Birth control and family planning are not new concepts. People have been trying to prevent pregnancy for centuries, but the widespread availability of effective, hormonal birth control is relatively recent. When the birth control pill was approved by the FDA in the United States in 1960, it opened doors for women across the nation, allowing them to plan their careers, relationships, and families in new ways. Since then, many more contraceptive options have become available.
At Indus Healthcare, with offices located in Pomona, West Covina, and Montclair, California, Dr. Amit Paliwal provides a range of women’s health services, including birth control options.
Types of contraceptives
There are quite a few different types of contraceptives for women, and each one has unique benefits and downsides. Within each type, there are different brands that might provide even more variety. While being spoiled for choice is rarely a bad thing, trying to decide which is right for you can be overwhelming.
Birth control pills
This is the most common type of birth control, though it’s declined in popularity in recent years. Birth control pills are 91% effective, and must be taken daily to provide protection against pregnancy.
Within this category are combination pills, which have both progestin and estrogen, and mini pills, which contain only progestin. You can discuss both options with your doctor to determine which is right for you.
Birth control pills are painless and easy to obtain, but you have to be responsible and take them every day. Even a single missed dose can lead to an accidental pregnancy. The pill is also less effective than injections or intrauterine devices, though you should be covered if you take it on a reliable schedule.
Intrauterine devices, or IUDs, are tiny implants inserted into the uterus. They’re one of the most effective contraceptives out there, and they come in two types: copper and hormonal. Again, you can discuss both options with your doctor to determine which is right for you.
Your IUD can last for years, and requires no real maintenance. As soon as the IUD is taken out, you can get pregnant. This makes it the preferred option for women who want a hands-off, easy birth control that won’t get in the way of their family planning later.
The primary downside of IUDs is the insertion process. Two-thirds of women report pain during insertion, though it’s usually short-lived. However, many consider this a small price to pay for the IUDs effectiveness.
Birth control injections
If you want to avoid the hassle of the pill, but don’t want to go through the process of getting an IUD, birth control injections might be the perfect middle ground for you. Similar to the pill, the Depo shot works using progestin, which prevents ovulation.
You’ll need to get your birth control shot every three months, but it’s highly effective (94%). As long as you mark your appointments on your calendar and keep up with your shots, you should be covered. If you don’t mind quarterly injections, this method might be preferable over the pill or intrauterine devices.
Choosing the right one for you
Birth control is a personal choice, and it can take some time to find the contraceptive you like best. Many women start off with the pill and switch to other options later. There are other methods to consider as well, such as the implant or the vaginal ring.
Combining any form of female birth control with condom use significantly improves protection against pregnancy, and can also add protection against STDs if the condoms are used correctly and consistently.
Before deciding on a method of birth control, ask yourself the following questions:
- What is your schedule? Can you reliably take your pill every day?
- How is your pain tolerance? Would a shot or IUD insertion be too much for you?
- Do you need hormonal birth control to manage acne, heavy periods, or other conditions?
- Have you looked at the side effects for each option?
- Do any health concerns prevent you from using certain contraceptives?
To learn more about the options listed here, get in touch with the team at Indus Healthcare. To schedule an appointment, call the location closest to you, or visit the contact page for more information.