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I Want to Get on Birth Control: What Are My Options

I Want to Get on Birth Control: What Are My Options

Birth control is a safe, effective way to protect against pregnancy so that you can plan your family on your own terms. It also offers other benefits, such as regulating periods, making periods lighter, reducing acne, and improving menstrual cramps. 

 

When you’re ready to start birth control, it’s best to schedule a visit with a women’s health provider. At Ideal Gynecology, board-certified gynecologist Lillian Schapiro, MD, FACOG, and Olivia Taylor, WHNP, take a patient-centered approach to addressing women’s health needs. Our goal is to provide the services and support to help women thrive throughout all phases of life.

Close to 90% of all women and teenage girls of reproductive age use some form of contraception. It plays a key role in preventing unwanted pregnancies. The amount of options available can seem overwhelming; however, our team can simplify the process, discuss your options, and assist you in choosing the best option for you. 

Birth control pills

Perhaps the most well-known form of birth control is the birth control pill. Taken daily in either a 21-day cycle, in which you take a pill daily by mouth for 21 days and then stop for seven days, or taken in a 28-day cycle in which you have 21 active pills and seven placebo pills, these approaches provide a withdrawal week that will trigger your period. 

Birth control pills are a good option for women who are accustomed to sticking to a daily routine. When taken correctly birth control pills are quite effective.

Contraceptive patch

The contraceptive patch adheres to your skin and releases hormones. You change it once a week and otherwise don’t have to think about it on a daily basis. This is a good option if you prefer an option that requires less maintenance. Once you remove the patch, you should start ovulating in one to three months. 

Contraceptive implant (Nexplanon)

Nexplanon is a small rod that goes under the skin of your upper arm. Once in place, it releases a steady amount of progestin to prevent pregnancy. It provides up to three years of continuous pregnancy prevention and is completely reversible. 

Vaginal ring (NuvaRing)

The NuvaRing is a small, flexible ring inserted into the vagina where it releases a combination of estrogen and progestin hormones. Like other hormonal methods, it works by preventing ovulation and also thickens cervical mucus and thins the uterine lining to protect against pregnancy.

You insert it and forget about it for three weeks, then remove it for a week to allow for a period, before inserting a new one. 

Contraceptive injection 

For those who prefer to avoid dealing with birth control on a daily or weekly basis, injectable birth control, like Depo-Provera, provides a bit more freedom. One shot every three months by a healthcare provider, and you're set. 

IUDs

Intrauterine devices (IUDs) are a simple, convenient, hassle-free option that provide long-term protection against pregnancy for 3-10 years. These devices are available in hormonal and non-hormonal form. They’re small and fit inside the uterus where they release a small amount of progestin or copper.

Barrier methods

Barrier methods, such as condoms, not only prevent pregnancy but also protect against STDs. They're used as needed, making them a good option for those who prefer spontaneity. The diaphragm, another barrier method, requires a bit more planning (it needs to be inserted before intercourse and used with spermicide) but is a favored option for some.

The choice is yours

Finding the right birth control is all about finding the one that clicks with your lifestyle, health needs, and future plans. When you’re ready to discuss your options, contact our office to set up a visit with the team here at Ideal Gynecology.

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