Birth control is an effective method which women and men use to prevent an unwanted pregnancy. There are a number of birth control methods which women can use, including hormonal contraception, referred to as the “the pill.”
Women usually take the pill orally to avoid getting pregnant. When a pill is taken correctly, it can be 99.9% effective. It should be noted that a birth control pill will not protect a person against sexually transmitted diseases like HIV. A latex condom, used by men, ensures best protection from STDs along with effective birth control. A vaginal ring and patch are some of the other estrogen and progestin combined hormonal contraception.
It becomes difficult to choose contraception or birth control for a woman when there are a number of options available. Some of the questions you might ask may include:
Should I opt for a progestin-only pill or stick to the mainstream combination pill? Will an IUD affect my ability to conceive later? Or is the female condom an effective counterpart to the one used by males? In this article, we will tell you all about the birth control options for women that you can choose from.
Need Birth Control? Here are 11 Different Birth Control Options for Women to Pick From!
The answers to all your doubts about birth control can be found when there is a breakdown of the different options available. Here are some options that you can try:
Combination Pill as an Effective Birth Control Option
The combination pill is regarded to be 99% effective against pregnancy, especially when taken daily at the same time. The combination pill also helps ease hot flashes and will restore regular periods. However, smokers and women above the age of 35 years or older should avoid taking the combination pill. The estrogen contained in this type of birth control could lead to the formation of harmful blood clots. If you suffer frequently from migraines, you should give the combination pill a pass, as it could cause a headache.
Progestin-Only Pill as an Effective Birth Control Option
This pill is also referred as the mini pill and does not contain estrogen. Progestin only pill as a birth control option is a safer alternative for women who smoke, are diabetic and have a history of heart disease patients. This birth control option is also safe for women who develop blood clots. The progestin only pill will not affect the milk supply of women who are breast-feeding. If you tend to be forgetful, then this birth control option is not for you. Progestin only pill has to be taken daily at the same time. If you skip a day, you will require a backup plan or another birth control option.
Extended-Cycle Pill as an Effective Birth Control Option
Extended-Cycle Pill is a birth control option for women, which will prevent an unwanted pregnancy, while also allowing you to have a period every three months. However, Lybrel may stop periods for a year. Do not forget to take Extended-Cycle Pill daily all year round. There are no studies which suggest that irregular periods are dangerous. However, no research has been able to list the harmful effects of this pill.
Vaginal Ring as an Effective Birth Control Option
The vaginal ring birth control option for women is comprised of flexible plastic and provides estrogen and progestin, similar to a combination pill. One will have to place the ring in the vagina for around three weeks. You will have to remove it for a week to ensure a regular period. However, if you smoke, or have blood clots or cancers, do not use this birth control option.
Diaphragm as an Effective Birth Control Option
This dome-shaped birth control option for women prevents sperm from fertilizing the egg. Diaphragm forms a “protective” cover over the cervix and should be used along with a spermicide. Women will have to be fitted with a diaphragm by their doctor. If you have weight fluctuation issues, the diaphragm may not be effective. You will need to be refitted if you lose or gain weight. If you suffer from bladder infections, then this birth control is not an option for you. If you suffer from toxic shock syndrome, then avoid using a diaphragm.
IUD as an Effective Birth Control Option
The copper device is surgically implanted in women and it prevents sperm from fertilizing the egg. Intrauterine devices (IUDs) are over 99% effective and this birth control option for women can last for close to a decade. Most doctors recommend this birth control device for women who have already birthed children. Your uterus expands when the device is inserted. It could cause pain for women with no children. If you are looking to start a family soon, do not choose this birth control option.
Female Condom as an Effective Birth Control Option
The female condom is composed of polyurethane and safeguards against STDs. The female condom is inserted over the cervix and deep into the vagina. This birth control option for women can be placed 8 hours before sexual intercourse. Male condoms are more effective in preventing pregnancies as opposed to the female counterpart.
Patch as an Effective Birth Control Option
The hormone-releasing patch can be placed on the arm, abdomen or buttock. Once placed, you can rest for a week without a worry. If you run the risk of forming blood clots, do not choose this birth control method. The patch will deliver about 60% more estrogen when compared to a low-dose pill. Therefore, the risk of blood clots increases exponentially with this birth control method for women.
Implant as an Effective Birth Control Option
The implant is the size of a matchstick. This birth control device is placed under your skin and on the upper arm. They will last for around three years, but are quite costly. The implant is a 100% effective option. For overweight women, the implant may not be as effective as other birth control methods. You might need to seek another viable birth control option.
Emergency Contraception as an Effective Birth Control Option
Emergency Contraception contains a higher dose of similar synthetic hormones that a combination pill has. Emergency Contraception is effective if taken 72 hours after having unprotected sex. Emergency Contraception could work for five days after sexual intercourse.
Sterilization as an Effective Birth Control Option
Women can choose to undergo tubal ligation, a surgical procedure that prevents the fallopian tubes from transporting eggs to the uterus. One can also opt for tubal implants – a nonsurgical technique which includes the insertion of a small coil into the fallopian tubes. If you are looking to have a family in the near future, then this birth control method is definitely not the right option for you. Once done, sterilization in women cannot be reversed.
- Mayo Clinic. (2021). Birth control options: Things to consider. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/birth-control/in-depth/birth-control-options/art-20045571
- Planned Parenthood. (2021). Birth control methods. https://www.plannedparenthood.org/learn/birth-control
- MedlinePlus. (2021). Birth control methods. https://medlineplus.gov/birthcontrolmethods.html
- American Pregnancy Association. (2021). Birth Control. https://americanpregnancy.org/preventing-pregnancy/birth-control-options/