For women, contraceptive choices can sometimes seem overwhelming, especially when there is so much confusion about what each type of contraception does or does not do. We often see patients who are confused or misinformed as to what types of birth control are available and right for them.
Choosing the form of contraception that best matches up with your lifestyle is vital. What is right for you may not be the best choice for another person. Here is a brief, alphabetically listed overview of the types of contraceptive counseling we offer:
- Abstinence: Most people associate abstinence with a religious belief, but more and more people are choosing it for non-religious reasons. Abstinence is the only absolute method of avoiding unwanted pregnancy, but it doesn’t have to mean refraining from any sort of sexual activity. Oral sex, manual stimulation and more are all possible. Remember that these methods may avoid pregnancy but can still transmit disease, so it is still important to be protected.
- Birth Control Pills: These pills are hormone based and alter the way your reproductive system functions in order to minimize and nearly eliminate your fertility on a temporary basis. Birth control pills absolutely do not cause the loss of a pregnancy, they prevent your body from being able to get pregnant in the first place. There are many different types of birth control pills available, and only your doctor can help you determine what type will be best for you. These pills can be helpful in helping your body to rebalance hormones and are very often prescribed for reasons other than birth control. These pills prevent pregnancy, but do not guard against sexually transmitted disease or infection.
- Condoms: Among the most easy-to-obtain forms of birth control, when used properly, condoms can be highly effective. There are numerous different types of condoms available for you and your partner to choose from. Condoms have the ability to guard against not only pregnancy, but several types of sexually transmitted disease. If you are unsure of how to properly put a condom on, ask during your next visit and we would be happy to explain when and how a condom should be applied in order to be the most effective.
- Emergency Birth Control: Sometimes called the “morning after pill”, emergency contraception is meant to be used when contraception has either been forgotten or has failed. This pill cannot and does not cause the loss of a pregnancy, it can only prevent pregnancy from occurring. It cannot protect from any disease or infection.
- Implants: Meant for long-term birth control, implants are usually placed under the skin of the arm where they slowly release hormones into the system and prevent pregnancy. They can last as long as 5-7 years, but can be removed by a doctor at any point if you decide you would like to try to get pregnant. Implants are not meant to guard against disease or infection, but are a wonderful option if you are interested in long-term pregnancy prevention.
- Intrauterine Device: This device is implanted into the uterus to prevent pregnancy, but cannot protect against disease or infection. Some IUDs function only by creating a barrier, while others release a hormone as well as create a blockage to implantation. There has been confusion about how IUDs work and many people incorrectly believe they terminate pregnancies. That is not the case.
- Surgical Prevention: This method is most commonly used for women who have already had children and want to ensure that they do not have any more. In fact, it is not unusual for tubal ligations to be done during a c-section procedure. It is rare, but possible, for a tubal ligation to reverse itself so it is important that you keep seeing your doctor for regular checkups and to continue practicing the safest sexual activity possible.
If you would like to discuss possible birth control methods that are right for you, please make an appointment to see us. We will work with you and your insurance company to find the best choice possible.Share