Now more than ever, there are many more birth control options for women who are sexually active but who want to prevent a pregnancy. From pills to patches and condoms to diaphragms, each type of birth control has its own advantages and concerns. Some types of birth control come with daily or weekly requirements while others mean pausing an intimate moment to get them into place.
Dr. Taryll Jenkins of Jenkins Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Medicine has been helping his patients prepare for or prevent pregnancy for many years. Knowing which method of birth control will suit a patient's health and lifestyle best, Dr. Jenkins often counsels patients on the best choice for their unique needs. Some conditions to consider when making your birth control choice include:
- Cost: Will you be paying out of pocket for your birth control or will insurance cover some of the cost? Some methods, such as the IUD, have a greater upfront cost while others, such as the pill, require a monthly payment that adds up over time.
- Convenience: Do you want a birth control that you can "set and forget" or will you remember to take a pill every single day. Will you be comfortable pausing before sex to insert or put on a barrier method of protection?
- Effectiveness: While the only method of birth control that is 100% effective is abstinence, many others have very low fail rates. However, many of those rates assume that the patient will remember to take a pill, remove and apply a patch, or remove and reinsert a ring on time every day, week, or month.
- Lifestyle: Could you want a baby next month? Or in six months? Or are you sure that pregnancy is off the table for a few years. Some of the most effective and convenient methods of birth control are those that can prevent pregnancy for several years, such as the IUD. However, if pregnancy may be in your near future, you may want to consider a birth control that can be stopped without requiring a trip to your gynecologist.
Birth control is a big, and extremely personal choice. What works best for your sister or your best friend may not work well for you. To make sure you make the right decision, speak honestly with your doctor about your concerns and desires for birth control. With questions or for more information about birth control, please contact the office of Jenkins Obstetrics, Gynecology & Reproductive Medicine.
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