Over 72 million American women currently use contraception, and while the pill is a popular form of birth control, it’s not the only method. There isn't one “best” form of birth control because the right method of birth control varies from woman to woman based on health and personal choice.
Dr. Essam Taymour and our team at Gynecology and Obstetrics Medical Group are happy to offer family planning services and want to help shed light on the many options you have so you can find the right method for you and your family. Here, we explore your birth control options beyond the pill.
All birth control options fall into one of two categories: reversible or permanent.
Reversible birth control options temporarily prevent pregnancy and don't permanently affect your fertility. These birth control options are ideal for women who:
Reversible birth control can be further categorized as short-acting or long-acting. Short-acting birth control must be administered or used on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. This includes barrier methods — such as condoms, diaphragms, cervical caps, and sponges — and hormonal methods — such as pills, vaginal rings, and patches.
Although short-term methods are effective, they require diligent and careful use. In other words, they’re only as reliable as you are.
Long-acting reversible birth control (LARC) methods don't require daily or weekly maintenance, which is why so many women turn to LARCs for pregnancy prevention. These options include birth control shots, implants, and intrauterine devices (IUDs).
LARCs are often good choices for women with ever-changing schedules who find it difficult to take a pill at the same time every day. Depending on which option you choose, you can receive protection for months and even years. The birth control shot may require injections every three months, while an implant provides protection for 3-4 years.
Nexplanon®, for example, is inserted under the skin of the inside of your arm; it releases progestin over three years to suppress ovulation and thicken cervical mucus to prevent pregnancy. IUDs last even longer: copper IUDs last up to 12 years, and hormonal IUDs last from 3-7 years.
As the name suggests, permanent birth control is not reversible.
Tubal ligation is a permanent form of birth control that stops unwanted pregnancy by preventing conception. When your fallopian tubes are cut or tied, sperm can no longer reach an egg in your fallopian tube. Because conception occurs in the fallopian tube, this procedure is an effective and permanent method of preventing pregnancy.
The birth control that’s right for you depends on many factors, including your overall health, your preferences, how soon or whether you’d like to start a family, and if your family is already complete.
To learn more about your birth control options, schedule an appointment at our Long Beach, California office by calling us at 562-247-3038. You can also request an appointment with our convenient online booking tool.