From the pill to the patch, the methods in reducing your chances of getting pregnant have varied tremendously over the years. So many questions arise when choosing a birth control method. Which method is the most effective? What do I need to know? Dr. Shobin is here to help you in the process of choosing the right, and easiest, method of birth control.
No matter what method of contraception you decide to use, know that you are not alone in making your decision. Dr. Shobin, and the staff of Stony Brook Women’s Health are here to answer any of your questions and guide you through the process of choosing what is best for you.
Things To Consider Before Making Your Choice
You’ve decided that it’s the right time to start using a birth control method. Making the choice in birth control is not an easy one. Several key questions to ask yourself first include:
What Makes You The Most Comfortable?
If a particular method of birth control makes you at all uneasy, you should consider this a red flag. Comfortability is something to think about because it could factor into your consistency of using it, therefore affecting its efficiency. Many methods require you to be comfortable touching your body, like the nuvaring or diaphragm. If that isn’t something you’d like doing on a regular basis, you may want to think about a different option. Also consider if your desired method may cause you irritation or physical discomfort.
Is Your Chosen Method Convenient?
Some of the available options of birth control are easier to use and understand than others. For example, applying a weekly patch might be more convenient for you rather than taking a daily pill.
Do You Want Children In The Future?
This a vital question to ask yourself if you are considering a permanent birth control method. Really think about what could change for you in the future, especially if you are young. A temporary method might likely be the right choice for you, but also consider how quickly you could get pregnant after stopping it if you choose to have children.
How Effective Should the Method Be?
The only 100% reliable method of birth control is abstinence from sexual intercourse. Obviously some methods are more reliable than others. Permanent methods tend to be very reliable, whereas methods like the pill or nuvaring have slightly higher failure rates. Effectiveness in your decision needs to be considered very carefully.
Popular Choices At A Glance
1. The Diaphragm:
A barrier method of birth control, the diaphragm is a flexible cup that fits inside your vagina to block sperm from entering your uterus. This a great choice if you have any medical conditions that may make hormonal methods unsafe. Diaphragm can only be fitted by your doctor, and should be checked every year or two to make sure the fit has been maintained.
2. The Patch:
The patch is a hormonal method of contraception containing estrogen and progestin. The small plastic patch needs to be applied only once a week directly on your arm, stomach, torso, or buttocks. A strong plus for convenience, the patch is 92 percent effective and even more so if used absolutely correctly. There are some potential side effects, however. Some women report skin irritations or rashes, so carefully consider this option before applying!
3. The Pill:
Arguably the most popular method of birth control, the pill is available with estrogen and progestin, or progestin alone. If you choose the latter, it is highly recommended to take the pill at the same time everyday. The pill has been known to cause some side effects spotting, breast tenderness, nausea, and low sex drive. Risk of blood clots in your legs and increased risk of stroke if you are a smoker are possible side effects of combination pills.