With so many birth control options available to women, choosing the one that is best for you and your lifestyle can seem overwhelming. Although the abundance of choices increases your chances of finding a birth control that suits your needs exactly, there are also many different points that you must consider before making a final decision. Like any medical issue, you should talk with your doctor first and foremost to discuss the impact of each of these methods on your health.
Choosing a Birth Control Method
There are both pros and cons to each method of contraception. The method you choose will depend on your own preferences and other details, such as your health. For example, a family medical history that includes breast cancer may force you to reconsider certain types of contraception. Additionally, high blood pressure and tobacco usage could also impact your decision.
Also, you may want to consider lifestyle factors such as how often you have sex, how many sexual partners you have, the effectiveness in preventing pregnancy, and any possible side effects.
Common Contraceptive Options
The most frequently utilized contraceptive methods include the following:
- Abstinence – This is the only 100% effective form of birth control, but many argue that it is unrealistic.
- Condoms – This birth control option protects you against pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections. There are both male and female condoms available, but male condoms are the most popular. Many doctors suggest using condoms along with another form of birth control to fully protect against pregnancy.
- Oral contraceptives – There are a number of different options of birth control pills that use progestin or a combination of progestin and estrogen to help prevent pregnancy. Pills are a popular option because they can reduce pain from menstrual cramps and result in lighter periods. However, the pill has a reported eight percent failure rate, usually from women forgetting to take it at the same time every day.
- The Patch and the Ring – Both of these forms of birth control are classified as “hormonal methods” and do not require you to take a pill every day. The patch is a piece of plastic applied to your stomach or arm. The ring, also referred to as NuvaRing, is a flexible device placed inside the vagina for 21 days at a time and then taken out for the week of the woman’s period. Both forms are 92 percent effective at preventing pregnancy. However, you shouldn’t use the ring if you have high blood pressure or vulnerable to blood clots. Recent studies have shown the NuvaRing can lead to blood clots or strokes, which has led many women to file a NuvaRing lawsuit for their damages.
These are only a few examples of available birth control methods. To learn more about additional options and determine which is best for you, make sure to speak with your doctor today.