Choosing the right method of birth control can be a daunting task, and here at Burlington OBGYN Associates in Burlington, Massachusetts, we understand that there is no one-size-fits-all solution.
Our experienced doctors are here to help you find the method that best fits your lifestyle, values, and needs. Here are some things to consider when selecting your birth control method.
Is getting pregnant a hard no for you, or at least not in your near-future plans? You may want to consider long-acting reversible contraceptives (LARC), such as intrauterine devices (IUDs) and hormonal implants, or short-acting hormonal methods, such as pills, patches, shots, and vaginal rings.
Long- and short-acting hormonal methods are among the most effective birth control methods, with a nearly 100% protection rate, even with typical use.
They work by preventing your ovaries from releasing eggs, making implantation unlikely or impossible, or making it difficult for sperm to reach the egg.
The best part is that if you later decide to get pregnant, you can simply stop using these methods and resume your menstrual and ovulation cycles.
However, if you're not interested in starting a family at all, sterilization is the best option. Vasectomy is a choice for men, while women can opt for tubal ligation or salpingectomy (complete removal of the fallopian tubes).
Most of our patients want their birth control method to fit seamlessly into their lives with no fuss and no hoops to jump through. If you like this hands-off approach to birth control, methods like IUDs and implants may be the best choice.
Once the device is implanted, you don't need to do anything else to maintain it. The copper IUD, ParaGard®, can offer pregnancy prevention for up to 10 years, while Skyla® offers three years, Kyleena® five years, and Mirena® eight years. Birth control implants like Nexplanon® are placed in your upper arm and deliver continuous pregnancy prevention by stopping ovulation for up to three years.
If protecting yourself against STDs is your greatest concern, condoms are your best option as they're the only birth control method able to protect you from contracting a disease. Bonus: They can be used with any other birth control method you're taking, adding an extra layer of protection against pregnancy.
For those who prefer to take a more natural slant to pregnancy prevention, we recommend non-hormonal options such as spermicide, the natural rhythm method, and even abstinence.
These methods require more willpower and diligence than others, but they are the most natural approaches and the easiest to stop and start, especially if you want to get pregnant quickly in the future.
Using natural methods also makes it easier to detect a fertility problem if or when you want to start a family.
You may already have your mind made up about which route is best for you, but we'd still like to discuss all of your options with you. Our doctors take a personalized approach when helping you select the best form of birth control for you.
We consider factors like how often you have sex, possible side effects, the number of partners you have, your overall health, your comfort levels with a specific method, your future plans, and what has worked (or not worked) for you in the past.
If you would like more information about your options, don’t hesitate to request an appointment online or over the phone at our office today. We look forward to walking with you as you make this important decision about your health.