Contraception Specialist

Melissa G. Drake, M.D. -  - OB-GYN

Melissa G. Drake, M.D.

OB-GYN & Women’s Health Doctor located in Santa Barbara, CA

In the world of birth control, there’s a solution that fits almost every need, from on-the-spot protection to long-term options. To help find a solution that’s right for you, Dr. Drake offers contraception services to her patients in Santa Barbara, California. If pregnancy isn’t in your plans right now, call or use the online booking tool to schedule a consultation.

Contraception Q & A

What are the different types of birth control?

Birth control options fall into three different categories:


Barrier methods prevent sperm from reaching your eggs and include:

  • Condoms (male and female)
  • Diaphragm
  • Cervical cap
  • Tubal ligation
  • Sponge
  • IUD
  • Hysterectomy or vasectomy


Hormonal birth control methods work by preventing ovulation. The method through which hormonal birth control is delivered is what sets each apart. They include:

  • Oral pills
  • Vaginal ring
  • IUD
  • Injections
  • Patches
  • Implants
  • IUD


If you prefer a more natural approach to birth control, the following are your best options:

  • Abstinence
  • Outercourse
  • Withdrawal
  • Fertility awareness


What birth control option is right for me?

There’s no one-size-fits-all answer to this question as it largely depends on your goals and your lifestyle. For example, if you’re looking for a birth control method that you don’t have to think about for years, an IUD is a great option. Or, if you’d rather not control your hormones, condoms offer a good solution.

The key to choosing the right birth control method is to sit down with Dr. Drake to review your situation. Dr. Drake has considerable experience helping women find solutions that suit their physical and lifestyle needs.


How effective is birth control?

The effectiveness of any birth control depends on the user. For example, a diaphragm is up to 88% effective, so long as it’s placed properly. The birth control pill is 91% effective, but if you tend to skip pills, this efficacy rate drops precipitously.

To give you an idea of the effectiveness of the many different options, the following are a few examples:

  • Implant: 99%
  • Patch: 91%
  • Injections: 94%
  • IUD: 99%
  • Withdrawal: 78%
  • Vaginal ring: 91%
  • Cervical cap: 71-86%
  • Abstinence: 100%

Dr. Drake has the full list of efficacy rates and is happy to share this with you when you sit down to review your choices.

If you're looking for a more permanent solution, Dr. Drake offers tubal ligations and hysterectomies; however, a hysterectomy is typically reserved for women who suffer from health problems related to the uterus and heavy bleeding.

To better understand the many options in birth control, call Dr. Melissa Drake, or schedule an appointment using the online booking tool.