If you are looking to prevent pregnancy in the short term, long term or permanently, you may be overwhelmed with all the options available. Here are the pros and cons of the most common methods of contraception.
Contraceptive Pills, Patches and Vaginal rings
There are two types, combined (estrogen and progesterone) which come in pills, patches or vaginal rings and progesterone only which is only available in pills.
Pros: approximately 92% effective at preventing pregnancy, easy and convenient, usually covered by insurance or with a small co-pay, can help regulate cycles, can improve PMS symptoms and improve acne
Cons: must be taken around the same time everyday, not appropriate for everyone especially the options that contain estrogen
Intrauterine Devices (IUDs)
There are two types of IUDs, ones containing progesterone (Mirena, Kyleena, Liletta) and a copper IUD (Paragard)
Pros: Over 99% effective at preventing pregnancy, one time insertion provides pregnancy protection for 5 to 10 years depending on the type of IUD, progesterone containing IUDs can significantly lighten your periods or stop them completely and improve cramping, quick return to fertility (immediately with Paragard and in as little as 10 days with progesterone containing IUDs once removed)
Cons: requires an office visit for insertion, Paragard IUD can cause heavier and more painful cycles for the first 6 months, can cause some discomfort or cramping with insertion, rare risks of pelvic inflammatory disease or uterine perforation
Pros: Over 99.9% effective at preventing pregnancy, one time insertion provides pregnancy protection for up to 3 years, quick return to fertility (in as little as 10 days once removed), easy insertion in the upper arm
Cons: requires an office visit for insertion, most common side effect is spotting or irregular bleeding
Pros: Approximately 96% effective at preventing pregnancy, one injection every 3 months, can stop your periods
Cons: this is the only type of contraception that has been proven to cause weight gain, can cause irregular bleeding, longer time to return to fertility (sometimes up to 1 year), requires a visit every 3 months
Tubal Ligation (salpingectomy or tubal occlusion)
Pros: Over 99% effective at preventing pregnancy, permanent, does not affect menstrual cycle, salpingectomy (removal of fallopian tubes) can reduce your lifetime risk of ovarian cancer
Cons: cannot be reversed, requires an outpatient surgical procedure
Barrier Methods (male and female condoms, diaphragm)
Pros: Available without a prescription, the only methods that help prevent transmission of sexually transmitted infections including HIV and Hepatitis
Cons: Must be used with every sexual encounter, higher rates of pregnancy if not used correctly (approximately 80-85% effective at preventing pregnancy)
Premier OB-Gyn is accepting new patients in both our Maitland, FL and Oviedo, FL locations. We would be happy to see you! Please call 321-397-1212 or visit www.premierob-gyn.com to book your appointment!