The IUD or the pill?
Nexplanon or condoms?
Today’s women have more options for birth control than ever, and as a result, they have more questions than ever.
We’re pleased to be able to help them as Chapel Hill and Durham’s leading birth control location.
“The key thing to realize is that birth control can be customized to fit your lifestyle and your family planning,” said Dr. Chappell. “Whether you want to eventually get pregnant or if you don’t want to have children at all, we have extensive options for you. We work closely with all our patients to ensure they get the type of birth control that is right for them.”
What Are Some of the Most Common Methods of Birth Control in the United States?
Almost 65 percent of American women between the ages of 15 and 49 use birth control.
According to the Centers for Disease Control the most common forms of birth control are:
- Permanent birth control or sterilization
- The birth control pill
- Long-acting reversible contraceptives (LARCs) such as the IUD or Nexplanon
- Male condoms
While all of these methods have their benefits, the main challenge is figuring out which method is best to fit you.
We want to review these different methods and provide some insight into which ones might be the best choice.
The Different Types of Birth Control
It’s easier to discuss the many birth control options after breaking them down into different categories.
This involves birth control that serves as an actual physical block to prevent sperm from coming into contact with the egg. Examples include:
- Male condom
- Female condom
- Cervical cap
- Contraceptive sponge
There are both short-acting and long-acting methods. Short-acting ones include pills (which still remain one of the most common forms of birth control), vaginal rings, birth control patches and injections like Depo-Provera.
Long-acting hormonal methods don’t need to be taken weekly or monthly. In fact, many of them can last anywhere from three to 10 years. These include IUDs and birth control implants like Nexplanon.
Permanent Methods of Birth Control
Tubal ligation (getting your “tubes tied”) is one of the most common forms of permanent birth control. In some cases, the partner may opt to get a vasectomy instead.
Fertility Awareness Methods
Some women base their birth control on fertility awareness, meaning they carefully determine which days of the month they are ovulating and then avoiding sex on and around those days.
However, fertility awareness is not as effective as the other forms of birth control. According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the typical use of the fertility method causes 12 to 24 pregnancies out of 100 women in a year.
This is compared to less than one pregnancy per 100 for those using the IUD or birth control implant or nine out of 100 for those using the pill or patch, according to the Food and Drug Administration.
Things to Consider When Deciding on Birth Control Methods
As we mentioned earlier, no one form of birth control is right for every woman. We’re more than happy to work with you to determine what will work best for you.
In the meantime, here are some things you should think about when selecting a form of birth control.
Is It Easy to Reverse?
Sure, you want kids.
Just not now. But you might be open to it in the future.
Except for sterilization, birth control is reversible. However, if you’re planning on getting pregnant within a year or two, it would be best if you selected a method that is easy to discontinue. A perfect example would be the pill or barrier methods like condoms.
Is It Convenient?
Are you able to remember to take a pill on a regular basis? Are you able to pick up refills every month?
Or would you prefer birth control that you don’t have to worry about for several years?
All of this depends upon your lifestyle and your timetable of when you would want to have children.
How Much Does It Cost?
You should check with your insurance provider to see what types of birth control are covered and at what percentage they are covered.
Do You Need Protection Against Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs)?
Remember that only the male and female condoms can help prevent the spread of STIs. It’s important to use a new condom every time you have sex.
You may not need a condom if you are in a monogamous relationship, and you have both been tested for STIs.
We do encourage regular STI testing to ensure your sexual health.
Other Aspects to Consider
There are other items you should think about when deciding upon a birth control method. These include:
- Your health history
- Your age
- How many children you may want to have
- How soon you want to have children
Understanding your options means we will be able to work with you to find the right birth control.
Chapel Hill OBGYN—The Best in the Triangle
We’re thrilled that we were recently honored as one of the best practices in the Raleigh, Durham and Triangle area with INDY awards.
We were recognized as the Best Women’s Health Practice in Durham County for our Southpoint location, and we were also named the Best Women’s Practice in Orange and Chatham counties.
Melinda Everett, one of our nurse practitioners, was honored with two first-place recognitions from the INDY awards: she was selected as the Best Women’s Health Practitioner for Durham County and the Best Women’s Health Practitioner in Orange and Chatham counties.
Contact us today for an appointment, and see why we’ve been recognized as the best in the Triangle area.