Contraception: What Are Your Options?

Most women reach a point in their lives where they are faced with a decision. At some point, generally in their teenage years, they begin to inquire about the use of birth control or contraception. However, it’s important to keep in mind that a woman may decide to begin using contraception at any point during her life depending on her desires or family planning needs. Because the ability to have children begins to decline around age 35 for many women, it’s important to speak with your OBGYN about the use of contraception if you are around that age. Everyone’s individual situation is different.

Around 60 percent of women are on birth control of some sort. When talking about contraception, most people immediately think of the pill. It’s the most widely used form of birth control. However, there are many options available to meet your individual needs if you are not a good candidate for the pill or prefer another solution. Here are the major types of birth control that are most commonly used that you can choose from.


Oral contraceptives

Oral contraceptives, or “the pill”, are definitely the most well-known type of birth control and are the ones most frequently used. It’s also usually the one most women start with, assuming there are no health issues that the doctor is aware of that may be aggravated by the use of the pill. The pill is taken daily to prevent pregnancy. It acts on the body’s hormones, which is why oral contraceptives may not be for everyone.


Intrauterine device

The IUD, or intrauterine device, is another very popular method of birth control due to having a nearly 100% success rate. It’s also possible to get an IUD that doesn’t affect the hormones, which makes it an ideal choice for women who can’t use traditional contraceptives. The IUD is an insertable device that can last upwards of 10 years, depending on the type. IUDs are simple to remove and don’t affect the ability to get pregnant after removal.


Hormone patch

The hormone patch has a success rate of about 90% as long as it’s used properly. However, it does require being mindful of when to change it to have maximum efficacy. A hormone patch is similar to a nicotine patch in application. Generally, the patch should be replaced every week. Forgetting to change patches or having the patch fall off are the big risks involved with this method of contraception. Also, some medications may interact with it.


Hormone shots

A hormonal shot is highly effective and removes most of the responsibility of remembering when to get another dose administered. No patches to switch or pills to take. The OBGYN gives you your hormone shot on a set schedule. It’s just important to go to your required appointment for additional shots to keep the birth control working properly. Also keep in mind that it can take ten months or so after the shot wears off to get pregnant. If you’re planning to start a family, it will be important to know this.


Bilateral tubal ligation

Bilateral tubal ligation is considered a permanent birth control solution. This is a surgical procedure where the fallopian tubes get blocked in order to prevent egg fertilization. It’s recommended that you opt for this procedure only if you are absolutely sure you don’t want children as there is no guarantee it can be reversed.


Vaginal ring

A vaginal ring is similar to the hormonal patch and diaphragm in combination. Every month, you insert a new one that delivers the hormone treatment required to prevent pregnancy. It has about a 90% success rate when used properly. As long as it’s replaced on time every month, it should be successful.


Conclusion

There’s a method of birth control to meet every woman’s needs. The one you choose will be up to you and your OBGYN. There are also permanent solutions available as well should you decide that you don’t want children or you already have the number of children that you intend to have. Your OBGYN will evaluate your needs and propose a birth control solution that would work best for you. If you’re interested in beginning contraception or have questions, book an appointment online with us today. The team at OBGYN Care of Houston is dedicated to providing you with the care you need so you can live a healthy life.

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