Choose the Birth Control that’s Best for You
With so many methods of contraceptives available today it can be difficult to know which method you prefer. Knowing all of the options that are available, how they work, and the benefits and risks associated with each one gives you the ability to choose the method that is the most effective and best option for you.
Sandpoint Women's Health offers multiple methods of contraceptives, including:
Barrier Methods of Birth Control
Barrier methods of birth control keep sperm from reaching the egg. These methods include spermicide, condoms, sponges, diaphragms, and cervical caps. Diaphragms and cervical caps must be prescribed by your obstetrician-gynecologist (ob-gyn) or other healthcare provider. Barrier methods are not as effective preventing pregnancy as other methods such as the birth control implant, injection, or IUD.
Click HERE for more information on the types of barrier methods of birth control.
Long-Acting Reversible Contraceptives
Long-acting reversible contraceptives include IUDs and birth control implants. An IUD is a small device that is inserted in the uterus. There are hormone-releasing IUDs and non-hormonal IUDs. An IUD prevents the egg from being fertilized by sperm. This device must be inserted by an ob-gyn or other healthcare provider. When you are ready to stop using your IUD your ob-gyn or healthcare provider can remove it during a pelvic exam.
The birth control implant is a flexible plastic rod the size of a matchstick that is inserted under the skin in your upper arm by your ob-gyn or other healthcare provider. It releases progestin into your body stopping you from ovulating. Birth control implants are approved to use for up to three years. When you are ready to stop using the implant a small incision will be made on your arm to remove the plastic rod. Both methods of long-acting reversible contraceptives are highly effective.
Click HERE for more information on long-acting reversible contraceptives.
Combined Hormonal Birth Control - Pills, Injections, and Patches
Combined hormonal birth control pills, patches, and vaginal rings contain estrogen and progestin. They prevent pregnancy mainly by stopping ovulation. They also cause mucus in the cervix to thicken, making it hard for sperm to enter the uterus. The lining of the uterus also thins. The pill needs to be taken consistently to be effective. The patch is worn for three weeks in a row and can be placed on your buttocks, chest, upper back, upper arm, or abdomen. The vaginal ring is folded and inserted in the vagina, it stays for 21 days.
Some of the benefits of using these methods of birth control include periods that are more regular, shorter and lighter, with less menstrual cramps, a decreased risk of cancer of the uterus, ovary, and colon, among other benefits.
Some of the risks of using this method of birth control include a small increased risk of heart attack, stroke, and deep vein thrombosis. These risks are higher in women who smoke. Your ob-gyn or other healthcare provider can discuss all of the possible side effects and risks of using combined hormonal birth control methods with you.
Click HERE for more information on combined hormonal chttp://www.sandpointwomenshealth.com/appointment/methods.
Progestin-Only Hormonal Birth Control - Pills, Injections, and Patches
Progestin-only birth control methods have about the same effectiveness as combination estrogen and progestin methods. Progestin-only birth control prevents pregnancy by stopping ovulation, thickening and decreasing the amount of cervical mucus making it difficult for sperm to enter the uterus and fertilize an egg, and by thinning the lining of the uterus.
Some of the benefits of progestin-only birth control include the possibility of reduced menstrual bleeding or stopping your period altogether. They are not associated with an increased risk of high blood pressure or cardiovascular disease and can be taken even if you have certain health conditions that prevent you from taking combination pills, such as a history of deep vein thrombosis or uncontrolled high blood pressure. They can be used immediately after childbirth, even if you are breastfeeding.
Women who have breast cancer or who have a history of breast cancer should not use progestin-only birth control. It is important to take the progestin-only pill at the exact same time each day for maximum effectiveness. The birth control injection provides protection against pregnancy for 3 months. A healthcare professional must give the injection, with follow up injections every 13 weeks.
Click HERE for more information on progestin-only contraception methods.
Postpartum Birth Control
It is possible to become pregnant very soon after having a baby if you are not using birth control. Talk to your ob-gyn or other healthcare provider about which method is best for you. Not all birth control methods can be started right after having a baby, and some methods are not recommended to use during the first weeks of breastfeeding, The method you used before pregnancy may not be the best choice to use after pregnancy. For example, the sponge and cervical cap are much less effective in women who have given birth.
Click HERE for more information on postpartum contraception methods.
Emergency contraception (EC) reduces the chance of pregnancy after unprotected sex. ECs do not cause an abortion, they prevent pregnancy from occurring. EC must be used soon after unprotected sex to be effective. It does not work if pregnancy has already occurred. There are two main types of EC, the copper IUD, and EC pills. An ob-gyn or other health care professional must insert the IUD. Some EC pills can be bought over the counter while others require a prescription.
You should not rely on EC pills as a long-term birth control method. EC pills are not as effective in preventing pregnancy as using a birth control method consistently and correctly. There also may be more side effects from frequent use of EC than from use of a standard birth control method. If you are not using birth control, talk with your ob-gyn or other health care professional about which method would work best for you.
Click HERE for more information on emergency contraception methods.
Sterilization For Women
Sterilization is a permanent form of birth control and is not meant to be reversed. Before having the procedure you should be certain that you do not want children in the future. If you have a sterilization procedure and you change your mind after the operation, you can have surgery to try to reverse it, or use assisted reproductive technology to attempt pregnancy, but there is no guarantee that you will be able to become pregnant.
The sterilization procedure for women is called tubal occlusion. Tubal occlusion closes off the fallopian tubes preventing the egg from moving down the fallopian tube to the uterus which keeps the sperm from reaching the egg.
Sterilization is a highly effective way to prevent pregnancy. Fewer than 1 out of 100 women will become pregnant within 1 year of having the procedure. After 10 years, pregnancy rates range from fewer than 1 to fewer than 4 out of 100 women, depending on the type of sterilization method used.
A risk common to all female sterilization methods is that if pregnancy does occur, there is an increased chance that it will be an ectopic pregnancy. However, the risk of ectopic pregnancy occurring in women after tubal sterilization is lower than in women who do not use any birth control.
Click HERE for more information on sterilization.
Make an appointment to talk to one of our providers about your contraception needs and let them help you determine which method is best for you.
Call 208-263-2173 or click on the button below to request an appointment.