From devices to pills to products you can pick up at your local pharmacy, your birth control options can be overwhelming. You may be asking yourself: Which one is best for me?
At Cary OB/GYN in Cary and Morrisville, North Carolina, our experienced team of women’s health experts understands the important role birth control plays in managing your health and wellness. The best type of birth control for you depends on many factors, which is why we offer so many options.
Finding the right birth control for you
When it comes to birth control, there’s no single “best” method, according to the US Office on Women’s Health. Finding the right birth control for you depends on many factors, including:
- Your current health needs
- Your future pregnancy plans
- Your sexual activity
- Your lifestyle and habits
- Potential health risks with various birth control methods
Although you have many effective birth control options to choose from, the only method that’s 100% effective at preventing unwanted pregnancy is abstinence. Some methods of birth control work better than others in terms of family planning.
Effective birth control options
To prevent pregnancy, we offer many birth control options that are considered 99% effective. However, as noted, the right one for you depends on your very personal needs. Some of the options we offer include:
For women who are finished having children or have no future plans for pregnancy, we may recommend a tubal ligation. Also known as having your tubes tied, tubal ligation is considered a permanent form of birth control. During the procedure, we cut or block your fallopian tubes to prevent your eggs from meeting with sperm for fertilization.
While considered permanent, tubal ligations can be reversed. However, if you’re considering a reversal before you even have the procedure, you may want to explore other birth control options.
Intrauterine device (IUD)
The IUD is a considered a long-acting reversible (LARC) form of birth control. The device, which we insert into your uterus, works by either preventing your ovaries from releasing an egg, stopping sperm from reaching your egg, or making it too difficult for an egg to implant itself in your uterus.
There are two types of IUDs: hormonal and copper. Once implanted, a hormonal IUD is effective at preventing pregnancy for 3-5 years and a copper IUD up to 10 years.
Birth control implant
Like the IUD, the birth control implant is a long-acting form of birth control. However, the device is placed in your arm and supplies your body with a steady dose of the hormone progestin, which helps prevent pregnancy by thickening the mucus in your cervix to stop sperm from reaching your egg and preventing implantation of an egg by thinning the lining of your uterus.
The birth control implant also suppresses ovulation and is effective at preventing pregnancy for up to three years.
Birth control pills
When it comes to birth control, your mind may automatically think about the pill. In addition to preventing unwanted pregnancy, you may benefit from birth control pills to improve menstrual cramps or heavy menstrual bleeding.
However, compared to other birth control options, birth control pills are typically only 91% effective. When it comes to pregnancy prevention, it’s crucial that you take your birth control pill perfectly — at the same time every day and never missing a dose — in order for it to be about 99% effective.
You don’t have to figure it out on your own
Most birth control options are only available by prescription, so you don’t have to figure out which one is right for you all on your own. When you come in to see our contraception specialists, we ask very detailed questions to help you determine the method that best fits your needs and lifestyle.
Depending on your sexual activity, we may suggest you use condoms in addition to your prescription birth control to protect against sexually transmitted diseases.
To discuss all of your birth control options so you can determine the type that’s best for you, contact us today. We’re happy to help guide you in this important decision.