There are many different contraceptives/birth control options for women today, including oral contraceptives, IUDs, and patches, to name a few. Options include:
- Barrier methods such as male and female condoms, a diaphragm, cervical cap, or contraceptive sponge.
- Short-acting hormonal methods include birth control pills, a vaginal ring, skin patch, or contraceptive injection. These methods are called short-acting because they are used on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis.
- Long-acting hormonal methods include the copper IUD, hormonal IUD, and a contraceptive implant. These methods are labeled long-acting because they last from 3-10 years after insertion.
- Sterilization methods include tubal ligation for women and vasectomy for men. These surgeries are intended to be permanent.
- Fertility awareness methods focus on the days of the month that you are fertile, with either no sex on those days or the use of a barrier method on those days. This method is the least reliable.
- Emergency contraception methods include the morning-after pill.
Birth control methods work in different ways, including:
- Preventing an egg from being released each month
- Inactivating or damaging sperm to prevent it from reaching an egg
- Thickening the cervical mucus so that sperm cannot easily pass through the cervix
- Altering the lining of the uterus so an egg cannot attach to it
When discussing your birth control options with your provider, you will be considering the following variables:
- What is the method’s effectiveness?
- Is this option convenient for my lifestyle and affordable for my budget?
- Is this method reversible were my goals to change?
- What are the side effects of this method?
- Does this method protect against sexually transmitted diseases?
- Does this method offer other benefits such as a lighter menstrual cycle or a reduction in the risk of some cancers and STIs?
- Is this method acceptable to my sexual partner(s)?
- Is this method compatible with my cultural or religious beliefs?
Choosing which contraceptive method is right for you will ultimately depend on several variables:
- Your age and health history
- Reproductive goals
- Relationship factors
- Lifestyle, cultural or religious beliefs
- The differences between cost, effectiveness, side effects, and benefits.
Our providers are here to listen, advise, and help you choose which option best meets your particular medical profile and family planning goals.
Call for an (828) 695-5900 appointment.