Understanding the Different Types of Birth Control

Understanding the Different Types of Birth Control

Planning your family is a big step, and contraception is an important element. When it comes to birth control, there are more choices than imaginable just a few decades ago. How do you know what’s right for you? 

At Apple Hill Gynecology, our staff understands how crucial it is to have safe, reliable, accessible birth control that fits into your life easily. Dr. Marsha Bornt can help you navigate your options and choose the contraceptive method that works best for you and your partner. 

A few considerations

The birth control that works best for you may be different at various points in your life. There are a few things you should consider as you make a decision regarding contraception. 

For example, you need to decide if you want both contraception and protection from sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Other questions to ask yourself include whether you want reversible birth control or permanent birth control, whether you’d like to have children and if so, when? Dr. Bornt and her staff can help bring these considerations and many others to light. 

Hormonal methods

Probably the form of birth control that comes to mind immediately for most people is “the pill.” Oral birth control has a low failure rate and works well for many women. As with anything, there are pros and cons to oral birth control. 

It has a low failure rate, when it’s taken as directed. You need to be certain that you can take your pill each day at about the same time, without missing doses for it to be reliable. Additionally, oral birth control doesn’t provide any protection at all against STIs. 

Oral birth control isn’t the only type of hormonal birth control. There are also implants, which are also extremely reliable, and last for up to five years. The birth control patch should be replaced weekly and is as effective as the pill. Vaginal rings are replaced monthly and have a high rate of reliability, and a birth control shot can be administered every three months and has a low failure rate. 

Barrier methods

The barrier method most people are most familiar with is the use of male condoms. Male condoms have about a 13% failure rate, which is quite good for a barrier method. Female condoms, diaphragms, contraceptive sponges, and spermicides are other types of contraceptives that work through the barrier method. 

Intrauterine birth control

There are two types of intrauterine devices (IUDs), one releases a small amount of hormone, and the other is made of copper. Both are placed in your uterus and can remain there anywhere from three to 12 years. IUDs are 99% effective.   

Fertility awareness

Sometimes called the rhythm method, being aware of your menstrual cycle and understanding when you’re fertile, can be a form of birth control if you avoid intercourse on the days you could become pregnant. Because there are so many variables, the failure rate is difficult to measure, but experts put it at somewhere between 2-23%

Getting guidance

Since you’re making decisions that could well impact the rest of your life when you choose a method of birth control, it makes sense to consider the input of an expert. Dr. Bornt can answer your questions and provide additional information about each type of contraception. Schedule your appointment today. 

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