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Which Form of Birth Control Is Right for Me?

Are you thinking about starting or changing birth control, but you’re not sure which type is right for you? Dr. Essam Taymour and the team at Gynecology and Obstetrics Medical Group offer a variety of birth control options in Long Beach, California.

Here’s a closer look at some of the options available to you as part of our family planning services. 

Hormonal birth control options

There are many different types of hormonal birth control options.

Birth control pills

Birth control pills contain synthetic hormones, usually a combination of estrogen and progestin. They help you avoid pregnancy by preventing ovulation and thickening your cervical mucus so sperm can’t reach your egg. 

You take a pill daily, and this form of birth control is most effective when you use it consistently. Some types, such as the mini pill, must be taken at the same time every day in order to work properly.

Birth control pills might be right for you if you can commit to taking the pill daily at the same time and you don’t have any contraindications, such as uncontrolled hypertension. If you can’t commit to taking the pill consistently, you might want to consider another form of hormonal birth control. 

Birth control patch, ring, and implant

For those who prefer alternatives to daily pills, the birth control patch, implant, and ring are convenient options. The patch, worn on your skin, and the ring, inserted into your vagina, release hormones similar to those in oral contraceptives. The birth control implant is inserted in your upper arm.

These methods provide weekly or monthly protection, making them viable choices for women seeking a less frequent dosing schedule than the pills.

Intrauterine devices

IUDs are a highly effective and long-acting form of hormonal birth control. These small, T-shaped devices are inserted into your uterus and release progestin to prevent pregnancy for 3-10 years, depending on the type.

IUDs are a low-maintenance option and provide continuous protection without requiring daily or monthly attention

Nonhormonal birth control options

Hormonal birth control isn’t right for everyone, but that doesn’t mean you’re out of options. Nonhormonal birth control options include:

Copper IUD

While many IUDs do contain hormones, the copper IUD does not. They contain a copper wire that creates an environment that is toxic to sperm. Copper IUDs last up to 10 years, so they’re a good option for women who want long-term protection against pregnancy.

Barrier methods

Barrier methods such as condoms or diaphragms prevent pregnancy by blocking the sperm from reaching the egg. Condoms have another advantage: They help prevent the transmission of sexually transmitted diseases.

Barrier methods are good as a back-up method or when you want an easily reversible form of birth control if you think you might want to start your family in the near future. 

Barrier methods must be worn perfectly to work. Wearing the wrong size or putting them on incorrectly can reduce their effectiveness. 

The withdrawal method 

Coitus interruptus is a form of birth control that ends with ejaculation outside of the vagina. It’s nonhormonal and free; however, it has a high failure rate and requires self-control from both partners. This is not a good option if you have a serious reason to abstain from pregnancy. 

Natural family planning

Natural family planning doesn't require any devices or pills. It’s based on your fertility and requires that you abstain from sex on your most fertile days. It requires consistent tracking of your menstrual cycles, but it may require additional courses or learning for women with irregular periods.

There are several methods, including the Creighton method, symptothermal method, and Billings method. You can track your cervical mucus, basal body temperature, and other signs of fertility to determine when you’re most fertile.

If you learn natural family planning, you can also use the knowledge you gain to help time intercourse later on if and when you choose to become pregnant.

Permanent birth control

There’s another option for women who are satisfied with the size of their family: tubal ligation. This is a permanent form of birth control that works by blocking off your fallopian tubes, where conception occurs. 

Which method is right for you?

There are many factors to consider when thinking about birth control, including:

The good news is that you don't have to make this decision alone. To explore all of your options and find the solution that’s best for you, call our office  562-595-5331 to schedule a family planning consultation. You can also request an appointment online.

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