Real Talk: Contraception
Did you know that 49% of pregnancies in the United States are unintended?!
Some unintended pregnancies can lead to:
Poorer pregnancy outcomes
Delays in achieving goals
But birth control works…if used correctly! Birth control is not one size fits all. It’s my job to help you choose the right method for you. Sometimes it takes trial and error, but sometimes patients don’t know all the options that are available. Let’s explore the options together.
No, I’m not kidding. Not having sex is the only bulletproof way to prevent pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases.
Other than not having sex at all, condoms are the only way to prevent sexually transmitted diseases.
3. Oral Contraceptive Pills or Birth Control Pills.
This is one of the most well known methods. Birth control pills work well to prevent pregnancy if you remember to take them everyday at the same time. Most stop using this method because they simply forget to take it…but hey that’s what cell phone alarms are for! Birth control pills can also make your periods more regular and lighter.
4. Nexplanon - The Transdermal Insert
This is the first method that belongs to the category called long-acting reversible contraceptives, LARCs, that we are going to discus. This insert is placed in the upper arm and is good for three years. With this method you don’t have to think about birth control daily, weekly or monthly.
5. Intrauterine Devices or Systems (IUD or IUS)
Another LARC, these “T” shaped devices are placed in the uterus. They may be left in place for 3 to 10 years. There are currently three different types, Skyla and Mirena, which have hormones and Paragard, which is made of copper.
6. NuvaRing - The Contraceptive Ring
This has hormones similar to birth control pills, but is in the form of a ring that you place in the vagina. Before you think this method is not for you, let me tell what’s so great about it. You only have to remember it once a month. The ring is easily placed in the vagina for three weeks. It is removed for one week and then a new ring is placed for another three weeks.
7. Ortho Evra - The Contraceptive Patch
This has hormones similar to birth control pills and NuvaRing, but it a patch applied directly to the skin. A new patch is placed once a week followed by one patch free week.
This is permanent contraception. This can be achieved through the vagina or the abdomen.
These methods, their risks and benefits should be further discussed with your gynecologist who can help you choose the right method for you. Even if one method doesn’t meet your needs, as you now know, there are many more choices available to you.
Here are a few websites that can also help guide you: