a method of birth control can be difficult. You need to know
the options and how to pick the type of contraception thatís
right for you and your partner. Some of the most commonly used
methods are a combination of birth control pills and condoms.
Sterilization can be a choice if youíre sure you donít
want to have children in the future. But there are still a
number of other options to consider.
BIRTH CONTROL IS RIGHT FOR YOU?
are many different options available to help prevent
pregnancy. The most commonly known methods include condoms,
birth control pills and getting your tubes tied. However,
several other choices are available. Each option has
differences that can make it either the right or wrong choice
to help decide what method is best for you, consider what your
plans are for having children in the future, if you will
remember to take a pill at the same time every day, or if you
are ok with having a birth control device within your body. No
decision is right or wrong. The best choice is the decision
that is best for you.
control pills are not all the same. They come with different
hormones (estrogen and progesterone or progesterone alone) and
can affect your periods differently. Pills containing estrogen
can increase your risk for blood clots in the legs and lungs
and should not be used if you are more likely to develop these
birth control pills contain both estrogen and progesterone.
The NuvaRing and OrthoEvra patch also contain these hormones
and work similarly to conventional birth control pills. The
advantage of the NuvaRing or OrthoEvra is that you donít
need to remember to take a pill every day. If you take birth
control pills, the NuvaRing, or OrthoEvra in the conventional
manner, you will have a period every month.
you can take birth control pills in a continuous manner. This
means that you take a pill containing hormones every day. When
using birth control pills continuously, you may not have any
period, or may have if only four times a year.
injection of progesterone (Depo-Provera) can also serve as an
effective method of birth control. It lasts for three months.
You need to visit a nurse every three months to continue
receiving the injection. After stopping the Depo-Provera, it
may take some time before your periods become normal and you
are able to get pregnant.
reversible contraceptives (LARCs) provide you with effective
birth control for several years. They are great options if you
know you want to be pregnant eventually, but not anytime soon.
LARCs donít require you to take a pill every day and can
easily be placed in your doctorís office. When it is time
for your LARC to be removed or you want to get pregnant, it
can simply be removed in the office as well. You can get
pregnant soon after removing your LARC.
devices (IUD) (Mirena, Skyla, Kyleena, Liletta, ParaGard) are
T-shaped and are inserted into the uterus. A pelvic exam is
required for the placement of your IUD. The ParaGard is
hormone-free and effective for 10 years. The remaining IUDs
have progesterone and are effective for three to five years.
The progesterone can affect your period, often resulting in
lighter and less painful bleeding.
contraceptive implant (Nexplanon) can also be placed under the
skin in your arm. This is effective for three years and does
not require a pelvic exam. It contains progesterone and can
cause your periods to become lighter.
control that forms a barrier between the sperm and the uterus
can also be used. These include male and female condoms and
female diaphragms. These methods also help reduce the risk of
getting a sexually transmitted infection. Barrier methods of
birth control are less effective at preventing pregnancy than
other methods and need to be used every time you have sex.
the rhythm method, checking your cervical mucus, and testing
your temperature when your first wake up can be used to help
predict when you ovulate. This is the time that you want to
avoid unprotected sex if you donít want to get pregnant. You
can also use the withdrawal method, in which the man withdraws
his penis from the vagina prior to ejaculation. Similar to
barrier birth control, this method is not as effect as other
methods of birth control.
know you donít want the any possibility of pregnancy in the
future, sterilization can be considered. For both women and
men, a small surgery is required. For women, this can be
performed by tubal ligation (tubes tied) or removal of the
fallopian tubes (salpingectomy).
can also be placed through the uterus into the fallopian tubes
causing the fallopian tubes to be blocked (Essure). This
procedure does not require any abdominal incisions, but does
require a test in radiology and alternative birth control for
three months after the procedure.
vasectomy is the only option for sterilization. During this
procedure, the tubes that carry sperm into the semen are cut
and sealed. A follow-up test is required after the procedure
to make sure sperm are no longer in the semen.