Birth Control Options: Beyond the Pill

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Today’s woman is faced with a lot of options when it comes to birth control. To help pick the right method of birth control for you, consider all of the options.

“Choosing a method of birth control can be confusing,” says Dr. Shannon Price, an ob/gyn with Affinity Physicians for Women. “But we will help you consider all the the options and pick the type of contraception that's right for you.”

Birth control options include:*

  • Barrier methods. Examples include male and female condoms, as well as the diaphragm, cervical cap and contraceptive sponge.
  • Hormonal methods. Examples include birth control pills, as well as the vaginal ring (NuvaRing), contraceptive implant (Nexplanon), contraceptive injection (Depo-Provera) and birth control patch.
  • Intrauterine devices (IUDs).Examples include the copper IUD (ParaGard) and the hormonal IUD (Mirena, Skyla, Kyleena, others).
  • Examples include tubal ligation or the Essure system for women, and vasectomy for men.
  • Natural family planning. Examples include the rhythm, basal body temperature and cervical mucus methods.

Different types of birth control work in different ways, following are the primary ways birth control can prevent pregnancy:

  • Prevent sperm from reaching the egg
  • Inactivate or damage sperm
  • Prevent an egg from being released each month
  • Alter the lining of the uterus so that a fertilized egg doesn't attach to it
  • Thicken cervical mucus so that sperm can't easily pass through it

Of course effectiveness is also a consideration and the bottom line is to be effective, any method of contraception must be used consistently and correctly. Contraceptives such as IUDs, contraceptive implants and sterilization, are associated with lower pregnancy rates. In contrast, methods that require monitoring fertility or periodic abstinence are associated with higher pregnancy rates.  You have to choose what will work best for you and your partner.

“Many times, patients want to know which birth control is more compatible with future pregnancy plans,” said Shannon Price, MD an OB/Gyn with Affinity Physicians for Women. “If your plans are to become pregnant in the next year,  you may want a method that's easily stopped or quickly reversible, such as an oral contraceptive or a barrier method. But, if your plans are more long term, you may want to consider an IUD. It’s all a personal choice, but having the right information means you can make an informed decision.”

Have more questions about our practice?  Click here.  Are you pregnant and would like to contact our office for more information or to make an appointment?  Click here.  We would love to hear from you – Affinity Physicians for Women is all about our patients and do all we can to make their lives more enjoyable and healthier on every level.

Source: Medical News Today