Bayer HealthCare, of Whippany, N.J., brought Essure to market in 2002 as a nonsurgical alternative for women seeking sterilization. Bayer acknowledges the device can lead to complications, but says they are rare. Julio Cortez/AP hide caption

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The Essure contraceptive device is placed in the fallopian tubes, where it causes scarring that blocks sperm from reaching eggs. Courtesy of Bayer HealthCare hide caption

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When health care providers have the latest information on various birth control methods, research suggests, more of their patients who use birth control choose a long-acting reversible method, like the IUD. iStockphoto hide caption

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University of Notre Dame contends that the act of signing a form opting out of the Affordable Care Act's birth control mandate makes the school complicit in providing coverage. Getty Images hide caption

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Participants sing during a wedding ceremony at Bole Medhane Alem (Savior of the World) Cathedral in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. It's Africa's largest Orthodox church, and its message on contraceptive devices is clear: not permitted. Allison Shelley for NPR hide caption

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"This is the last one," says Yassin Diouf, 40, holding her youngest child. "God help me to stop here." She has given birth 10 times; six of the children have survived. She and her family live in the village of Mereto in Senegal. "Maybe [family planning] is forbidden by Islam, but women are so tired of giving birth. If you have the permission of your husband, I think it's good." Allison Shelley for NPR hide caption

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The history of how the birth control pill was developed in the 1950s is recounted in Jonathan Eig's new book The Birth of the Pill. hide caption

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Exercise helps lower stroke risk, but birth control pills and pregnancy can be problematic for younger women. iStockphoto hide caption

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Insurers still charge copays for some contraceptives. Laura Garca/iStockphoto hide caption

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