Types of Birth Control
Hormonal methods, including “the pill” that revolutionized birth control, work by preventing female ovulation. Today’s options for hormonal birth control include oral pills, implants, injections, patches, vaginal rings and emergency contraception. All oral contraceptives carry a risk of blood clots. A new man-made hormone (drospirenone) in some contraceptives seems to be associated with elevated risks.
Intrauterine birth control, including copper and hormonal IUDs, offers another nearly 100 percent effective option. Your ob/gyn at Health Central Women’s Care can insert a small device into the uterus, providing effective birth control for nearly a decade in some cases.
Barrier methods such as condoms, diaphragms, cervical caps, spermicidal foam, suppositories and sponges, can help prevent pregnancy, but are considered less effective than items 1 and 2 in this list. Latex condoms, the only form of birth control that protects against sexually transmitted disease (STD), should be used every time you have sex with an untested partner.
Permanent birth control (vasectomy and tubal ligation) appeals to men and women that have decided to close the door on getting pregnant.
Dr. Clark W. Griffith regularly counsels his patients on family planning and contraception.
“The best method of birth control is a very personal choice, one that involves deciding on your goals for having (or not having) children,” says Dr. Griffith.
Dr. Griffith will also consider your health history and habits that could impact the effectiveness or safety of your choice. For instance, do you often forget to take pills? That definitely impacts the birth control method that will work best for you.
Ob/Gyn doctors do not consider natural family planning (charting your ovulation), breast-feeding or the withdrawal method (removing the penis before ejaculation) effective forms of birth control.
Your friends will have opinions on the best way to avoid getting pregnant, but if you have questions about which type of contraception best suits your current needs, talk to an expert. Health Central Women’s Care has been helping women plan for and avoid pregnancy for over 20 years.