If you’re thinking about using birth control to prevent pregnancy, or for other desired alternative uses, you may be wondering which method is best. Perhaps you’ve heard good things about implants or IUDs. Or maybe your friend is happy with the birth control pills she takes. Which one should you choose?
When it comes to birth control, there’s no one right choice for everyone. But there is a method that’s best for you – one that takes into account your lifestyle choices, your health, and any plans you may have to get pregnant in the future.
At Albany Obstetrics & Gynecology, our care providers work with you to decide which type of birth control is the optimal choice for you. Here are a few of the things we take into consideration.
Potential side effects
Some types of birth control have a risk of side effects. For example, birth control pills contain hormones that can cause headaches, mood changes, elevated blood pressure, or an increased risk of blood clots. If you have health conditions that may be worsened by a method’s potential side effects, you probably should avoid it.
Your sex life
How often do you have sex? Are you monogamous, or do you have multiple partners? These considerations should factor into your birth control choices.
For example, if you have sex infrequently, it might not be worthwhile to go on the pill or have an implant or IUD inserted. And if you have more than one sexual partner, you might opt to use two forms of birth control: one method, such as an implant, to effectively prevent pregnancy, in addition to a condom to protect you from sexually transmitted diseases.
Are you the type of person who always remembers to take a pill or slip a condom into your purse? Or are you someone who tends to forget those kinds of things? If your memory isn’t great, using an implant, IUD, or other set-it-and-forget-it method might be your best choice.
The level of effectiveness you desire
The effectiveness of various types of birth control methods varies. For example, implants, IUDs, shots, and birth control pills are much more effective at preventing pregnancy than condoms and cervical caps. If you absolutely, positively don’t want to get pregnant, you might make a different choice than if you’re less concerned about accidentally conceiving.
Your plans for starting a family
Birth control methods vary in how long they work. A condom protects you once, while long-acting methods such as IUDs and implants can provide protection for anywhere from 3-10 years. Although IUDs and implants can be removed at any time, if you want only temporary protection, methods such as a diaphragm, cervical cap, or condoms might be a better choice.
Let us help you choose a contraceptive
Our doctors, nurse practitioners, and midwives at our office in Albany, New York, are here to help you with all of your OB/GYN needs, including choosing a birth control method that best suits your needs. To schedule an appointment with one of our providers, call our office at 518-516-6726 or use our contact form to reach us.