Dr. Taryll Jenkins of Jenkins Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Medicine has been helping his Katy area patients understand the various methods of birth control and decide which option is best for their unique circumstance.
While there are many different birth control types and brands on the market, there are some commonalities between them. Here, Dr. Jenkins discusses various methods of birth control and explains which type of patient may be best suited for each option.
- Single-use methods: Some patients opt for methods of birth control that can be used just before intercourse such as condoms, diaphragms, and spermicide. These methods do work, especially when used together; however, the key is having the discipline to use a birth control method every time. An advantage to condoms over all other forms of birth control is that they can also help to prevent sexually transmitted diseases.
- Hormonal birth control: A patient who is in a committed, STD-free relationship may opt for a birth control method that hormonally alters her body and prevents pregnancy. For example, the birth control pill, a small pill taken at the same time every day, stops the body from releasing an egg that could be fertilized. Because a patient who is on birth control pills must be disciplined to take the pill every day at the same time, it is not ideal for individuals who are forgetful, extremely busy, or have a schedule that changes frequently. These individuals may be more comfortable using a method of birth control that they only have to think about once a month, such as a patch or vaginal ring.
- IUD: An intrauterine device is a very small device that is implanted into the uterus. It works by preventing an egg from planting itself in the uterus. The benefit to an IUD is that it can be placed in the doctor's office and remains effective for several years. However, if a woman changes her mind about having a child, the device can be removed. Many women who have had one child (or several children) opt for an IUD to use between pregnancies.
- Permanent Sterilization: For the woman who is absolutely done having children, permanent sterilization may be the best option. Whether done through a tubal ligation or using the new Essure inserts, this method will make it impossible for a woman to become pregnant. However, patients are advised not to take this decision lightly. These methods cannot be reversed.
For more information about the various methods of birth control, and to discover which option may be best, please call the office of Jenkins Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Medicine.
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