These days, women have more birth control choices than ever before. But that doesn’t mean every contraceptive option is right for every woman. Different birth control methods offer different advantages, and understanding those options can help you choose the method that is best for you.
Here at Albany Obstetrics & Gynecology, we want to help you select birth control that best suits your lifestyle, your family plans, and your overall health. Our care providers are knowledgeable about all types of contraceptives and can help you make the right choice for you.
We share some of the factors you can take into account when considering your contraceptive options.
A range of choices
You have many different types of birth control to choose from. These methods include barrier methods, short-acting hormonal methods, and long-acting reversible contraceptives (LARCs).
Barrier methods prevent pregnancy by blocking your partner’s sperm from reaching your eggs. These include male and female condoms, diaphragms, and cervical caps. Barrier contraceptives must be used every time you have sex.
Short-acting hormonal methods
These are hormone-based contraceptives that you must take or use on a regular basis. For example, if you use oral contraceptives (the pill) you must remember to take it on a daily basis, and birth control shots are administered every three months.
Short-acting hormonal methods include contraceptive pills, patches, and shots, as well as the vaginal ring.
Long-acting reversible contraceptives
LARC methods, which include intrauterine devices (IUD) and hormonal implants, are contraceptives that provide long-term pregnancy prevention. Although they prevent contraception for 3-10 years, they are fully reversible. When you want to try to get pregnant, you can have them removed.
Factors to consider
Deciding which contraceptive method to use depends on a few factors. One of the most important is effectiveness.
To make it easier to compare the effectiveness levels of various types of birth control methods, the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services looks at the number of pregnancies per 100 women during their first year of use.
LARC methods are among the most effective, with less than 1 pregnancy occurring per 100 women during their first year of use.
Other methods are less effective. The number of pregnancies per 100 women during their first year of use are as follows:
- Hormonal contraceptive injections: 6
- Vaginal ring: 9
- Oral contraceptives: 9
- Diaphragm: 12
- Male condoms: 18
- Female condoms: 21
- Cervical cap: 23
Effectiveness is important, but it’s not the only thing to consider. For example, condoms offer protection for sexually transmitted infections and are a good choice, alone or with another type of birth control, for women with multiple partners.
Some hormone-based methods are not recommended for smokers and people with certain medical conditions because they may raise the risk of heart attack or stroke.
Make the choice that’s best for you
When it comes to choosing the right birth control, you’re not on your own. Our providers can help you pick a birth control method that is right for your health, your lifestyle, and your plans for having a family. To schedule an appointment with us, call our office in Albany, New York, or use our contact form to get started.