Contraception Definitions, P-Q Words

Contraception Dictionary

Are you searching for definitions of common contraception words?

Contraception definitions for words that begin with the Letters P and Q.
(Need definitions of terms that start with different letters? See the last entry on this list for a link to my complete Contraception Dictionary.)

The Patch:

The Patch. Getty Images / Staff

The Patch is prescription birth control method. You stick it on and then replace it once a week, for 3 weeks in a row (you don't wear the patch during week 4), and it slowly releases synthetic estrogen and progestin. This combination contraceptive takes the form of a thin, beige, 4 x 4 cm, plastic patch. If it falls off or is not replaced each week, the patch loses some of its effectiveness.

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ParaGard Copper T 380A IUD. Photo © 2015 Dawn Stacey

ParaGard, also known as the Copper T 380A, is an IUD that releases copper, so it is 100% hormone-free. After it is inserted, ParaGard lasts for 10 years. It is considered a long-activing, reversible contraceptive (LARC). ParaGard is 1-1/4 inches wide by 1-3/8 inches long. This contraceptive device is made of flexible plastic and is wrapped in copper.

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Permanent Contraception:

permanent contraception
Permanent Contraception. Edward Olive/Getty Images

Permanent birth control (also known as sterilization) is made up of two main categories: vasectomy and tubal ligation (surgical and non-surgical). Permanent birth control is meant to last through your reproductive years. In some cases, this type of contraception can be reversed, but it is suggested that you wait to undergo permanent sterilization until you are sure that you are done having children (or do not want to have children).

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The Pill:

The Pill. Anne Rippy/The Image Bank/Getty Images

The pill (also referred to as oral contraception) is a hormonal birth control tablet that is taken daily in order to prevent pregnancy. The pill is among the safest, effective, and most popular of all methods of birth control. It can offer various non-contraceptive benefits. The pill is available as progestin-only pills, combination pills, and extended cycle pills.

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Plan B:

Plan B
Plan B. Plan B EC Photo © 2009 Dawn Stacey

Plan B was the first morning-after pill to gain FDA approval in the US. It consisted of two levonorgestrel-containing pills that could be taken 12 hours apart or at the same time. It is no longer being manufactured; Next Choice is the generic alternative to Plan B and is currently available behind the pharmacy counter, without a prescription, if you are at least 17 years old. A prescription is required to purchase Next Choice if you are under the age of 17.

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Plan B One-Step:

Plan B One-Step
Plan B One-Step. Photo © 2015 Dawn Stacey

Plan B One-Step has replaced Plan B. It is a form of emergency contraception that consists of just one 1.5 mg levonorgestrel tablet. It can be used within 72 hours (3 days) to prevent an unintended pregnancy after unprotected sex or contraceptive failure. Plan B one-Step has several generic alternatives: My Way, Take Action, AfterPill, and Next Choice One Dose. Plan B One-Step can be bought over-the-counter with no age restrictions.

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Polyisoprene Condoms:

Polyisoprene Condoms. Photo © 2015 Dawn Stacey

Polyisoprene condoms are non-latex condoms that are made of natural rubber. Polyisoprene, chemically, is the same type of rubber as latex, but these condoms do not contain the natural proteins that are typically the source of most people's latex allergies. They were FDA approved in 2008 for the prevention of pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases. Polyisoprene condoms tend to be softer and more form fitting than polyurethane condoms. SKYN condom use (a type of polyisoprene condom) is gaining popularity and receiving rave reviews from former latex condom users.

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Polyurethane Condoms:

Polyurethane Condoms. Photo © 2015 Dawn Stacey

Polyurethane condoms are made of a type of plastic, so they are a good alternative for people who are allergic to latex condoms. This condom type tends to be thinner and less flexible than latex condoms. Polyurethane condom use is effective in preventing both pregnancy and STDs (including HIV). Female condoms are exclusively made from polyurethane.

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Postcoital Contraception:

Postcoital Contraception. Photo © 2015 Dawn Stacey

Postcoital contraception is also known as emergency birth control. This consists of specific contraceptives that are designed to be used within 3 to 5 days after sexual intercourse to help prevent an unintended pregnancy. Postcoital contraception has been available for more than 30 years and is a safe and effective method of birth control.

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Pregnancy Resource Center:

pregnancy center
Pregnancy Resource Center. Photo Courtesy of S. Leighton

Pregnancy resource centers may offer you a free pregnancy test and try to make it seem like they provide unbiased support and information about adoption, abortion, and pregnancy options. These crisis pregnancy centers tend to look like legitimate medical clinics. It is not unusual for pregnancy resource centers to have strong religious affiliations and promote an anti-choice agenda. Many have been found guilty of being deceptive, false advertising, and providing women with incorrect information about contraception and abortion.

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Prescription Contraception:

Prescription Contraception
Prescription Contraception. Photo © 2015 Dawn Stacey

Prescription birth control methods all require you to visit a doctor before obtaining since they typically require some degree of medical supervision. Prescription contraception includes hormonal contraceptives and/or barrier devices (like a diaphragm or cervical cap). These methods are also reversible and effective.

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Progestin-Only Contraception:

Progestin-Only Methods. Photo © 2015 Dawn Stacey

Hormonal contraceptives that only contain progestin (no estrogen). These methods (like Depo Provera, Mirena, Nexplanon, and Skyla) can be a good alternative for women who cannot use combination birth control due to estrogen intolerance or because they are breastfeeding.

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Progestin-Only Pills:

Progestin-Only Pills. Photo © 2015 Dawn Stacey

These are oral contraceptives that only contain progestin (a synthetic form of the progesterone hormone) and do not have any estrogen. They are also known as the Mini-Pill or POPs (Progestin-Only Pills). Progestin-only pills are slightly less effective than combination pills; but, they also tend to cause less side effects.

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Progestin Types:

Progestin Types. Photo Courtesy of R. Pelton

There are eight types of progestin that are used in different pill brands. The progestin type is classified as first generation, second generation, or third generation. The role progestin plays in your contraception has to do with its estrogenic effects, androgenic effects, and progestational selectivity.

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Condoms. © Damon Hart-Davis

Prophylactics are also known as condoms. They consist of a thin sheath made of latex, polyurethane (plastic), polyisoprene, or animal membrane that fits over a man's erect penis during intercourse. Prophylactics can be bought over-the-counter in the family planning aisle of most local drugstores and supermarkets and are available in many types and sizes.

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