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What Type of Birth Control Is Right for Me?

Certainly, the most important consideration when picking a birth control method is how well the method works to prevent pregnancy. And for a long time, birth control pills were the method most women turned to. Oral contraceptives are still extremely popular. But today, they’ve been joined by a host of other options that are just as effective at preventing unplanned pregnancies. And for many women, some of those other options are preferred over the pill.

Having lots of options means you can select the method of contraception that works best for your needs and your lifestyle. But in order to make sure you make the best choice, you need to know what options are available.

Know your birth control options

At The Women’s Center, we offer a wide array of birth control methods so women have the most options possible. When considering which method to choose, convenience is a big factor, but it shouldn’t be the only thing you think about. Our team can review all your contraceptive options during your office visit, so you’re confident you’ve made the best decision for you.

Pills

Birth control pills are a type of hormonal birth control method, which means they alter the way your hormones act in your reproductive system. Pills prevent your ovaries from releasing eggs, preventing you from getting pregnant. Some pills also result in lighter periods or even no periods at all. You must take a pill every day without skipping even one dose; otherwise, they won’t be as effective in preventing pregnancy. If you forget to take your pill, you should call the office immediately and use another method of birth control, like condoms, in the meantime.

Shots

Birth control shots also use hormones to prevent ovulation. In addition, they cause the cervix to produce a thick layer of mucus that makes it really difficult for sperm to get into the uterus. Shots need to be repeated every three months.

Implants

Implants are inserted in your arm during a simple procedure that’s performed right in the office. Once your arm is numbed, the implant is inserted through a very tiny opening. You can’t see it, but if you press your skin, you may be able to feel it. Implants release hormones over a long period of time, and like the shot, they prevent your ovaries from releasing eggs and also thicken the mucus in your cervix. While shots need to be repeated every three months, implants can remain effective for three to five years, depending on the brand. Removing and replacing an implant is also done in the office, and it just takes a few minutes.

Patches

Patches release hormones slowly, right through your skin. You wear the patch on your upper arm, back, butt, or belly, replacing it every three weeks. You can shower and even swim with the patch in place, and it won’t interfere with its effectiveness.

Diaphragms

Diaphragms are a barrier form of birth control, which means they work by preventing sperm from reaching the uterus, so fertilization can’t occur. Diaphragms are inserted along with spermicides, special solutions that kill sperm on contact. Diaphragms require more interaction than most hormonal birth control methods; you need to insert the diaphragm each time you want to have intercourse, and you need to be measured for your diaphragm to make sure it fits correctly.

IUDs

IUDs are small, T-shaped devices that are implanted in your uterus. IUDs use copper, which is toxic to sperm, but safe for you. Copper also increases the mucus in the cervix. Some IUDs use hormones to increase their effectiveness. Implantation is performed in the office during a pelvic exam, and the process takes just a few minutes. IUDs need to be replaced every three to 12 years, again depending on the brand.

Sterilization

If you don’t want to have children, sterilization is a permanent option that lets you forget about schedules. Tubal ligation is the most common type of sterilization, but there are other methods, as well. And of course, vasectomy is available for men.  

Choose the right contraceptive for your lifestyle

The right birth control method can help you feel a lot more secure and a lot more confident. To learn more about the birth control options we offer at The Women's Center, book an appointment online today.

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