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What Type of Birth Control Is Right for Me?

Jun 20, 2024
What Type of Birth Control Is Right for Me?
With so many choices available, how do you know which birth control method to use? You have to consider things like your long-term family planning goals as well as your immediate needs. Explore some of your options for birth control here.

With so many different types of birth control available these days, how do you know which one to choose? What’s going to be best for your health and lifestyle?

These are great questions to consider, and since 99% of women use birth control at some point in their lives, we think it’s necessary to encourage open conversations about the different types that you can choose from.

At HealthStone Primary Care Partners in Hollywood, Florida, our team of women’s health experts offers a wide range of birth control options. Here, we explore many of the different kinds of birth control in hopes that it can help you narrow down which will work best for you. 

Understanding your birth control options

Birth control is defined as any type of device, medicine, or surgery used to prevent pregnancy. Many of these methods can also prevent you from developing sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). 

Different types of birth control vary in their effectiveness, ease of use, and how they’re able to protect you. Often, birth control methods are divided into two main categories: hormonal and barrier. 

Hormonal birth control

This category of birth control can work to prevent pregnancy in a few different ways including thickening your cervical mucus, preventing ovulation, or creating an inhospitable environment for fertilization. 

Common types of hormonal birth control are:

  • Pills
  • Patches
  • Implants
  • Vaginal rings
  • Routine injections
  • Intrauterine devices (IUDs)

Some methods, like IUDs and implants, don’t require you to do anything after they’re placed; however, others, like the pill, need to be taken regularly to be effective. 

Barrier birth control

Barrier birth control prevents pregnancy by keeping sperm from being able to reach an egg. This type of birth control involves using any of the following devices:

  • External and internal condoms
  • Sponges
  • Diaphragms 
  • Cervical caps

These methods often work best when used in conjunction with spermicide. 

Besides hormonal and barrier birth control, female sterilization (tubal ligation) and fertility awareness are other birth control options. 

What to consider when choosing birth control

There are quite a few things to think about before you land on the right birth control method for you. For instance, are you willing to risk an unplanned pregnancy or deal with potentially adverse side effects? 

Some other things to take into account include:

  • How often you have sex
  • How many sexual partners you have
  • How effective you need birth control to be
  • If you can use birth control correctly every single time
  • If you need protection from STDs

Having a busy schedule may also play into your choice of birth control. 

So, what should you choose?

If you’re looking for a type of birth control that’s almost guaranteed to prevent pregnancy, tubal ligation — getting your tubes tied — is 99% effective and permanent. 

However, if you’re looking for something just as effective but not so permanent, IUDs and arm implants have the same rate of pregnancy prevention as tubal ligation but can be reversed. These can be incredibly beneficial if you don’t want to take a pill every day or remember to use a cervical cap every time you have sex. 

Some methods, such as vaginal rings, condoms, the pill, and patches, have a 10% rate of error since they require you to use them exactly as instructed for them to work. If you have a crazy schedule and won’t be able to be consistent with those methods, they may not be the best choices for you. 

The hormonal birth control methods may affect your mood or menstrual cycles, so if you’d like to avoid adverse side effects, you may want to look into other choices. 

If you need active protection against STDs, remember to use a barrier every time you have sex even if you’re still using other birth control methods. 

To get started with a birth control that you think is right for you, schedule an appointment with our team by calling our office or booking online today.