There are several factors to take into consideration when choosing birth control.
- Effectiveness Birth control methods have varying levels of effectiveness, which can be influenced by how well you can adhere to them, and what your personal situation is. Birth control methods like the patch, pills, and condoms are highly effective when used correctly and consistently.
- Permanency When choosing a birth control method, you also need to consider your long-term reproductive goals. Depending on when and if having children is something you want, your provider can help guide you to the best birth control option.
- Side Effects Birth control, depending on the type chosen, may cause side effects. Breast tenderness, spotting, nausea, weight gain, and depression are possible side effects and it’s important to discuss this with your provider. The severity and frequency of side effects can vary depending on which type you choose.
- Lifestyle To be effective, birth control must be used correctly. If you are forgetful or have a lifestyle that interferes with consistent use, a pill or condom might not be the best choice. Habits like smoking must also be taken into consideration, as smoking can cause an increased risk to your health when combined with hormonal contraceptives.
- Your Health Some hormonal contraceptives are unsafe for women with certain health conditions. Women with a history of blood clots, stroke, breast cancer, uterine cancer, liver disease, and certain types of migraines may not be eligible for hormonal birth control. Be sure to point out any past medical history with your provider when discussing birth control.
Birth Control Options
Your provider at Capital Women’s Care can help you decide which type of birth control is best for you.
Hormonal Birth Control
This type of birth control includes oral contraceptives, implants, and injections. In general, these methods work by suppressing ovulation or making it more difficult for fertilization to occur and are not permanent.
Birth Control Implant
The implantable contraceptive is a small matchstick-sized rod that contains progestin. This rod is inserted under the skin of the upper arm, where it steadily releases the contraceptive. It can be left in place for up to three years at which time it can be replaced for continued contraception, or removed whenever the patient desires.
Birth Control Pills
Oral contraceptives (the pill) work by suppressing ovulation. The pill comes in two formulations, a combined (containing estrogen and progestin) and progestin-only pill (minipill). The choice of which pill to use can be determined by reviewing your health history and needs with your provider.
The vaginal ring contains estrogen and progestin and is inserted inside the vagina. It is meant to stay in place for three weeks at a time before being removed for one week. The hormones are absorbed into the bloodstream through the vagina.
The patch is discreetly worn on the skin like a bandage. The hormones are absorbed through the skin. The patch needs to be changed on the same day every week for three weeks and then removed for one week.
Depo-Provera is a progestin-only hormonal injection that’s administered by a health professional every 12 weeks. It prevents pregnancy by suppressing ovulation, thickening cervical mucus, and changing the uterine lining to prevent a fertilized egg from implanting in the uterus.
An intrauterine system is a device that your provider places into your uterus to prevent fertilization. There is a nonhormonal option and a hormonal option. They can last from 5 to 10 years depending on the type chosen. For those patients desiring effective non-hormonal contraception, the non-hormonal IUD may be the best and safest choice. A proven benefit of the hormonal IUD is decreasing menstrual flow.
If you have had intercourse without birth control and want to avoid pregnancy, you can get emergency contraception. This is a series of pills taken as soon as possible after intercourse.
Non-Hormonal Birth Control
These birth control options, include barrier methods, IUD, spermicides, and permanent birth control via surgery.
A thin latex sheath that covers the penis to catch semen before it enters the vagina.
A thin sheath that is inserted into the vagina before intercourse. It can be inserted up to eight hours before intercourse.
A reusable round disk that fits inside the vagina and covers the cervix. These are available by prescription only and should be used in tandem with a spermicide.
A mini diaphragm that fits over the cervix and is held in place by suction.
This is a soft disk device that contains spermicide. It is inserted before intercourse and must stay in for at least six hours following intercourse.
A nonhormonal Intrauterine device is a plastic or metal device that prevents fertilization
. The nonhormonal IUD is made of plastic and copper and can be effective for up to ten years.
Chemicals used to kill sperm before they fertilize eggs.
Surgical options are permanent and involve disruption of the tube by banding, cauterization, removal of a portion of the tube, or complete removal of the tube. This can be performed as a separate surgery, or during a cesarean section, or immediately post-delivery.
Discuss Your Options with a Provider Today
Make an appointment with a Capital Women’s Care provider to discuss the contraceptive options that will best fit your needs.