It seems like there is a birth control method for every lifestyle and body these days. Planned Parenthood counts at least 12 methods, ranging from hormonal and non-hormonal to single-use and permanent. Whether you are in the market for a new Memorial City birth control method or are evaluating your current choice, picking what works for you can be stressful. Here is a look at five options to help you determine which one best suits your body and lifestyle.
IUD and Implants
IUDs are small t-shaped devices inserted inside the womb to prevent conception. They are available in plastic (hormonal) and copper (non-hormonal) options and prevent pregnancies 99 percent of the time for 3 to 10 years, depending on the type. Essentially, they block the uterus so that sperm cannot fertilize an egg. A similarly acting device is the implant, which is a small rod inserted under the upper arm’s skin. It has the same efficacy rate as the IUD but uses progestin hormones to prevent egg production and thicken cervical mucus.
The Shot, The Ring, and The Patch
The shot is a progestin hormone injection given in the hip or arm to prevent pregnancy for 3 months. It works 99 percent of the time. Also called Depo-Provera, it thickens the cervical mucus to make it difficult for sperm to reach the uterus and prevents the ovaries from releasing eggs. The ring and patch work in similar ways. The ring, which is inserted into the vagina for 3 weeks every month, has a 99 percent efficacy rate. The patch has a similar efficacy rate and is applied on the skin weekly.
Condoms are the most accessible and affordable form of birth control. They prevent pregnancy by preventing the sperm from entering the uterus. Available in male and female versions, they have a 98 and 95 percent efficacy rate, respectively. Condoms also protect you from STDs.
The pill is a hormonal birth control method that involves taking a progestin-only or combination pill at the same time every day. The pill, which is 99 percent effective in preventing pregnancy, is also often used to reduce bleeding and cramping during periods. It works by raising the hormone levels in your body to thicken your cervical mucus and prevent your ovaries from releasing eggs.
Natural Family Planning
If you are not a fan of hormonal birth control, you can take a more natural approach. Your first option is ovulation tracking, where the woman tracks her cycle to determine her safe days or when she is most unlikely to conceive. Used correctly, ovulation tracking is 76 percent effective in stopping pregnancies. Alternatively, you and your partner can use the withdrawal method, which has a 73 percent efficacy rate. This is where the male partner pulls their penis out of the vagina before ejaculation.
Permanent Birth Control
Couples looking for a more permanent solution can turn to tubal ligation, tubal blocks, or vasectomies. These surgical procedures prevent sperm from getting to the ova and causing pregnancy by disrupting the respective channels – the urethra and fallopian tubes. Often reversible, these methods can prevent conception about 99 percent of the time.
Pick the Best Birth Control for You
Choosing a birth control method can initially seem daunting because of the varied options and efficacy rates. However, all you need to do is consider your health needs, current situation, and lifestyle to find an option that works for you. You can also enlist the help of an OB/GYN, who will walk you through the different methods, how they work, and any possible risks. Schedule a consultation today to get started.