Even though the birth control pill has become synonymous with preventing pregnancy before it begins, women of all ages still need to be educated about the contraception options that are best for their lifestyle, their health and reproductive goals. And, it is no wonder! There are more methods of pregnancy prevention than ever before.
Contraception options beyond the pill
Let’s take a look at all the methods of birth control available to choose from:
- Abstinence or Outercourse
- Withdrawal (The Pull Out Method)
- Family Awareness Methods
- Breastfeeding as Birth Control
- Female Condom
- Cervical Cap
- Birth Control pill
- Birth Control patch
- Birth Control shot (Depo-Provera)
- Birth Control sponge
- Birth Control Implant (in the arm)
- Birth Control Vaginal Ring
- Sterilization (tubal ligation)
No doubt this long list has some forms of contraception that are familiar. A handy way to categorise your contraception options is to group them as follows: abstinence, barrier methods, hormonal methods, natural family planning (NFP) method, sterilisation and withdrawal.
When you are considering which method is best for you, it is important to consider the following:
- Health issues
- Sexually transmitted diseases (STD)
- Side effects
Remember these things about Birth Control Methods
Many women come to me with questions about how birth control could help them live healthier, happier lives. Choosing the best method of contraception for you will be easier if you remember these things about birth control.
Factors such as health cover, where you live and your reproductive plans impact the methods available to you. Abstinence is free whereas the patch is one of the more expensive. As some have heard, a vasectomy is 99% effective at preventing pregnancy but is permanent and will not protect a man from STDs. Therefore, it’s not the best choice for families who want the option of more children or for men who are not in a monogamous situation.
Now, there are several methods need planning and involve tracking your menstrual cycle such as NFP or regular doses (the pill and the patch) or regular visits to the doctor (the shot). The barrier methods (condoms, diaphragm, and cervical caps) and hormonal methods (the pill, patch, IUD) provide more flexibility and prevent pregnancy during intercourse effectively.
Levels of assurance and safety varies with different methods
Effectiveness of methods in preventing pregnancy varies primarily to human error – incorrect use of a barrier device, skipping doses, and forgetting to use protection. Today, the most effective types of birth control (that are not permanent) are IUDs and implants. Again, keep in mind that an IUD will not protect you from STDs.
Finding the right contraception method for you is a passion of mine. Schedule an appointment with your GP to get the method that is right for you.