Why is birth control important?
Being pregnant and having a baby are life-changing events which, at the right time in a woman’s life, are happy and fulfilling experiences. However, becoming pregnant when you’re not ready to be a mom or if you’re at risk because of a pre-existing health condition can be stressful and may harm your health.
Birth control reduces the likelihood that you’ll become pregnant if you’re in a sexual relationship, giving you a choice over when you start a family.
What methods of birth control are available?
Hormonal birth control uses the female hormones progesterone and estrogen to stop your ovaries from releasing eggs, so there’s nothing for sperm to fertilize. There are several forms of hormonal birth control including:
- Oral contraceptive pills
- Contraceptive patches
- Vaginal rings
- Hormonal intrauterine devices (IUDs)
- Contraceptive implants
- Contraceptive injections
Hormonal birth control can be almost 100% effective if used correctly, but allowing for the variances of typical use, it’s effective around 90% of the time. Implants such as Nexplanon® have around 99% effectiveness, as they don’t rely on you remembering to take your pill at the right time every day.
What are the alternatives to hormonal birth control?
If you don’t want to use hormonal birth control or your OB/GYN advises against it, for example, if you’re at risk of developing a DVT (deep vein thrombosis), then there are several barrier methods to choose from:
- Male and female condoms
- The sponge
- Cervical cap
- Copper intrauterine devices (IUDs)
Sponges, diaphragms, and caps are more effective when used in conjunction with a spermicide.
Barrier methods of birth control can be highly effective: A copper IUD, for example, lasts up to 10 years and is effective around 99% of the time.
One advantage of using condoms is that they offer a level of protection against sexually transmitted diseases that other methods don’t provide, so it’s sensible to use condoms even if you’re also using another form of contraception.
For expert, caring advice and assistance with your birth control choices, talk to one of the OB/GYNs at Galasso, Hirsch & Russell M.D.s, PC. Call the clinic now, or make an appointment using the online booking form.