At one time or another, a woman is going to start wondering if birth control is right for her. Many women begin to inquire about it during their teen years, however you can begin birth control at any time depending on your desires or family planning needs. It’s important to note that the ability to have children drastically declines after age 35, so that may factor into your decision to begin contraception depending on your individual situation.
Over 60 percent of women are on birth control of some kind. However, there are a variety of options depending on your individual needs, including health status. While the pill may be the most widely used, there are plenty of other kinds of contraception you can use. Here are the major types of birth control most commonly used.
An intrauterine device, more commonly referred to as an IUD, is one of the most popular birth control methods due to its nearly 100% success rate. An IUD is an insertable device that prevents pregnancy and is effective for anywhere from 3 years to 12 years depending on the type. Some IUDs are wrapped in copper and contain no hormones while others use hormones to give the desired result. IUDs are reversible should you want to get pregnant.
Oral contraceptives are certainly the most well-known type of birth control and are often the first kind a woman tries early on in her life assuming no medical conditions that can be aggravated by contraceptive use have been found. These pills are taken daily in order to prevent pregnancy. They have a hormonal effect, so you’ll need to speak with your doctor about whether or not they are right for you.
A hormone patch, when used correctly, has success rates of over 90%. But, like with the pill, you need to do your due diligence to ensure that you’re reaching maximum effectiveness. A hormone patch isn’t dissimilar from a nicotine patch. You place it on your skin and it delivers the medication, in this case the hormone treatment, that you need to get the desired result. Rarely, the patch can fall off. More realistically, the issue will be remembering to change your patch every week to ensure your hormone levels stay where they need to be. Additionally, certain medications that interact with the efficacy of the hormone patch.
Similar to the patch, but there’s no needing to remember to change it on your part. A birth control shot is highly effective and doesn’t require daily or weekly maintenance. However, it’s important to note that you need to get your shots on time in order to maintain the proper schedule to avoid pregnancy. Like with many contraceptives, you can’t be forgetful. Also note, that it can take upwards of ten months or so for the shot to wear off to the point where you can get pregnant. Keep that in mind if you’re looking to get pregnant within the next year or so.
A diaphragm is one of the older methods of birth control and it’s a bit different from the others highlighted here. Instead of a hormonal or insertable solution that gets taken or placed at regular intervals to prevent pregnancy, a diaphragm is used prior to sex. You’ll have to place it in the vagina before intercourse each time you want to use it. Also, be aware that you also need to use the diaphragm along with a spermicide to be effective. For women who want an “as needed” solution or who don’t want to deal with hormones or procedures, this may be a good option.
A vaginal ring is like a combination of the diaphragm and the patch, really. You insert a new one on a schedule (in this case every month) and it delivers the hormones necessary in order to help prevent pregnancy. When used correctly, including proper removal and replacement, it has an over 90% success rate. Be sure to set reminders every month to ensure you’re getting the maximum effectiveness.
These are the major methods of birth control that most women choose from. Of course, there are permanent solutions as well if you’ve decided you don’t want children or you’ve already had the number of children you intend to have. Your doctor can go over those options with you. No matter what kind of birth control you’re interested in, you need to speak to an experienced OBGYN that can provide you with the information you need to make the right choice. Book an appointment online with us today. The team at The Association for Women’s Health Care is dedicated to providing you with the support you need so you can live a healthy and happy life.