Birth Control Options
Birth control is how you prevent pregnancy. Different birth control options include pills, intrauterine devices (IUDs), and barrier methods like condoms. Use birth control if you’re sexually active and don’t want to become pregnant. Pregnancy can happen whenever you have unprotected sex.
Your best birth control option depends on your health, your plans to have (or not to have) kids, and your need to prevent sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Some types of birth control work better for some than others. Let us help you figure it all out.
Who Should Take Birth Control?
Heterosexually sexually active females who want to prevent unintended pregnancy should use some form of birth control. That said, pregnancy prevention isn’t the only reason why someone may want to use birth control. For example, birth control can help regulate irregular periods and manage severe PMS symptoms like cramps, headaches, and acne.
What Birth Control Options are Available
Women can choose from several different types of birth control methods. The list of birth control methods below is in order of most effective to least effective at preventing pregnancy:
Female and Male Sterilization: Female tubal ligation or a male vasectomy is a permanent method of birth control. You or your partner should only consider this option if you’re 100% sure you don’t want to have a child in the future.
Long-Acting Devices: Long-acting reversible contraceptives (LARCs) include intrauterine devices (IUD) or hormonal implants. Some of the most common LARCs include the copper IUD (ParaGard), a hormonal IUD (Mirena, Skyla, Kyleena), and the contraceptive implant (Nexplanon).
Depending on the device, this birth control type lasts 3 to 10 years after insertion. Of course, you can always opt to have the device removed at any time.
Short-Acting Hormonal Methods: These include traditional hormonal methods like “the pill.” However, if you’re worried about having to remember to take a pill every day, other methods include the vaginal ring (NuvaRing), a skin patch (Xulane), or a contraceptive injection (Depo-Provera).
For reference, birth control shots are given every 3 months.
Barrier Methods: This is birth control that you must use every time you have sex. The most common barrier method is condoms, followed by diaphragms, cervical caps, and contraceptive sponges. Condoms are the most effective way to prevent STIs.
Fertility Awareness – This is when you don’t use any of the birth control options mentioned above but instead avoid having sex (or use a barrier method) on the days you’re most likely to get pregnant.
We suggest learning more about your menstrual cycle and family planning if you consider this method.
What About Emergency Contraception?
Accidents can happen. Emergency contraception (EC) is a non-dangerous and effective way to prevent an unwanted pregnancy. You’ve probably heard of emergency contraception referred to as “The Morning-After Pill” or “Plan B.” You can take most emergency contraception pills up to 5 days after unprotected sex.
You shouldn’t use emergency contraception (EC) pills as your regular birth control. This medication is intended to be used only when your normal form of birth control fails for some unexpected reason.
Do I Need a Prescription for Birth Control?
A medical professional needs to give you a prescription to start using birth control pills. Long-acting reversible contraceptives are medical procedures that a professional must perform at your doctor’s office.
However, there are some kinds of birth control you can buy over the counter at a drugstore or supermarket, including:
- Male & female condoms
- Emergency contraception pills
How to Choose the Right Birth Control?
The best birth control for you is safe, one that you are comfortable with, and one that you can use consistently and correctly. Also, your preferred birth control method may change throughout your lifetime – and that’s OK. There are plenty of choices out there when it comes to birth control. It’s essential to find a method that works with your current lifestyle.
Do you want to learn more about which birth control method is right for you? Then, contact us for the best family planning services in Columbus. You can reach us at (614) 882-4343 or fill out our online contact form to discover more about our birth control options or visit our family planning page.