There are several different types of birth control. While birth control is designed to prevent pregnancy, some options also help protect you from sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
Before deciding on the right method, it’s important to do your research. First, determine your goal for using birth control. Then, take the time to learn about your options. In this article, we help you get a head start. Keep reading for tips on how to determine which birth control method is right for you:
1. Determine Your Goal
Why do you want to go on birth control? Answering this question can help you choose the right birth control method. For instance, maybe you’re struggling with acne or want birth control to help ease your menstrual symptoms. Perhaps you have taken birth control previously, but need something more convenient to obtain. In this case, ordering your birth control online and having it delivered to your door is a great solution.
Whatever your goal, finding the right method to address your concerns is imperative. Once you’ve determined your goal (or goals), make a list of things you want to avoid. For example, if you’re forgetful, remembering to take a birth control pill every day might not be for you. Instead, if you’d rather not worry about birth control for a few years, an IUD might be the ideal option. Knowing what you want and don’t want will make it easier to choose the right method for you.
2. Look Into Hormonal Options
Hormonal methods of birth control are very common and come in different forms, including:
Birth Control Pills
Birth control pills are small pills taken once a day. They work by stopping a woman’s ovulation, which prevents sperm from joining with an egg.
An implant is placed under the skin of the upper arm. It releases a progestational hormone, which suppresses ovulation making it difficult for a sperm to fertilize with an egg. The implant is invisible and effective for as long as four years.
Administered by a medical professional every three months, the birth control shot contains the hormone progestin. This hormone prevents ovulation.
The birth control patch works similarly to pills and contains the same type of hormones. However, the patch is worn on the skin and must be replaced once a week.
Inserted into the vagina, the birth control ring contains hormones that your body absorbs to prevent you from ovulating. Keep in mind that the ring should only be inserted by a medical professional.
3. Consider Intrauterine Devices
IUDs are t-shaped pieces of plastic inserted into the uterus to prevent pregnancy. There are two types of IUDs: hormonal and copper. Once inside, a hormonal IUD releases a progestin hormone, stopping sperm from fertilizing with an egg. Depending on the type of IUD, it can remain effective for three to six years.
Commonly referred to as a non-hormonal IUD, copper IUDs release a small amount of copper into the woman’s uterus. That copper stops sperm from fertilizing an egg and may prevent pregnancy for up to 10 years. How? Since sperm cells don’t like copper, they will go out of their way to avoid it. Having copper in your body stops sperm from coming into contact with an egg, making it unlikely you’ll get pregnant.
Because copper IUDs don’t contain hormones, you also avoid the potential side effects associated with hormonal IUDs. And while they last for years, they are not permanent. This means if you decide you want to get pregnant, you can have the IUD removed without any negative side effects.
4. Don’t Forget About Barrier Methods
Barrier methods are another type of birth control option. They work by preventing the sperm from coming into contact with an egg. There are several types of barrier methods available, for both men and women, including:
Male condoms are worn on the penis. They work by keeping semen (the fluid containing sperm) from entering a woman’s vagina.
Female condoms prevent pregnancy by stopping sperm from coming into contact with an egg. These types of condoms should be placed into the vagina before coming into contact with a penis.
Spermicide is a chemical in a gel form that you spread into your vagina before having sexual intercourse. It prevents pregnancy by blocking the sperm’s entrance to the cervix and making it difficult for sperm to swim around.
Birth Control Sponge
The birth control sponge goes against a woman’s cervix to block sperm from entering the uterus. The sponge also contains spermicide, making it hard for sperm to swim. It’s worth mentioning that it can be difficult to remove the sponge and use it effectively. Because of that, it’s recommended you also wear a condom in addition to using the sponge.
A diaphragm is a thin and soft dome made from silicone. It’s inserted into the vagina before having sex and works like a shield, preventing sperm from fertilizing with an egg.
It’s important to remember that no one birth control option is perfect for everyone. All bodies are different — so it’s imperative to do your research. The information above will help you choose the best birth control method for you and your partner.