These days, there are so many birth control options to choose from that it can feel confusing at best to choose a method that’s right for you. While your friends might swear by one method, you might find yourself more suited to an alternative. If you are using birth control, it’s worth taking a moment to decide if it’s really the right method for you, or if it might be worth trying a new form of birth control.
Before you make any decisions, it’s a good idea to take into account what methods might suit your lifestyle best and any particular side effects you want to avoid. Some women prefer non-hormonal birth control methods, while for other women, the effects of hormonal birth control have, such as lighter periods, can present a significant advantage.
Birth control pills
“The pill,” as it’s commonly known, is one of the most frequently used forms of birth control. Generally taken every day for three weeks, birth control pills regulate hormones so that the menstrual cycle is controlled. Hormones ensure that pregnancy is prevented.
This form of birth control is also a great option for women who want lighter and less painful periods. The birth control pill has the added advantage of helping reduce acne.
Before you choose the birth control pill, it’s also important to understand the downsides that come along with using it as a form of contraception. Women who take the birth control pill have a slightly increased risk of blood clots, although notably, this is more common in smokers.
It’s also key to remember to take the pill at the same time every day; otherwise, your risk of becoming pregnant will increase.
Barrier methods of contraception are forms of birth control that physically prevent the sperm from entering the uterus. Barrier methods of birth control include condoms, cervical caps, and diaphragms.
Condoms and other barrier methods of birth control are great methods for women looking for protection against STDs. You can also combine this form of protection with other forms of birth control for improved protection against pregnancy as well as STDs.
The downsides to think about are the inconveniences of forgetting to carry around a condom when you might need one, as well as occasional frustration of putting one on. The failure rate of these barrier methods can also be higher than other forms of birth control.
The IUD is great if you want to start a long-term form of birth control that you don’t have to worry about for three to ten years. An IUD is a t-shaped device inserted into the uterus that is highly effective at preventing pregnancy. IUDs can be made of copper, a natural spermicide, or hormone-infused plastic that make it nearly impossible for the sperm to reach the egg.
The device can also be removed sooner if you decide you want to become pregnant before the end of its lifespan.
A simple procedure carried out by our gynecologists, the insertion is simple and carried out in the office, though it can be a little uncomfortable or painful. The copper IUD can be known to make your periods a little heavier, and both forms can cause unpredictable spotting for the first few months.
Birth control implants (Nexplanon)
Another form of longer-term contraception, these hormone-releasing plastic implants are inserted under the skin of the upper arm and prevent pregnancy for up to 3 years. These implants are very reliable, as they deliver a steady supply of hormones.
This is another great option if you want a form of birth control that you don’t need to think about daily. If you feel nervous about the more invasive procedure of having a pelvic exam followed by the insertion of an IUD, this is a great alternative.
Before you go ahead with this procedure, it’s good to know that similar to an IUD, these implants can cause heavier periods and unpredictable bleeding for the first few months.
Permanent birth control
If you already have enough children or have a clear mindset that you never want to give birth in the first place, you could consider permanent birth control.
There are two forms of permanent birth control our clinic offers - our gynecologists are always happy to advise on which is most suitable for you.
Tubal ligation or more commonly known as having your tubes tied is a surgical sterilization procedure that involves severing and tying the fallopian tubes.
You can also opt for a hysteroscopic sterilization which is a transcervical procedure for permanent birth control.
Permanent birth control is a great option for those who are 100% certain they do not want to give birth again or at all. It’s, of course, worth noting that surgical procedures are not without risks, and you should always weigh these risks against the associated benefits.
Before trying a new form of birth control, you should always have a clear idea of what the pros and cons of each method are, as well as what the possible side effects and risks are.
Consult Metro OBGYN
Interested in learning more about all available methods of birth control and seeing which one is right for you? You can make an appointment online with one of our medical professionals — we would be happy to help you!