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May 11, 2016 | OB/GYN • Women and Children's Center
It’s estimated by the CDC that 62 percent of all women in the United States use some form of birth control. This is a topic that affects everyone, including the women who need reproductive control, their partners and subsequently any children that are born.
People want to have a say in the size of their families ideally, or if they desire to have children at all. Being on some form of birth control gives you the ability to say, “not right now.” Luckily for today’s modern women there are a variety of easy-to-use birth control options. All you have to do is talk to your women’s health provider to find out what option is right for you.
The pill is an oral contraceptive that when taken daily, is 99.9 percent effective. Margaret Sanger pioneered contraception by opening up her first clinic giving out birth control in 1916. The pill wasn’t introduced until it was approved by the FDA for contraceptive use in 1960. The way the pill works is by using two kinds of hormones to stop ovulation. There are many different types of pills, some that use estrogen and progesterone, and others that just use progesterone. Those are called the ‘mini-pill.”
Talking to your doctor will help you determine which type of pill is right for you. They can also help tame heavy periods or bad bad cramps and even out your menstrual cycle. So there are other reasons for being on the pill other than just contraception. If you are the type that hates having a period, you can even try Seasonale, a birth control pill which will allow you to only have one period per year by using an extended cycle formula.
The side effects that you need to worry about with the pill mainly are for those that have certain risk factors. If you are a smoker, you might be at an increased risk for blood clots. Otherwise side effects are usually mild nausea, weight gain, spotting between periods and sensitive breasts. Severe side effects include eye problems, swelling in the legs and chest pain. Contact your doctor immediately if you experience any of these more significant symptoms.
The Ortho Evra patch allows you to only think about your birth control once a week. All you do is place the patch on your skin and the hormones will enter your body to prevent pregnancy. You can wear it almost anywhere on your body, the back, your arms or even your backside. Just don’t wear it on your breasts.
It’s three weeks on and one off, each month. So it might be easier to just place a patch on your body once a week if you don’t want to remember a daily pill. The side effects are similar to the pill, and though rare, you should watch for immediate signs of an allergic reaction to the patch or anaphylactic shock.
The birth control implant, the Nexplanon and the Implanon is inserted in your upper arm by a doctor. The best part is that it will prevent pregnancy for up to three years. So this is long-term protection that offers a great peace of mind. It’s perfect for the busy mom on the go who may already have one child, but wants to space out her family a bit.
Once you have the implant removed, it’s possible to get pregnant right away. The side effects include pain or numbness at the implant site and changes in your menstrual cycle. Most of the side effects will go away after you have had the implant inside you for more than a month. You will probably even forget that it’s there in your arm.
The Depo Provera Birth Control shot is a method that works for many women because you only have to get the shot every three months. It’s administered by a doctor, is quick and easy and sometimes will even allow your periods to stop completely.
The side effects are similar to the pill, but what’s great about the shot is that you only think about your birth control four times per year. Getting your shot on time is important as to not disrupt its protection. Use a backup method if you know that you are late on getting your shot.
The Nuvaring is an easy to use form of birth control. If you don’t enjoy taking a pill every day, this might be the method for you to try. It has the same hormones as birth control pills, but all you do is insert a small ring into your vagina once a month. Make sure you do this on the same date every month. You can’t feel the ring at all once it’s inside you.
One of the biggest questions women ask about the birth control ring is that they worry their partner can feel it during sex, but they cannot.. The Nuvaring is also a method of birth control that helps make periods lighter . It has some of the same side effects as the pill, but they usually subside after a month or so of being on the ring.
You probably have an idea now of what type of birth control might be preferable to you. If you still have questions, talk to your obstetrics and gynecology provider at Revere Health today to find out exactly what type of birth control will fit best into your lifestyle.
The Live Better Team
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This information is not intended to replace the advice of a medical professional. You should always consult your doctor before making decisions about your health.