If you’re thinking about starting birth control, you’ll need to learn more about your options before starting a new prescription. Modern medicine allows for a variety of methods, making it easy to find a solution that suits your needs and lifestyle. The following guide highlights a few of the most popular options available, so you can determine which is right for you.
Understanding Different Birth Control Methods
If you prefer to have a bit more control over your birth control regimen, the pill is the ideal option. This method involves taking an oral contraceptive every day to prevent pregnancy. For it to work correctly, you need to take the pill every day at the same time. When taking correctly, it’s over 99% effective. With the pill, you can track when you’re going to get your period by looking for the placebo week, which is comprised of sugar pills that you take for four to seven days. Common side effects include weight gain, breast growth, mood swings, headaches, and nausea.
The patch works similarly to the pill, delivering a steady stream of hormones into the body to prevent pregnancy. However, unlike the pill, the patch is worn on the outer layer of the skin, rather than ingested. It must be applied once a week for three weeks straight. On the fourth week of the month, you don’t wear a patch so you can start your period. Roughly 9% of women who use this birth control method get pregnant, and side effects may include irritation at the patch site, tender breasts, nausea, and breakthrough bleeding.
If you prefer a birth control regimen that doesn’t require as much thought every day or week, opting for the shot might be right for you. In this case, you would only need to see your health care provider once every three months. During these appointments, you will receive an injection of progestin, which prevents pregnancy. For it to work correctly, making on-time appointments is crucial. Roughly 6% of women may become pregnant on the shot, although that percentage decreases if you maintain regular appointments. Side effects may include weight gain, anxiety, spotting in between periods, and abdominal discomfort.
If you want the most protection possible, opt for an intrauterine device (IUD). With this birth control measure, less than 1% of women get pregnant. An IUD is a small device that is placed in the uterus. Depending on your preferences, it can deliver hormones. Most IUDs can last up to 10 years after implantation and may work to prevent pregnancy if they’re implanted as soon as five days after unprotected sex. Side effects of the IUD include cramping and irregular bleeding.
No matter which birth control method you think is right for you, the team at Oswego County OB-GYN PC in Fulton, NY, is here to assist. Since 1960, they have provided patients with top-quality health care services, ranging from family planning to gynecological exams. This caring team can explain various birth control options and help you decide on the most effective solution that suits your lifestyle. Visit their website to browse their services or call (315) 343-2590 to schedule a consultation today.