Options For Birth Control
By Bay Area OB/GYN
June 12, 2020
Birth control is important if you’re a sexually active female. It keeps you safe from pregnancy while also providing other health benefits. Just like there are many different types of people, there are a variety of birth control options. It’s important to talk to your OBGYN to discover what works best for you. There is a birth control type that matches every female's preferences and lifestyle.
Long-Acting Reversible Contraceptives
These are long-term birth control options that are inserted into your body. They can last anywhere between three-to-ten years without needing a replacement. Your OBGYN will insert the device during a scheduled appointment. These are great if you don’t want to worry about taking or applying your birth control daily.
An intrauterine device (IUD) is a small, plastic T-shaped device inserted into the uterus. They are one of the most effective types of birth control. They are instantly reversible by having your OBGYN remove the IUD when you are thinking about conceiving. IUDs work by either releasing the hormone progestin, which thickens cervical mucus to keep sperm away or through copper, which functions as a spermicide.
An implant is a thin rod that your OBGYN places into your arm. Just like with an IUD, this method is extremely effective. Once removed, a female can conceive right away. Implants last for years and work by producing progestin. It’s the same as a hormone IUD, with progestin thickening cervical mucus to stop sperm from reaching the egg.
Short-Acting Hormonal Methods
This category contains birth control pills, the patch, the shot, and the vaginal ring. These differ from the long-acting type by needing to be used or replaced on a daily or monthly basis.
Birth control pills are one of the most popular forms of contraceptives. Your OBGYN prescribes them for you. They are an affordable and easy option. You take the pill every day just like any other type of medication. For the best results, take it at the same time every day as well.
The vaginal ring, called the NuvaRing, is a bendable ring placed in the vagina. Talk to your OBGYN about NuvaRing, as you need a prescription for it. This birth control method works by being inserted into your vagina. It stays there for twenty-one days before removal. You can either keep the ring out for a week during your period or replace it with the next one immediately after.
The birth control shot is also called Depo-Provera. This is an injectable form of birth control performed every three months. It is a very straightforward process. Every three months you go into your OBGYN office to receive a shot, which prevents fertility until the next dosage. It’s a great option for people who want something low maintenance and without daily interaction.
The birth control patch is a weekly contraceptive. You put on a new patch every week for three weeks, leaving it off the fourth week while you’re menstruating. The patch is similar to a bandage and is commonly placed on the stomach, back, upper arm, or buttock. Talk to your OBGYN if this option is right for you. It is less effective for patients weighing over two-hundred pounds.