With so many birth control options available, it can be a challenge to figure out which method works best for you and your body. Reviewing your options is essential for choosing the right contraception.
The hormonal birth control pill, commonly referred to simply as “the pill,” is an effective, convenient method, with plenty of benefits. Not only does the pill prevent pregnancy, but it also regulates your periods, reduces acne, improves mood, minimizes cramps, and can reduce your risks of certain types of cancer.
Birth control pills are small and discreet, but you need to take them every day. Taking them at the same time every day maximizes their effectiveness, so be sure to set a reminder!
Intrauterine Devices (IUDs)
Image via Flickr by Robin Marty
If you’re prone to forgetting to take pills, an IUD might be a better option. An IUD takes human error out of the equation because it’s planted in your uterus and emits small doses of hormones to prevent pregnancy. IUDs are among the most effective forms of birth control and can last for up to five years. They’re safe to use while breastfeeding, can lighten your period, and they reduce PMS symptoms.
IUDs aren’t for everyone, however. If you have or have had a uterine distortion, pelvic infection, endometrial or cervical cancer, or unexplained vaginal bleeding, you’ll need to discuss the risks with your doctor.
Birth Control Implant
Birth control implants such as Nexplanon are matchstick-sized devices inserted under the skin in your upper arm. The implant works like an IUD in that it releases small doses of hormones to prevent pregnancy. Birth control implants are effective for up to three years and don’t require any maintenance. They’re also a progestin-only contraception, which is great for women with estrogen sensitivities.
As with any birth control option, there are some side effects with the implant. The most common is irregular bleeding, but you may also experience headaches, nausea, breast pain, ovarian cysts, or bruising or pain.
The birth control patch resembles a square bandage and works like the pill, but you only need to change it once a week. This is a great option if you want to avoid taking a daily pill and don’t want to visit your doctor every time you need to get an IUD or implant changed.
The patch can help prevent or reduce acne, bone thinning, anemia, and PMS symptoms.
The ring is a safe and effective birth control method that’s placed directly inside the vagina. You’ll need to replace it every month, but since the device is a small, flexible piece of plastic, it’s one of the easiest contraceptives to use. You must be comfortable inserting and removing the ring, however.
The ring can cause headaches, mood changes, breast tenderness, and vaginal discharge.
You have many options when it comes to preventing pregnancy, and thanks to telemedicine, getting a prescription has never been easier. Telemedicine companies such as Nurx are a one-stop shop for all your birth control needs. You simply speak with an online health care provider who fills your prescription and ships it to your door with the option for automatic renewals and refills. Evaluating your priorities, lifestyle, and health care provider’s recommendations can help you make the best decision.