LOTS OF OPTIONS
Contraceptives are devices, drugs or methods for preventing pregnancy either by preventing the fertilization of the female egg by the male sperm or by preventing implantation of the fertilized egg.
Choosing the appropriate contraceptive is a personal decision. Contraceptive options include:
- Intrauterine devices (IUDs), which contain either a hormone or copper
- Hormonal contraceptives (such as oral contraceptives, skin patch, vaginal ring, implant and injection)
- Female sterilization (tubal ligation, Essure)
- Barrier devices with or without spermicides (such as diaphragm, cervical cap, sponge and condom)
- Fertility awareness methods (such as temperature, cervical mucus, calendar and symptothermal)
- The condom is the only birth control method that provides protection against sexually transmitted diseases (STDs)
- Emergency contraception is an option for situations when other birth control methods were not available or failed. It should not be used or substituted for regular birth control.
OPTIONS WHEN IT COMES TO BIRTH CONTROL PILLS
There are many options for birth control pills. The two general options available are continuous dosing pills and conventional pill packs.
Women who choose conventional prescriptions still experience a monthly period. Some women prefer continuous dosing pills they only have a period four times a year and some do not have a period at all. Each method has risks and benefits.
LONG-TERM BIRTH CONTROL OPTIONS?
For women who don't want to get pregnant now but think they may want to later, there are long-term birth control options that are also reversible, including:
- Intrauterine devices
- Contraceptive injections
- Contraceptive implants
Long-term birth control is attractive because of its effectiveness and ease of use but is most often chosen because fertility is still an option. If an intrauterine or contraceptive implant is chosen, the patient has to visit her physician to remove the device. It generally takes longer for fertility to return after having a contraceptive injection.