and fertility awareness.

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Natural Condom:

Natural Condom. Photo © 2015 Dawn Stacey

This is a condom that is made from a natural membrane, an be  a good alternative if you are allergic to latex condoms. Also known as lambskin condoms, natural condoms are generally more expensive than latex condoms. They provide protection against pregnancy, but the porous membrane of natural condoms does not protect against HIV and other sexually transmitted infections.

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Natural Family Planning (NFP):

Natural Family Planning. Photo © 2015 Dawn Stacey

Natural family planning (NFP) or fertility awareness is a natural birth control method. It can also be used as a planning approach if you are trying to become pregnant. Natural family planning uses your awareness of your body's natural functioning to determine ovulation and your fertile period. There are also many helpful fertility apps that can assist you with NFP.

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Nexplanon. Photo Courtesy of Merck

Nexplanon, also known as the contraceptive implant, is a progestin-only birth control method where a single rod inserted into the upper arm. This long-acting, reversible contraceptive (LARC) has been FDA-approved to prevent pregnancy for up to three years and is a newer version of Implanon (which is no longer available).

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Next Choice (Generic Plan B):

Next Choice. Photo © 2011 Dawn Stacey

Next Choice is the generic form of the old Plan B and consists of two levonorgestrel pills. It is only available behind the pharmacy counter, without a prescription, for those aged 17 and older. A prescription is needed for those under 17.

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Next Choice One Dose:

Next Choice One Dose. Photo © 2015 Dawn Stacey

This emergency contraceptive, also known as the morning-after pill, is a less expensive, generic option of Plan B One-Step (the other generic options are Take Action, My Way, and AfterPill). Next Choice One Dose consists of one levonorgestrel pill and is available over-the-counter without any age restrictions.

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Non-Latex Condoms:

Non-Latex Condoms. Photo © 2015 Dawn Stacey

Non-latex condoms (marketed under the name SKYN by Lifestyles and RealFeel by Durex) are a type of condom that is made of polyisoprene (a natural rubber). They tend to be more expensive than latex condoms, but much cheaper than polyurethane condoms. Polyisoprene, chemically, is the same type of rubber as latex; yet polyisoprene condoms should not contain the natural proteins that are typically the source of most people's latex allergies. People who use non-latex condoms report that they have a more natural feeling with increased sensitivity, so sex may feel more comfortable and natural.

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Nonoxynol-9 (N-9):

Nonoxynol-9. Photo © 2015 Dawn Stacey

Nonoxynol-9 is chemical detergent used in spermicidal contraceptives. It works by damaging sperm cell membranes, thus immobilizing and killing sperm. The FDA requires that spermicides containing N-9 warn that nonoxynol-9 is for vaginal use only, may increase the risk of getting HIV from an infected partner, and that N-9 shouldn't be used if you or your sexual partner has HIV/AIDS. Nonoxynol-9 product labels also caution that you may experience vaginal irritation (burning, itching, or a rash) when using these products.

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No-Scalpel Vasectomy

No-Scalpel Vasectomy
No-Scalpel Vasectomy. Peter Dazeley/Getty Images

A no-scalpel vasectomy (also known as a keyhole vasectomy) is an alternative permanent male sterilization procedure to a traditional vasectomy. No incisions are made during a no-scalpel vasectomy. Instead, a small puncture is made through the skin, each vas (one at a time) is lifted out of the single puncture site, ligated (cut), and put back in.

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Noristerat Injection:

Noristerat Injection. Photo Peter Dazeley/Getty Images

The noristerat injection is a reversible method of prescription birth control. It is not available in the United States but is common in the United Kingdom, Europe, Africa, and Central America. Noristerat contains the progestin, norethisterone enantate and is intended to be a short-term method of contraception -- providing 8 weeks of pregnancy protection.

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NuvaRing. Photo © 2015 Dawn Stacey

The NuvaRing is a flexible combination contraceptive ring that is about 2 inches in diameter and is inserted into the vagina once a month. It is kept in place by the muscles in the vaginal wall. After inserted, it should remain in place for 21 days (3 weeks), where it slowly releases synthetic estrogen and etonogestrel (a progestin) to protect against pregnancy for one month. The NuvaRing should them be removed during week 4, which allows for a withdrawal period.

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Open Tubal Ligation:

Open Tubal Ligation. Ed Fox/Getty Images

An open tubal ligation (also called a laparotomy) is a permanent birth control method. During an open tubal ligation, an incision is made in the abdomen. The fallopian tubes are pulled out of the incision, tied/closed off (clipped, tied, or sealed shut), and put back into place. An open tubal is typically performed right before or after some other type of unrelated abdominal surgery.

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Oral Contraceptives:

Oral Contraceptives. Photo © 2015 Dawn Stacey

Another name for "The Pill" -- a hormonal contraceptive tablet that is taken daily in order to prevent pregnancy. Oral contraceptives are among the safest, effective, and most popular of all methods of birth control. They also offer several non-contraceptive benefits. Oral contraceptives are available as progestin-only pills, combination pills, and extended cycle pills.

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Ortho Evra Patch:

Ortho Evra Patch. Getty Images / Staff

The Ortho Evra Patch is a weekly prescription birth control method. It consists of a thin, beige, 4 x 4 cm, plastic patch that is applied/stuck to either the stomach, buttocks, upper outer arm, or upper torso. It must be replaced once a week, for 3 weeks in a row. You don't wear the patch during week 4. It releases synthetic estrogen and progestin to provides weekly protection against pregnancy. The Ortho Evra Patch becomes less effective if it falls off or is not replaced each week.

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Ortho Tri-Cyclen Lo:

Ortho Tri-Cyclen Lo. Photo © 2015 Dawn Stacey

Ortho Tri-Cyclen Lo is a triphasic, lower hormone birth control pill designed to more naturally mimic your monthly cycle. Each pack of Ortho Tri-Cyclen Lo contains ethinyl estradiol and norgestimate in different weekly combinations.

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Over-the-Counter Birth Control:

OTC Birth Control
Over-the-Counter Birth Control. Photo © 2015 Dawn Stacey

Barrier birth control methods that prevent sperm from fertilizing an egg. These are available without a doctor's prescription to people of any age. Over-the-counter birth control methods include condoms, the sponge, female condoms, some morning-after pills, and spermicides.

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Ovrette. Photo © 2015 Dawn Stacey

Ovrette is a progestin-only pill that is FDA-approved to be used as emergency contraception. Ovrette consists of twenty pills -- each contains the progestin norgestrel.  You must take one dose (all 20 pills) within 120 hours after unprotected sex/birth control failure and the next dose (another 20 pills) 12 hours later. Research shows that you can also take both doses (40 pills) at the same time and that taking them all at at once is just as effective as splitting the dose in half. Taking all 40 pills at the same time is also not associated with more side effects. You will need a doctor's prescription to obtain Ovrette.

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Ovulation Method:

Ovulation Method. © 2014 Dawn Stacey

The ovulation method, also referred to as the Billings method, is a type of natural birth control. The ovulation method teaches you how to interpret your cervical mucus, thereby learning to recognize your own fertility and ovulation patterns. Then, you can choose when to avoid sexual contact (to prevent pregnancy) or initiate sexual contact (in the attempt to conceive).

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