If you’re like many women looking for a new form of birth control, you probably want the longest-lasting, most effective option possible. Fortunately, there are several forms of long-term birth control that will help you prevent an unplanned pregnancy for months and years at a time. 

1. IUDs

Women looking for a long-lasting form of birth control often choose an intrauterine device, or IUD, which is a small T-shaped device that your nurse or doctor will insert in the uterus. IUDs are considerably more effective than birth control patches or pills, and they can be left in place for years at a time, meaning you won’t have to worry about an unplanned pregnancy altering your career or life plans. 

IUDs come in two different forms: Hormonal IUDs and copper IUDs. A hormonal IUD works by releasing progestin in your body to thicken the cervical mucus to prevent sperm from entering and thins your uterine wall so that a fertilized egg can not attach. Generally, a hormonal IUD is effective for three years. 

Copper IUDs contain no hormones, making them a good choice for women worried about the side effects hormonal birth control may have on their menstrual cycle. Copper IUDs function like a spermicide and prevent an egg from being fertilized. One of these IUDs can be effective for up to 10 years. 

2. Birth Control Shot

The birth control shot is another long-term birth control solution that is popular with women who may one day wish to become pregnant but are not yet ready to do so. This method of birth control, which you may have heard referred to as the Depo-Provera shot, is effective for three months at a time and, like most forms of hormonal birth control, functions by releasing progestin into your body. 

You will need to have the birth control shot administered every three months, and you can use this birth control method for up to two years with minimal risk for serious side effects. In addition to preventing pregnancy, the shot can make your periods lighter and less frequent. 

3. Birth Control Implant

If you want an effective, long-term birth control, you may want to consider visiting your doctor and requesting a birth control implant. The birth control implant is a small, plastic rod that your doctor will insert into your arm, and once in place, your implant will be effective for up to three years. 

Birth control implants, like hormonal IUDs, release progestin in order to alter your body’s hormones and prevent pregnancy. As with any form of birth control, the implant does have some side effects, such as irregular bleeding up to a year after implantation, although most women experience fewer and lighter periods. 

Multiple forms of long-term birth control are available, and all of them can help you to prevent an unplanned pregnancy for months and years at a time. If you’re interested in getting birth control pills, a convenient solution is a telemedicine service like Nurx. After choosing your medicine, an area doctor will write your prescription and your pills will be delivered to your home, saving you not only time but also a good amount of money.