It seems like you can’t turn on the television these days without hearing about the latest and greatest in birth control. While it’s nice to have so many choices, some women may have preferred the days when pregnancy prevention was a bit more straightforward.
If you’re having trouble making sense of the massive list of available birth control options, check out this quick primer to help you determine if one of these popular methods fits your needs.
Birth control pills – Birth control pills work by suspending the release of eggs from the ovaries. They are a tested method that is over 99% effective, but they do require that you remember to take a pill daily.
Condoms – Condoms have about the same rate of effectiveness as birth control pills when used properly, and carry the added benefit of guarding against many sexually transmitted diseases. Condoms can break, however, and some women are allergic to the materials used to manufacture them.
Spermicide – Condoms and spermicide are both readily available, over-the-counter birth control options. Used alone, though, spermicide is less effective than other options, and it can sometimes require complicated, inconvenient application methods.
Implants – Birth control implants are inserted into the arm, and contain time-released hormones. Some women may find the upfront cost of these implants a bit restrictive, but the overall price is actually less than many other methods, since implants can last up to three years.
Patches – Birth control patches are a monthly method that works with a woman’s hormones, similar to birth control pills and implants.
Shots – Normally birth-control hormone shots are administered every three months. They are as safe and effective as other hormone-related methods, but they do require more frequent gynecological visits.
Tubal ligation – Tubal ligation, or having your tubes tied, is an extremely effective method of birth control. This method is permanent, though, and should only be considered by women who are absolutely certain they plan to have no more children.
Abstinence – Abstinence may be the one only 100% guaranteed birth control method, but it is impractical for many women. If you are looking into other birth control options, chances are abstinence is already off the table for you.
The above is only a brief introduction to the most common forms of birth control. Researching your options is a great start, but gynecological consultation can help you better choose what’s right for you.
If you have questions about these or other types of birth control, or if you’re simply looking for guidance toward the best choice for your lifestyle, give us a call today and we can set up a consultation.