In today’s world, numerous birth control methods are available to those who wish to take control of their reproductive health. Birth control options range from hormonal to non-hormonal, barrier to permanent ways, and everything in between.
With so many choices, it’s essential to understand the various types of birth control methods and their side effects to make an informed decision.
The birth control pill is the most frequently recommended contraceptive method in the United States. Around 25% of females between the ages of 15 and 44 presently utilizing birth control indicated that they prefer the pill as their primary option. 
Best Birth Control Methods with Least Side Effects
Many birth control methods are available, and they can be broadly categorized into hormonal and non-hormonal methods. Hormonal birth control methods use hormones to regulate the menstrual cycle and prevent ovulation, while non-hormonal methods work by creating a barrier between sperm and eggs or altering the reproductive environment to prevent fertilization.\\
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Best Birth Control With Least Side Effects: Hormonal Options
Hormonal birth control methods use synthetic hormones to prevent pregnancy, and they can be highly effective when used correctly. However, they can also cause side effects in some individuals. The following hormonal options are considered the best birth control with least side effects. 
Birth Control Pill
Numerous alternatives exist for contraceptive pills, grouped into two main types: combined pills containing estrogen and progestin and pills with only progestin. Most people use combination pills, but your healthcare professional can determine your best option.
It’s important to mention that while all birth control pills need to be taken daily, some require consistent timing each day to work effectively. Contraceptive pills can help regulate your period, lessen cramps, and even improve acne.
When used correctly, they have a 91 percent effectiveness rate. However, they do not protect against sexually transmitted infections.
Birth Control Patches
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved two contraceptive patches: Xulane and Twirla. Like contraceptive pills, these patches utilize hormones to prevent ovulation, eliminating the need to take a daily pill. The patches can be applied to the arm, abdomen, or buttocks, where they release hormones through the skin.
Three distinct patches are used during one menstrual cycle, each replaced by a new one every week. In the fourth week, a period occurs.
This method boasts a 99 percent effectiveness rate and can aid in regulating your cycle. However, it does not protect against STIs and requires a monthly prescription refill. 
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Birth Control Rings
The FDA has authorized two brands: NuvaRing and Annovera, which have slightly varying durations before requiring replacement. Both are small, pliable rings placed in the vagina and constantly emit hormones until removed during the week of menstruation.
Notably, the ring is not removed during intercourse. With 91 percent effectiveness, it offers greater convenience than oral contraceptives while providing the same impact on the menstrual cycle. Nevertheless, silicone or oil-based products can harm the Annovera ring, and neither option offers protection against sexually transmitted infections. 
Birth Control Shots
The Depo-Provera injection, commonly called “Depo,” is a progestin-based shot administered every three months.
With a 96 percent effectiveness rate, as stated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), it may be a more suitable option for some individuals than pills or devices. Being solely progestin-based, it could be safer for specific users. The shot is “invisible,” making it discreet for those who prefer to keep their contraceptive usage private.
However, it necessitates visiting a healthcare facility four times annually for administration and does not offer protection against STIs. 
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Best Birth Control Pills With Least Side Effects
Low-Dose Combination Birth Control Pills
Low-dose combination birth control pills contain a lower dose of estrogen and progestin than traditional combination pills. This reduced hormone level may result in fewer side effects, such as nausea, mood swings, and weight gain.
The combination contraceptive pills consist of artificial estrogen and progesterone (progestin). Both hormones work together to stop the monthly ovulation process, while progestin increases the thickness of cervical mucus, making it harder for an egg to be fertilized once released.
When used appropriately, combination contraceptive pills have a 99.7% success rate in preventing pregnancy.
Numerous brands provide low-dose combined contraceptive pills with 35 micrograms or less estrogen. Some of the best birth control pills with least side effects include products such as Apri®, Aviane®, Levlen 21®, Yasmin®, or Yaz®.
However, it is essential to note that low-dose combination pills may not suit everyone, and discussing your options with a healthcare provider is crucial.
Ultra-Low-Dose Combination Birth Control Pills
Ultra-low-dose combination birth control pills contain even lower doses of estrogen and progestin than low-dose pills. These pills may have even fewer side effects, making them an attractive option for those who have experienced side effects with other hormonal birth control methods.
One of the best birth control pills with least side effects is the ultra-low-dose combination Lo Loestrin Fe®. This birth control medication contains only 10 micrograms of estrogen. As with low-dose pills, it is crucial to consult a healthcare professional before choosing this option.
Low-Dose Progestin-Only Birth Control Pills
Low-dose progestin-only birth control pills, often called the “mini-pill,” contain only one hormone, progestin, and do not contain estrogen. This lack of estrogen may result in fewer side effects for some individuals, particularly those sensitive to estrogen or who have other contraindications for combination pills.
Discussing this option with a healthcare provider is essential to determine your best choice.
Where to Buy the Best Birth Control Pills with Least Side Effects Online
Hers – Best Birth Control Pills With Least Side Effects Overall
Hers provides 13 distinct contraceptive pills, though only generic types can be obtained. As with most internet prescription platforms, Hers necessitates a brief inquiry form. Upon a Hers doctor examining the medical survey, a concise consultation will follow to determine the most suitable pill for your needs.
New pill packages will be delivered 6 days before your final dose, guaranteeing you never skip a day. Customers appreciate the reasonable costs and hassle-free shipping.
Additionally, Hers provides an array of sexual wellness items, including condoms, intimate lubricants, vibrators, treatments for yeast infections, and STI therapies.
- Licensed medical providers to guide you
- Variety of birth control pills for different needs
- Free shipping and on-time refills
Medzino – Best Birth Control Pills with Least Side Effects with Free Shipping
Medizno is a certified online physician and pharmacy, adhering to all U.S. regulations. With a team of expert pharmacists, they provide FDA-approved medications and deliver them inconspicuously to your doorstep through USPS.
- Fully certified doctors;
- Discrete packaging;
- Fast and free shipping
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Nurx – Best Birth Control Pills for Overall Sexual Health
Nurx ranks among the top online birth control pill delivery providers, boasting over 26,000 client testimonials. The company supplies the best birth control pills with least side effects and alternative contraceptives, such as rings, patches, and injections.
To obtain a prescription, clients must initially respond to several basic medical queries before connecting with a Nurx healthcare expert. A short health evaluation will request information on your sex, age, weight, height, and prior experience with birth control.
- More than 100 generic and name-brand birth control options.
- Variety of options for those who can’t take combination birth control.
- Support for trans and nonbinary customers taking birth control.
- Emergency contraception is available.
Best Birth Control With Least Side Effects: Non-hormonal Options
For those who prefer to avoid hormonal birth control methods, several non-hormonal options are available. These methods may have fewer side effects, but it is essential to remember that their effectiveness may be lower than hormonal methods. The following are some non-hormonal best birth control with least side effects: 
The app is an alternative birth control option for individuals seeking to bypass methods such as medications, hormonal impacts, intrauterine devices (IUDs), or birth control implants. Natural Cycles employs an algorithm that utilizes daily basal body temperature and menstrual cycle data to estimate a person’s fertile days.
This monitoring approach is referred to as fertility awareness. Fertility windows typically occur a few days before or during ovulation.
- 100% Hormone-free
- No unwanted side effects
- FDA Cleared & CE Marked
They physically prevent sperm from reaching an egg, including diaphragms, cervical caps, spermicides, male and female condoms, and sponges. Each option has its advantages and disadvantages, so it is essential to research and discuss your options with a healthcare professional. They are among the best birth control with least side effects. 
A diaphragm is a flexible, dome-shaped device made of silicone inserted into the vagina before intercourse to cover the cervix. It is often used in combination with spermicide to increase its effectiveness and is considered one of the best birth controls with least side effects.
A medical expert typically recommends and adjusts diaphragms, offering immediate effectiveness. These reusable devices can be used for a maximum of two years. When appropriately positioned, neither individual should feel the diaphragm during intercourse.
Diaphragms should be accompanied by spermicide and left in place for six hours post-intercourse, but not exceeding 24 hours. If engaging in sexual activity again within that 24-hour window, the user should reapply spermicide and wait an additional six hours before taking out the diaphragm.
It is important to note that diaphragms do not provide protection against sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and should not be utilized during menstruation.
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A cervical cap is similar to a diaphragm but smaller and more rigid. It is also inserted into the vagina before intercourse and used with spermicide. The cervical cap is one of the best birth control with least side effects, but some users may experience discomfort or irritation.
The sole cervical cap is sold under FemCap, which offers three different sizes in the United States.
This cervical cap is hormone-free and can be placed before sexual activity. An individual can use the same cap for a maximum of 2 years. It is essential to always use a spermicidal gel in conjunction with the cervical cap to guarantee its effectiveness. Like the diaphragm, it necessitates a prescription and should not be used during menstruation.
The cervical cap must remain positioned for 6 hours following intercourse. However, unlike the diaphragm, it can be left in for a longer duration, up to 48 hours. If engaging in sexual activity multiple times within this period, there is no need for additional spermicide application.
Chemicals that kill sperm upon contact are called spermicides. They come in various forms, such as creams, gels, and foams, and are used with other barrier methods like diaphragms and cervical caps. Spermicides can cause irritation or allergic reactions in some individuals, so it is essential to test for sensitivity before use.
The technique is simple to apply, doesn’t require a doctor’s order, and comes cheaply. However, a few individuals may encounter adverse reactions like discomfort and allergies.
Male and Female Condoms
Male and female condoms are barrier methods that prevent sperm from entering the vagina during intercourse. They are among the most accessible and affordable birth control options and also help protect against sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
Condoms are one of the best birth control with least side effects, but some individuals may have latex allergies or experience discomfort during use.
When using lubricants with condoms, selecting a water-soluble or silicone-based option is essential since oil-based products can weaken latex condoms.
The woman’s condom is hormone-free, can be obtained without a doctor’s order, and is affordable. It can be placed up to 6 hours before intercourse, is appropriate for those with latex allergies, and can be used alongside lubricants.
Nonetheless, irritation may occur due to the outer rings of the woman’s condom, and numerous individuals believe it diminishes sensation. Typically, the price of female condoms is double that of male condoms.
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The sponge is a small, disposable device made of soft, polyurethane foam inserted into the vagina before intercourse. It is coated with spermicide and works by blocking the entrance to the cervix and killing sperm on contact. The sponge has few side effects, but some individuals may experience irritation or an allergic reaction to the spermicide.
Vaginal Contraceptive Gels
These are non-hormonal contraceptive gels that maintain the natural acidity level of the vagina, creating an unfavorable environment for sperm. It is applied before intercourse and has few side effects, making it an attractive option for those looking for the best birth control with least side effects. It’s crucial to mention that this technique doesn’t offer protection from STDs.
Nonetheless, it’s secure for use during breastfeeding.
Women using these products may experience the following side effects::
- bacterial vaginitis
- vaginal discomfort, inflammation, or itchiness
- candida infections
- urinary tract infections (UTIs)
Long-term and Permanent Solutions
For those who desire more long-term or permanent birth control, a few options are available with minimal side effects.
Intrauterine Device (IUD)
A hormone-free contraceptive that offers protection from pregnancy for up to 12 years. The device can be quickly inserted into the uterus by a doctor. Once positioned, the slim copper IUD triggers an inflammatory response within the uterus, preventing sperm from reaching the egg.
This option is ideal for those who prefer not to deal with daily or weekly birth control reminders or who wish to avoid hormonal contraceptives. The process is reversible; a doctor can remove the IUD at any time if an individual decides to conceive. 
However, Paragard does not offer protection from STDs. Potential side effects consist of:
- intense menstrual cycles;
- spotting between periods.
An invasive birth control option involving surgical procedures for both men and women is sterilization. For women, tubal ligation or “having your tubes tied” involves blocking or sealing the fallopian tubes to prevent eggs from reaching the uterus.
For men, a vasectomy involves cutting or sealing the vas deferens to prevent sperm from reaching semen. Sterilization is highly effective and has few side effects, but it is essential to consider the permanence of this option carefully. 
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Best Birth Control with Least Side Effects: Frequently Asked Questions
Are Some Individuals More Prone to Experiencing Side Effects From Birth Control?
Some individuals may be more sensitive to the hormones in birth control or have pre-existing conditions that make them more susceptible to side effects. It’s essential to discuss your health history and any concerns with your healthcare provider when selecting the best birth control with least side effects.
Can the Side Effects of Birth Control Be Permanent?
Most side effects of birth control are temporary and will resolve once the method is discontinued. However, some approaches, such as permanent sterilization, can have long-lasting or irreversible effects.
It’s essential to carefully consider and discuss the potential side effects with your healthcare provider before choosing the best birth control with least side effects.
What Birth Control Has the Least Side Effects?
The IUD (intrauterine device) appears to be the best birth control with least side effects compared to other forms of birth control, while none are without risk. Because of this, it has gained popularity among women of different ages. Your doctor will insert an IUD, a tiny device, into your uterus to prevent pregnancy.
What if I Experience Severe Side Effects From My Birth Control Method?
If you experience severe side effects, contacting your healthcare provider immediately is crucial. They can help determine the cause of the side effects and recommend the best birth control with least side effects.
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Conclusion and Final Thoughts on Selecting the Best Birth Control with Least Side Effects
Selecting the best birth control with least side effects can be challenging, but making an informed decision based on your needs and preferences is essential. Research your options, discuss them with a healthcare professional, and consider each method’s effectiveness, convenience, cost, and potential side effects.
One of the best birth control with least side effects includes many hormonal and non-hormonal options. Also, there are many telemedicine centers where you can purchase the best birth control with least side effects from your home, like Hers, Medzino, and Nurx.
With the proper knowledge and guidance, you can find the best birth control with least side effects and confidently navigate your health journey.
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 – Cooper DB, Patel P, Mahdy H. Oral Contraceptive Pills. [Updated 2022 Nov 24]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2023 Jan-. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK430882/
 – Bansode OM, Sarao MS, Cooper DB. Contraception. [Updated 2022 Jul 25]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2023 Jan-. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK536949/
 – Gilliam ML, Derman RJ. Barrier methods of contraception. Obstet Gynecol Clin North Am. 2000 Dec;27(4):841-58. doi: 10.1016/s0889-8545(05)70174-1. PMID: 11091990.
 – Lanzola EL, Ketvertis K. Intrauterine Device. [Updated 2022 Jul 4]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2023 Jan-. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK557403/
 – Britton LE, Alspaugh A, Greene MZ, McLemore MR. CE: An Evidence-Based Update on Contraception. Am J Nurs. 2020 Feb;120(2):22-33. doi: 10.1097/01.NAJ.0000654304.29632.a7. PMID: 31977414; PMCID: PMC7533104.
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