Birth control

Our top priority is to listen to our patients' needs, and help each woman select the right method of birth control for her. The method that's right for you will depend on a number of factors, including your age, medical history, your desire to have children, and your family history of certain illnesses.

It's common for a woman to use different birth control methods during different periods of her life. We're here to discuss your concerns and answer all of your questions about family planning.

Hormonal birth control pills

There are two types of hormonal birth control pills available:

The combination pill

The combination pill, which releases synthetic versions of the hormones estrogen and progestin into the body.

The progestin-only pill

The progestin-only pill, also called the “mini pill.” Patients take one pill daily by mouth, preferably at the same time every day. If used correctly, both pills are 97-99% effective in preventing pregnancy.

Patients take one pill daily by mouth, preferably at the same time every day. If used correctly, both pills are 97-99% effective in preventing pregnancy.

Vaginal ring contraceptives (NuvaRing)

NuvaRing is a small, flexible plastic ring which is inserted into the vagina. It releases hormones throughout the month, which eliminates the need to take a pill every day.

You'll insert a NuvaRing yourself at home, and leave it in place for 21 days. You’ll then remove it for seven days, and insert a new one once the seven days are over.

Intrauterine methods (IUDs)

An IUD (intra-uterine device) is a small, T-shaped plastic or copper device that is inserted into the uterus to prevent pregnancy. At Physicians for Women, we will insert the IUD and either remove or replace it at an appropriate time. There are two types of IUDs available:


The birth control implant is a flexible rod, about the size of a matchstick, that releases the hormone progestin into the body. An implant provides long-acting reversible contraception for up to three years. At our office, we'll place the rod under the skin of your upper arm through a small incision. It can be removed at any time. We will discuss your options with you at your appointment.

Permanent birth control

Many of our patients may have decided that their family is complete, or that they prefer not to have children of their own, and are seeking a permanent form of birth control. We offer a procedure called hysteroscopic tubal ligation, which is a form of tubal sterilization. This involves closing off the fallopian tubes to prevent the egg from moving through the tubes and into the uterus, and to stop sperm from reaching the egg.

The procedure is minimally invasive and performed at our office, using sedation anesthesia. It requires no incisions as it uses your body's natural openings. Patients tend to recover more quickly from hysteroscopic sterilization than from other sterilization procedures.

We'll use an instrument called a hysteroscope to insert small implants into the fallopian tubes. The hysteroscope is inserted through the vagina and cervix.

Our physicians offer laparoscopic tubal ligation, a minimally invasive procedure performed as an outpatient at Inova Alexandria Hospital. Some of our patients will elect to have tubal ligations performed at the time of their cesarean section. The addition of this procedure does not increase the postoperative pain or time for recovery.

STI and pregnancy testing

It's important for our patients to remember that the above methods of birth control do not protect against sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV. At your appointment, talk to your gynecologist about whether you should get tested for sexually transmitted infections. We're here to answer any questions you have about birth control and STIs.

We may recommend a pregnancy test first before prescribing any method of birth control.

4660 Kenmore Avenue, Suite 1100
Alexandria, Virginia 22304
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Appointment Hours
Monday - Friday
8:00AM - 3:45PM
Please arrive 15 minutes prior to your appointment time.
Phone Hours
(703) 370-0400
Monday - Friday
8:00AM - 12:00PM
1:00PM - 4:30PM