Todays options of birth control range from a implants to patches. How do you choose whats right for you?
Different form of birth control available to women. Photo credit: axiawomenshealth.com
The pill: Must be remembered every day, approximately around the same time. Small, easy to swallow and “99.7% effective with perfect use” according to medicalnewstoday.com. Side effects include weight gain, nausea, mood changes and decreased libido. Good things about the pill are it’s effectiveness, its simplicity and regulation of periods.
The patch: The patch is a simple to use sticker that blends in with your skin. it is able to be worn on the arm, back, butt or stomach. It is to be replaced every week and has 91% effectiveness with use. “Hormones from the patch get into the blood stream and are processed by the body differently than hormones from birth control pills. You will be exposed to about 60% more estrogen if you use the patch than if you use a typical birth control pill containing 35 micrograms of estrogen.” according to Xulane.com, makers of the patch.
Injection: The depo-provera shot works similarly to the pill. It is injected into the arm every three months. Most women stop getting a period after 6-12 months of injections. A downside to this option is having to go into your doctors office every thee months and the injection is known to cause arthritis and bone loss. “I got crazy mood swings when I got the injections, way worse than PMS.” said Jessica Ramirez. “Women who use Depo experience a loss of bone mineral density (BMD), which may put them at higher risk for osteoporosis and bone fractures later in life. In a post-menopausal woman, a BMD loss of as little as 10 percent to 13 percent increases her fracture risk” stated National Women’s Health Network on their website, nwhn.org.
Implant: This option seems to be the most worry-free. with 99.9% effectiveness, women get their implant replaced every three years and don’t need to worry about it in the meantime. While the implant can be painful and bruised during insertion, most women don’t seem to mind it in lieu of not having to remember to take their birth control method. This etonogestrel implant comes with minor side effects like mood swings and weight gain. The implant needs to be felt by the user often to make sure it does not shift in the body and get lost. Implants have been known to migrate before and would require surgery to remove. Most women do not get a period after a years use, but have heavy bleeding in the year before and irregular periods.
Condoms: Condoms are a decent form of birth control. While they are the least effective at 85% according to Plannedparenthood.org. Condoms are known to break, come off, etc. They are simple to use, but take on a larger risk of pregnancy due to their imperfect use.
IUD: The IUD is another very effective form of birth control. Inserted by a doctor, the IUD can last from 3-6 years against unwanted pregnancy. It’s “use and forget” method is favored among todays women. There are different options such as progesterone only, and copper (hormone free) devices that you can chose from. The IUD is painful to insert and can cause cramping and irregular bleeding. Some IUDs have been known to break through the uterus, requiring surgery.
Nuvaring: The Nuvaring is able to be done at home. The ring is inserted every three weeks and one week off per month. Women like the option of the home use and not having to go to the doctors often. While female users cannot feel the ring, males have reported feeling the ring during intercourse. the ring has 91% effectiveness according to Plannedparenthood.org and makes users periods more regular and easy to predict.