Birth control isn’t just a hot topic of discussion, it may be one of the most important aspects of your life. Discovering how to prevent pregnancy in the way that works best for you may be one of the most empowering decisions you make. Here, we offer a brief guide to all things birth control to help you get on your way.
What To Consider When Choosing Birth Control
It can be easy to think that birth control is a matter of taking birth control pills or not taking them. There is much more to it. To find the right method for you, the first step is to consider your needs and priorities. Of course, the primary goal of birth control is to prevent unexpected pregnancy. That’s the foundation, so let’s build from there. When choosing birth control, consider how long you intend to wait to become pregnant. Consider your schedule and your capacity to be consistent in taking an oral medication, as well. Also consider whether you prefer hormonal or nonhormonal birth control, and how long you want your contraception to last, be it a month or several years. Once you’ve got an idea about these preferences, your doctor can discuss your options based on your goals as well as your medical history.
Birth Control Options Overview
- Oral contraceptives. Birth control pills are a reliable method of contraception provided that you take your medication every day. Three weeks of your monthly supply contain active ingredients, estrogen and progesterone. One week contains inactive pills. During the week of inactive pill use, you will menstruate.
- Injection treatment. This method of birth control involves one injection every three months. If you find it challenging to take pills consistently, this low-maintenance method may be ideal for you.
- Barrier methods. The barrier method that is most effective is the diaphragm. A diaphragm is a flexible rubber disc with a rigid rim. Before sex, you insert the diaphragm into your vagina until it reaches the cervix. This method prevents semen from passing the cervix. It is necessary to also use a spermicide with this method.
- Birth control implant. If you are interested in a long-term form of birth control, the implant may be ideal. This method involves the insertion of a small implant in the subcutaneous tissue of the upper arm. The implant will release a consistent dose of contraceptive hormones for as long as three years. Should you choose, you can have the implant removed.
- IUD. Another long-term form of birth control, the IUD can work via hormones or without any hormones (ParaGard). This device is implanted into the uterus and can remain there for up to 12 years. It can also be removed anytime you wish.
Contraception is an important topic to bring to your gynecologist. Contact us at 937-771-5100 for an appointment at our Kettering or Englewood, OH office, where we can walk you through your choices.