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What’s The Best Birth Control for You?

July 10, 2017

Deciding that you need birth control is not a hard decision, if anything it’s one of the simplest, logical and responsible decisions anyone can make. What is hard is deciding what type of birth control you want. We become confused and overwhelmed when our OB/GYN starts describing different types of birth controls from latex, to pills, to patches, etc. - and there’s always new additions. So, I’m going to break it down for you (from best to worst).

 

 

  • Best of the best category we have are LARCS (Long Active Reversible Contraceptives). These are great for women (15-50 years old) that suffer from heavy bleeding, are sexually active, and/or want to plan their family because of their effectiveness (99.99%). Why is it so effective? Because it takes user error out of the equation. In other words, you do not have to remember to do anything. Once you have a LARC in you, you’re good for a few years.

    • LARCS include: intrauterine devices (IUDs) and Birth Control Implant (we use Nexplanon). These are the type of birth control that once you get it, you can forget about them for a long, long time.

      • ParaGard (IUD) will prevent pregnancy for up to 12 years and is non-hormonal, so you will keep your regular menstrual cycle.

      • Mirena (IUD) will prevent pregnancy for up to 5 years but is a hormonal form of birth control, so your period will become lighter and after some time you may have no period at all.

      • Nexplanon (Implant) is a hormonal plastic rod (matchstick size) that is implanted under your arm. This implant will prevent pregnancy for up to 3 years and might shorten or stop bleeding during your menstrual cycle.

  • Non-LARCS (Non-Long Active Reversible Contraceptives) are very effective if you have great management skills, but they also have a great potential to increase the chances of user error.

    • The injection (Depo Provera) of hormones every 12 weeks/3 months, which is 95% effective if you remember to visit your doctor every 3 months.

    • A vaginal ring (NuvaRing) is a birth control method that you should insert once every 3 weeks and remove during the 4th week (ring-free week). This 4-week cycle is about 98-99% effective if you remember to insert and remove the ring in time, again there’s room for user error.

    • The patch is 99% effective if you always place it on the skin on time. A new patch is placed on the skin once a week for 3 weeks in a row, followed by a patch-free week.

    • The pill is 99% effective and simple to use if you take it every day at the same time, which sounds easy to do but it is very hard to do this frequently.

    • Condoms are 98% effective in preventing pregnancy and decrease the chance of giving or receiving STDs if used correctly (from start to finish). Must be used every time you engage in sexual intimacy.

    • Spermicides are less than 90% effective in preventing pregnancy if used correctly. Must be used every time you engage in sexual intimacy.

Any other type of birth control such as sponges and the withdrawal method will have a lower chance of preventing pregnancy. If you have any questions or need information, do not hesitate to call us at 281.824.1480 or email us at info@sfachc.org. We will definitely try to answer as many questions as possible.

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