Around two-thirds of American women aged 15-49 use some type of birth control. Contraception is a critical part of women’s health care, helping you to avoid unplanned pregnancies, and in some cases, STDs.
At Apple Hill Gynecology, in York, Pennsylvania, Marsha D. Bornt, MD, and Donna Lamson, CRNP, MSN, WHNP-BC, and our all-women team, offer personalized contraceptive counseling and a wide range of birth control options.
Our first step is to determine which birth control method is right for you. We use physical exams and review your medical history to help you choose the best contraceptive to fit in with your health and life.
Some of the questions we can help you consider include:
How effective is it?
Some birth control methods are more effective than others. For example, the birth control implant and intrauterine devices (IUDs) are 99% effective. Others, such as the birth control pill, condoms, and the contraceptive patch, are less effective, often because there’s a higher chance of using them incorrectly.
Is it reversible?
If you want to have a family someday, but not right now, you should consider reversible options. Fortunately, most birth control methods are reversible. For example, when you have an implant or IUD removed, your fertility returns almost immediately. In comparison, you might need to wait for a month or more before trying to get pregnant with some types of birth control pills.
What are the side effects?
Like all medications, birth control can cause side effects. Most types of contraception rely on hormones to prevent pregnancy. Your hormones do far more than regulate your menstrual cycle. They control nearly every function in your body. When you use hormonal birth control, it can trigger side effects ranging from weight gain to irritability and depression.
Are you healthy?
Some types of birth control increase your risk of health issues such as blood clots and heart disease. If you have a personal history of heart problems, stroke, uterine or breast cancer, liver disease, or migraines, let us know during your birth control consultation. Additionally, unhealthy lifestyle factors such as smoking or obesity can affect the safety and effectiveness of some types of birth control.
Are you in a monogamous relationship?
Here’s another thing you need to consider — only barrier methods of contraception protect you from STDs. If you aren’t in a monogamous relationship, you should use a condom every time you have sex, even if you use another type of contraception. Although STDs are treatable, they aren’t all curable.
Is it affordable?
Cost is an essential factor to consider when choosing a birth control. Some types of birth control cost more than others, but it isn’t always as straightforward as the lowest number. You might pay more for an IUD, but that’s a one-time cost that can prevent pregnancy for up to 10 years in some cases. Depending on your co-pay, you could pay up to $50 a month for the birth control pill.
We consider each patient's individual needs when recommending contraception. If you have questions about birth control, call our office, or make an appointment online today.