When you’re looking to prevent pregnancy, it’s easy to become overwhelmed with the various birth control options on the market. The good news is, by visiting your women’s health clinic you can have a candid and honest conversation with a family doctor regarding your lifestyle and what method is best for you. If you’re debating which pathway to explore, here’s a helpful guide to assist with the decision-making process before meeting with your health care team.
3 Birth Control Options You Can Explore at a Women’s Health Clinic
1. Birth Control Pills
Birth control pills are a daily prescription medication that’s approximately 91% effective in preventing pregnancy; however, they do not protect against STDs. This pill successfully prevents pregnancy as the hormones it contains stop ovulation and also thicken the mucus on the cervix so it’s more difficult for sperm to reach the egg. It’s important to note that these pills must be taken daily to be effective. Many women choose this pathway as it’s affordable and the hormones within the medication can provide additional benefits such as reducing menstrual discomfort and acne.
A small implant the shape and size of a matchstick called Nexplanon® is another effective form of birth control that doesn’t require daily pills or on-going visits to a women’s health clinic. The device is inserted by a health care professional into the patient’s arm where it can stay for up to five years, releasing hormones that thicken the mucus lining of the cervix to stop sperm and prevent eggs from leaving your ovaries. While the implant is 99% effective, like birth control pills it does not protect against STDs.
An IUD or Intrauterine Device is a long-term birth control option. This small plastic or copper device, shaped like a capital “T” is implanted into the uterus at a women’s health clinic and can remain for anywhere from three to 12 years. The process, which is reversible, is 99% effective in preventing pregnancy. There are two types of IUDs currently on the market. A copper version called ParaGard® does not contain hormones and can remain in place for up to 12 years. Some women do experience heavier and more painful periods as a result of the copper IUD. Hormonal IUDs, on the other hand, last three to 7 years and release a small dosage of hormones directly into the uterus. This protects against pregnancy and can also lead to lighter periods. An IUD can be removed by your doctor at any time and once it’s gone, pregnancy can occur as quickly as your next ovulation cycle. IUDs do not protect against STDs.
Fairbanks Clinic has been providing effective and compassionate health services to Alaska residents of all ages since 1932. If you’re looking for a judgment-free women’s health clinic to help you decide on the right birth control method, call today at (907) 452-1761 to schedule an appointment with one of their respected doctors. For more information on this family-centric medical center and their commitment to making health care convenient and seamless using new technology like their online patient portal, visit their website.