How Does Birth Control Work?

From MinuteEarth.

To download a free hi-res version of the birth control chart, go to

There are huge varieties of birth control methods because there are lots of different ways to disrupt the process of sperm-egg fertilization.

To learn more about this topic, start your googling with these keywords:
– Contraception: the use of devices, drugs, or surgery to prevent pregnancy – also known as birth control.
– Progestin: the synthetic form of progesterone, a sex hormone that plays a role in the menstrual cycle and pregnancy.
– Gametes: haploid reproductive cells including sperm and eggs.

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Kate Yoshida | Narrator
David Goldenberg | Script Writer and Director
Lizah van der Aart | Storyboard Artist
Sarah Berman | Illustration, Video Editing and Animation
Nathaniel Schroeder | Music

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Lizah van der Aart • Sarah Berman • Cameron Duke
Arcadi Garcia i Rius • David Goldenberg • Melissa Hayes
Alex Reich • Henry Reich • Peter Reich
Ever Salazar • Leonardo Souza • Kate Yoshida

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Britton, L. E., Alspaugh, A., Greene, M. Z., & McLemore, M. R. (2020). CE: An Evidence-Based Update on Contraception. The American journal of nursing, 120(2), 22–33.

Petitti, D. B., & Sidney, S. (2005). Four decades of research on hormonal contraception. The Permanente journal, 9(1), 29–34.

Teal S, Edelman A. (2021) Contraception Selection, Effectiveness, and Adverse Effects: A Review. JAMA. 326(24):2507–2518.

Daniels K, Abma JC. Current contraceptive status among women aged 15–49: United States, 2017–2019. NCHS Data Brief, no 388. Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics. 2020.

Birth Control: Forms, Options, Risks and Effectiveness. Cleveland Clinic.

Special thanks to Louise Langheier for her input.