Deciding between the various forms of birth control can feel overwhelming. Birth control pills, intrauterine devices, and patches are just a few available options you can choose when you want to prevent pregnancy. And when it comes to birth control, not all methods are right for everyone.
By asking yourself questions, learning the facts, and talking it over with your doctor, you can choose the birth control that’s right for your lifestyle.
Our board-certified family physicians at Westmed Family Healthcare provide the highest quality care for all stages of life. Choosing a form of birth control is a major decision, but our team can arm you with information and answer questions about the various forms of contraceptives so that you can make an informed decision.
Here are some points for you to consider before talking it over with your doctor.
If you’re choosing birth control for the first time, the most effective option is one that fits your lifestyle. Are you a woman who wants a low-maintenance solution that you don’t have to think about? For birth control pills to be effective, you must take one every day.
If this is an inconvenience for your lifestyle, you might consider an option that requires less maintenance. Some forms of birth control, such as patches and IUDs, remain effective for months or even years without you having to give them a second thought.
Are you planning to hold off on starting a family for several years? If you’re currently focusing on other aspects of life, such as a career or higher education and want long-term protection, discuss contraceptives that provide the length of protection that matches your lifestyle.
IUDs might be a good choice. They are T-shaped devices inserted into your uterus to prevent pregnancy. Hormonal IUDs provide protection for three to six years, while non-hormonal IUDs can last for up to 12 years. They’re low-maintenance, and once they’re in place, you’re good to go.
While most forms of birth control offer a solid level of protection, some methods are more effective than others. The level of effectiveness you’re after is something to consider when choosing the form of birth control that’s right for you.
If your lifestyle doesn’t suit having children right now, you may want to choose the most effective birth control — those that are more than 99% effective at preventing pregnancy, offering you maximum protection and peace of mind.
The ability to reverse the form of birth control you choose and how long it takes for fertility to return is another consideration when choosing birth control. If you currently have children and feel your family is complete, you may want to choose a permanent form of birth control.
But if you’d like your fertility to return immediately once the birth control is stopped or removed, there are options to match that preference.
With some forms of birth control, such as the shot, it can take months for fertility to return. If this is fine with you, an option like the birth control shot may be a good fit.
Some forms of birth control have side effects. While these side effects are generally mild, they might be a dealbreaker for you. For instance, hormonal birth control may cause weight gain.
Discuss any medications you’re taking with your doctor. Some medications can interfere with the effectiveness of certain forms of birth control. Having certain conditions may also make it unsafe to use some forms of contraception. The type of medication you take and the condition you have play a role in the form of birth control that’s right for you.
There’s no such thing as a form of birth control that’s perfect for everyone. The goal is to find one that fits into your life. That’s where we can help. For help choosing the right birth control, call our Westminster office and schedule an appointment with one of our providers, or book your appointment online.