With so many birth control options on the market, it can be a tough task to choose one. At Dr. Derakhsh Fozouni OB/GYN & Associates, we want to ensure that you’re making the best choice for you, so here are a few basics to help you with your birth control decision.
Different types of birth control
Types of birth control range from barrier methods that you have placed before intercourse to surgical sterilization to hormonal devices and pills. Each way has its pros and cons, and not every method is best for every woman. Think about the following questions as you are researching the different methods available to you.
What’s the best choice for a monogamous relationship?
If you are monogamous, an intrauterine device (IUD) may be the best option for you. With a success rate of more than 99%, an IUD is an easy, reversible form of birth control. You can choose from a hormone-releasing IUD such as Mirena, Skyla, or Kyleena. Depending on the manufacturer, you can leave an IUD in place for up to five years and remove it at any time if you decide to have children.
If you don’t want hormones or don’t react well to them, the copper IUD ParaGard might be better for you. IUDs are a wonderful option for those in monogamous relationships because they prevent pregnancy and allow a couple to enjoy intercourse without having to worry about condoms or missed pills. IUDs don’t prevent sexually transmitted infections, so they aren’t the best for people who aren’t in a monogamous relationship.
After helping you choose the right IUD, Dr. Fozouni schedules an appointment for you to have the device placed. It’s a simple procedure that takes about a half-hour.
Another option for women in a monogamous relationship is the Depo-Provera® shot. It’s safe, convenient and something you don’t have to worry about every day. You receive the shot at a scheduled time every three months. LIke an IUD, the shot has a high rate of preventing pregnancy, but cannot prevent sexually transmitted infections, which is why it’s best for women who are in a monogamous relationship.
Is my lifestyle a factor?
Are you over 35? Do you smoke? If so, the mini pill isn’t the best option for you, since it can increase your chances of developing a blood clot, having a heart attack or suffering a stroke. Not a fan of taking pills? Do you have a job or other commitment that keeps you from being able to take a pill at the same time every day?
These are other reasons that the mini-pill wouldn’t be your best bet. The mini-pill also does not protect against sexually transmitted infections, so while it’s a great option for preventing pregnancy, if you’ve answered yes to any of the above questions, it’s best to consider another method.
Is it covered by insurance?
You want to make sure that the option you choose is something that you can afford. Check your prescription provider’s formulary book for options that are allowed under your plan and the cost.
Many of the popular mini pills such as Seasonique and Ortho Novum have generic forms available that are just as effective and nowhere near the price of their brand name counterparts.
If you choose another method, such as an IUD, implant, or shot, Dr. Fozouni’s office will verify your coverage before your next appointment. Be upfront and honest about any financial concerns you have, so we can work together to come up with a plan that meets your needs and won’t break the bank.
Should I be concerned about side effects?
Hormones can have side effects, so it’s best to research them before making your final choice. Hormone levels in certain methods, such as the shot, can decrease your desire to have intercourse and can cause migraines and irregular bleeding between periods. The shot can also cause you to gain a significant amount of weight.
Although many side effects decrease after the first few months, some birth control pills have possible side effects that can last throughout the course of treatment. If you start a regimen of birth control and realize that the side effects are unbearable, you can always make an appointment to discuss another pill.
How do I choose the best birth control method?
Your choice of birth control method should be based on research that you’ve done and a recommendation from Dr. Fozouni on what would be best for you. Today, IUDs and mini pills remain a top choice for many women.
Whatever your decision, be sure to discuss it with your partner, as well, since you may still have to protect yourself against STIs. Dr. Fozouni is ready to help you make the best choice for your body and lifestyle. If you’re ready to discuss a new method of birth control, simply call our office so we can schedule an appointment for you.