If you know you don’t want to start a family right now, birth control is a useful way to prevent pregnancy. Today, there are many forms available, and determining which is the right option for you will depend on several factors. To help you weigh your choices, the team from Anchorage OB/GYN, located in Anchorage, AK, is staffed with attentive, friendly gynecologists who are there to support you every step of the way.
Some birth control options they encourage patients to consider include the following:
- Pill: Birth control pills contain hormones which prevent ovulation. When a woman’s eggs aren’t released for ovulation, they cannot be fertilized. Planned Parenthood® states the pill is 99% effective, but only when it’s taken according to directions. While its efficacy makes it a popular choice among women, those who don’t want to worry about having to take a pill daily may prefer another method.
- Patch: The patch works in the same ways as the pill, and releases hormones which seep into the skin to prevent ovulation. For optimal efficiency — 91%, according to Planned Parenthood — the patch must be changed weekly. Thus, women using this method should set reminders or use a calendar for uninterrupted protection against pregnancy.
- IUD: Short for intrauterine device, IUDs are inserted by medical professionals and can prevent pregnancy for up to four years. Using the hormone progestin, IUDs work in two ways: they thicken cervical mucus to prevent sperm from reaching the egg, and they stop ovulation. Also known as “implants,” IUDs are 99% effective and are convenient for anyone who prefers not to take a pill or change a patch regularly.
- Injection: The Depo-Provera birth control shot requires patients to visit their gynecologist every three months for hormonal injections. Like the methods listed above, the hormones in the shot stop ovulation. With perfect use, the shot is more than 99% effective.
- Barrier Methods: Options like traditional condoms and female condoms have the lowest levels of effectiveness compared to the methods described above. Nonetheless, using certain barrier methods can prevent your risk of contracting sexually transmitted diseases, so it may be wise to use them in conjunction with another method.
The caring team from Anchorage OB/GYN can go over birth control options in greater detail and answer any questions you have to find the best method for your needs. To schedule an appointment with their office, call (907) 336-6375. You can also visit their website to learn about their additional services.