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Birth Control Options: A Guide to Choosing the Right Method for You

Birth Control Options: A Guide to Choosing the Right Method for You

Choosing the right birth control method can be a confusing and overwhelming process, but it is an important decision if you want to prevent pregnancy or control your period. With so many options available, it can be helpful to understand the different types of birth control and the ups and downs of each.

 

Barrier Methods

Barrier methods of birth control, such as condoms and diaphragms physically block the sperm from reaching the egg. Barrier methods are less effective than hormonal birth control options but are a good choice for women who cannot or do not want to use hormones. Condoms are the only method that can offer protection against sexually transmitted infections (STIs).

Hormonal Birth Control

Hormonal birth control options use hormones to prevent pregnancy. These options include the pill, the patch, the ring, injections, and implants. Hormonal birth control is highly effective at preventing pregnancy and can also help regulate menstrual cycles, reduce pain, and improve acne. However, hormonal birth control can have side effects, such as nausea, headaches, and mood changes, and may not be suitable for women with certain medical conditions, such as a history of blood clots or migraines.

Long Acting Reversible Contraception (LARC): Intrauterine Devices (IUDs)

IUDs are small, T-shaped devices that are inserted into the uterus to prevent pregnancy. IUDs can be hormonal or non-hormonal and are greater than 99% effective at preventing pregnancy for up to 10 years depending on the device. IUDs are a good choice for women who want long-term birth control without having to think about it every day, but insertion and removal can be uncomfortable and may cause cramping.

Nexplanon

Nexplanon is a small rod shaped device that is inserted under the skin of the arm. It is greater than 99% effective in preventing pregnancy and lasts for up to 3 years.

Permanent Birth Control

For women who do not want to have any more children, permanent birth control options, such as tubal ligation, bilateral salpingectomy, or vasectomy, may be a good choice. These options are irreversible, so it is important to carefully consider the decision before undergoing the procedure.

 

Choosing the right birth control method is a personal decision that should be made in consultation with your healthcare provider. Keep in mind your personal health history, lifestyle, and future plans when selecting a birth control method. With so many options available, it is possible to find a birth control method that meets your individual needs and preferences

Author
Matthew Wollenschlaeger, M.D. Matthew Wollenschlaeger, MD, FACOG Matthew Wollenschlaeger, MD, FACOG, is a board-certified OB/GYN who joined the Premier Obstetrics and Gynecology team in 2020. He is proud to provide high-quality care to the women throughout Maitland and Oviedo, Florida. Originally from Ocala, Florida, Dr. Wollenschlaeger attended undergraduate school at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where he received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Biochemistry. He returned to Florida to earn a Master of Science degree from the University of South Florida. Dr. Wollenschlaeger completed his medical degree at The University of South Florida College of Medicine in Tampa, Florida. He went on to complete his OB/GYN training at Orlando Health, Winnie Palmer Hospital for Women and Babies in Orlando, where he was the Chief Quality Resident. At Premier Obstetrics and Gynecology, Dr. Wollenschlaeger enjoys being able to offer the full spectrum of women’s healthcare and is dedicated to treating women at all stages of life.

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