No one type of birth control that’s best for everyone. Choosing the one that suits you best requires knowing the advantages and drawbacks of each, along with your personal needs and lifestyle.
Board-certified OB/GYN Diana Heard, MD, and Olga Vega, PA, of Glendale OBGYN in Glendale, Arizona, have helped countless women navigate the array of birth control options. Here they break down what every woman needs to consider.
If you’re focused on other aspects of your life and aren’t looking to have children for several years, you may want to discuss long-term protection with your doctor. The length of protection for birth control varies, and choosing a time span that matches your lifestyle is wise.
Long-acting reversible contraceptives (LARCS), such as IUDs, implants, and injections, are highly effective at preventing an unwanted pregnancy. These devices protect against unwanted pregnancy for several years, depending on the type of LARC you choose; some offer up to 12 years of protection.
Birth control methods require different levels of maintenance. For example, you must take birth control pills daily for maximum effectiveness. Some birth control methods provide production for three months and require less maintenance, while others take a “set it and forget it” approach and require no maintenance.
We tell patients that the best birth control for them is the one that they can maintain. Birth control pills won’t work well for you if you regularly forget to take them. Determine what level of maintenance best suits your lifestyle. If you’re active and on the go and prefer low-maintenance birth control, that’s something to let your doctor know so she can make a recommendation for you.
Most forms of birth control offer excellent protection against unplanned pregnancy. However, some forms of birth control offer more protection than others. The level of effectiveness you’re looking for is another crucial point to consider when deciding which form of birth control is suitable for you.
If your lifestyle doesn’t suit having children right now, you may want to discuss options that offer maximum protection to give you peace of mind.
For many women, blocking pregnancy is a choice to provide temporary protection. For some women, that may be a year, while for others, it may be several years, so the ability to reverse birth control and how long that takes is another factor to consider.
If you’d like your fertility to return immediately after birth control is stopped or removed, ask about options to match that preference.
Some forms of birth control can take months for fertility to return. If this is fine with you, an option like the birth control shot may be a good fit.
All medicines have side effects, including birth control. Side effects of birth control are generally mild, but specific side effects may be a deal breaker for you. For instance, if
you’re an athlete that must maintain a certain weight, the side effect of gaining a few pounds may be a no-go for you.
Birth control is a responsible part of family planning. We’re here to answer any questions and help you make an informed decision about your birth control needs. Contact us by calling or requesting an appointment online.