- Barrier methods. This form of birth control is used in the moment of sexual activity and prevents the sperm from meeting the egg to create a pregnancy. Advantages of barrier methods; such as a condom, diaphragm, and spermicide include that it doesn’t put hormones in your body, it can be used by almost anyone, and it is easy to administer. However, the disadvantages include needing to stop a romantic moment in order to address birth control and discipline to use the birth control every single time
- The Pill. Perhaps one of the best known forms of birth control, the pill has been around for many years. Not only does it have a high effective rate there are so many versions of the pill that it can be nearly customized to an individual’s needs. For example, a person who wants shorter and lighter periods can opt for one type of pill, while someone who has terrible menstrual pain can find a pill that lessens her cramping. The pill can also be stopped easily when a woman decides she’s ready for a pregnancy. However, the biggest disadvantage of the pill is simply needing to remember to take it every single day at the same time of day. For patients who are forgetful, busy, or absentminded, this may not be the best option.
- Set it and forget it. Patients who want to prevent pregnancy but don’t want to remember to take a pill every day often turn to methods; such as the birth control patch or vaginal ring that offer birth control protection for weeks at a time. For those individuals who know they don’t want to become pregnant for a significant length of time, the IUD can prevent pregnancy for 3-5 years.
When considering birth control there are two things to remember. First, in most cases, birth control does not prevent sexually transmitted diseases. Secondly, the best option for your best friend may not be the best one for you. The only way to know for sure is to talk with your gynecologist and consider all of your options. Further, you may find that your needs change over time. While you were once able to remember to take the pill every day, years later with small children or busy careers it may become too easy to forget. Perhaps the IUD was perfect prior to getting married, but if a baby is in your near future, a method that can be stopped without a trip to the doctor may be a better choice.
For more information about contraception management, call Jenkins Obstetrics, Gynecology & Reproductive Medicine today.