Posts for tag: Birth Control
Here are some questions to ask yourself before considering birth control options,
What is most important to you when it comes to birth control?
This might seem like a rather broad question, so let’s get a little more specific. Some women are looking for a low or no hormone birth control that boasts fewer side effects while other women want a birth control option that can also help them get clearer skin. It’s important to talk with your OBGYN about what’s most important to you so that they can provide you with the best options for your specific needs.
Do you want to have a family and how soon?
If you are looking for a birth control option now but are thinking of having a baby in the next year, then this could help us determine which birth control option is best. Women who want to wait several years before starting a family, or who don’t want a family, may benefit from long-term birth control solutions such as intrauterine devices, which can remain in the uterus anywhere from three to ten years. Women who are looking to prevent pregnancy for only up to a year or two may benefit from more short-term options such as the pill or patch.
Will you remember your birth control?
Some women know that they won’t take the pill at the same time every day, so they want an easier option. If you think you’ll forget, or simply don’t want to deal with the daily reminders, then options such as the patch, ring, injection, or IUD can provide peace of mind knowing you are protected without having to take a pill every single day. For other women, taking a pill every day is no big deal. This is something to keep in mind.
Are you concerned about side effects?
Hormonal birth control does come with possible side effects, as compared to non-hormonal birth control (e.g. condoms; diaphragms; certain types of IUDs). Women who’ve tried hormonal birth control in the past and have dealt with mood swings and other issues may want to consider non-hormonal or low-hormone options. This is definitely something to discuss with your gynecologist.
It’s important to have the facts when it comes to birth control. There is a lot of information out there that can be daunting (not to mention that there is also a lot of misinformation out there). If in doubt, schedule a consultation with your OBGYN to help make the decision-making process easier.
You're more likely to experience a birth control failure if you select a method that's not comfortable or convenient for you. Fortunately, there are plenty of effective birth control options available if you're not happy with your current method. Your OBGYN can help you evaluate the pros and cons of each option and make an informed choice.
Types of birth control available
Birth control options include:
- Barrier Methods: Barrier types of birth control physically prevent ejaculated semen from entering your cervix. Condoms are the most well-known type of barrier birth control. Other options include cervical caps, diaphragms and contraceptive sponges. Condoms also help protect you from sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).
- Spermicide: Spermicide is a cream, foam, gel or film placed inside your vagina to kill sperm. It's most effective when combined with other birth control methods, such as diaphragms, condoms or cervical caps.
- Intrauterine Devices (IUDs): IUDs are T-shaped devices inserted in your uterus at your OBGYN's office. The devices protect you from pregnancy for several years and provide reversible protection against pregnancy. Some IUDs release a hormone that thickens the cervical mucus and makes it difficult for eggs to attach to the uterine lining. Others secrete small amounts of copper to prevent sperm from moving.
- Hormonal Methods: Hormonal birth control thickens your cervical mucus and prevents you from ovulating, a process that occurs when you release eggs into the Fallopian tubes. Birth control pills are taken every day, while implants, patches, rings and shots can provide protection from three months up to three years, depending on the method.
- Natural Family Planning (NFP): If you choose NFP, you'll chart your monthly menstrual cycle and avoid sex during fertile periods. NFP doesn't work as well as other methods because ovulation doesn't always occur at the same time every month.
Factors that will affect your choice
Before you select a birth control option, you'll need to consider the method's effectiveness and ease of use. Will you remember to take a daily pill or use a condom every time you have sex? If not, a long-term birth control method may be a better choice.
Your health is an important consideration when selecting a birth control option, particularly if you're interested in hormonal methods. Although hormonal birth control is a good choice for many women, it may not be recommended if you smoke and are over age 35, or have a history of breast cancer, stroke, blood clots, migraine with aura, or other conditions.
Do you need a little help selecting a birth control method? Contact your OBGYN to schedule an appointment to discuss your options.
What is an IUD?
An IUD (intra uterine device) is a temporary form of birth control for women. It is a small, plastic device that is implanted into the uterus by an OBGYN to prevent pregnancy.
How Does an IUD Work?
There are two different forms of the device - hormonal and copper. The device prevents pregnancy in several ways. The copper version prevents fertilization by targeting and killing the sperm. The hormonal version releases daily low levels of levonorgestrel, thickens the mucus produced by the cervix during ovulation and thins out the uterine lining, all of which prevent the sperm from fertilizing an egg.
Do IUDs Provide STD/STI Protection?
No. IUDs only offer protection from pregnancy, and will not protect against sexually transmitted diseases and infections. Discuss sexual activity and risk factors with your OBGYN to determine the best methods for protection and safe sex with an IUD.
Who is a Good Candidate for an Intra Uterine Device?
IUDs are safe and effective for both younger women in their teens and older women, and can be used whether or not a woman has already given birth.
Will an IUD Affect the Ability to Get Pregnant in the Future?
No. The device does not affect fertility, and the woman's ability to conceive will be the same as before the device was implanted once it is removed, according to the woman's age and individual fertility levels. Once a woman is ready to become pregnant, an OBGYN can help to establish a fertility chart to determine ovulation and the best time to conceive.
Is the Device Painful?
Some women, particularly those who have never had children, may experience some initial discomfort when it is first implanted. Over the counter pain killers like Advil or Motrin prior to insertion of the device can help to minimize any pain or discomfort during and immediately following implantation.
Choosing the right birth control to suit your needs and lifestyle is a very important and personal decision that you will have to consider if you are sexually active and do not want to get pregnant. During this time it’s important to have an OBGYN that you can turn to not just for proper checkups and health care, but also to present you with the different birth control options available to you so that you can make an informed decision about your sexual health.
Birth control falls into two categories: Hormonal and non-hormonal. While this may certainly be a factor in the decision-making process there are also other factors and benefits that some birth control may offer that may make it more ideal for you than others. For example, there are some forms of birth control that can improve cramping and other PMS symptoms, while other birth control options are easy to use and don’t require you to take them at the same time each day. These are all things to consider when it comes to choosing the proper birth control for you.
There are approximately 12 different kinds of birth control including:
- Contraceptive pills
- Birth control implant
- Vaginal ring
- Intrauterine device (IUD)
- Tubal ligation
As you might imagine, contraceptive pills, the ring, patch, implant, injection, and plastic IUDs are hormonal, which means that these methods release hormones that prevent the ovaries from releasing an egg.
Non-hormonal methods include the diaphragm, copper IUD, spermicides, and condoms. When used correctly, condoms are also able to protect against STDS. It’s important to understand that while many of these methods are designed to prevent pregnancy they do not protect against STDS. This is why it’s still important to wear a condom even if you are taking birth control.
Of course, for women who are already finished with family planning or have chosen not to have children, they may opt for tubal ligation, which is a permanent way to prevent pregnancy.
It’s important that you fully understand the advantages and disadvantages of each birth control method beforehand. This is why it’s so vital to have a gynecologist you can trust to sit down with you and to help you determine the best option for your needs. Call your OBGYN today to schedule an appointment.