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Understanding Your Birth Control Options

Are you sexually active but not ready to have a baby, not ready for more babies, or don’t want children? Fortunately, there are many birth control options. Unfortunately, there are so many it can be confusing to choose the one that’s right for you. 

There are many things to consider when choosing a birth control method. It’s best to discuss your options with your partner and your doctor to figure out the right one for you and your lifestyle. 

Sharon Breit, MD, and our caring and compassionate providers at the Center for Women’s Health share tips and information to help you understand all your birth control options.

What to consider when choosing a birth control option

While you may know that you don’t want a baby right now, you should consider when you may want to start trying to get pregnant. Some birth control options can last for several years, while others are effective only for a couple of months. 

Another thing to consider is how forgetful you are. Would you forget to take a pill every day? If so, you may want birth control that you only have to think about once every few weeks or months. Your health and the health history of your family also factor into your choice. 

Are you monogamous? If not, you need to consider a birth control option that also protects against sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). 

Birth control options

After you’ve discussed family planning as well as your health history with your partner and Dr. Breit, you’re ready to choose the best birth control option for you. Here are the different categories and options.

Barrier methods

Barrier methods include a diaphragm, the sponge, and male and female condoms. Condoms are the only birth control method that also protects against STDs. 

These methods are good choices for people who don’t want or can’t use hormones. But these methods tend not to be as effective as other types of birth control and must be used inserted or worn every time you have sex.

Short-acting birth control

Short-term birth control methods are good for women who may want to get pregnant in the near term. But you do have to remember to take them daily, weekly, or monthly. Short-acting birth control methods include the pill, the patch, a vaginal ring, and a Depo-Provera birth control shot.  

Long-acting birth control

If you want birth control but don’t want to have to think about it on a regular basis, then an intrauterine device (IUD), which is a long-acting reversible birth control method, maybe the right choice for you. 

Depending on the device you choose, a long-acting birth control method can last three, five, seven, or 12 years. An IUD, inserted into your uterus, can prevent pregnancy for several years. 

Permanent birth control

If you’re sure you don’t want kids or don’t want any more kids, permanent birth control is a method you should consider. 

For women, permanent birth control, also called sterilization, is achieved through tubal ligation, a surgery where your fallopian tubes are closed off. For men, a vasectomy protects against pregnancy permanently. 

Are you ready to choose a birth control method that’s right for you? Contact us at the Center for Women’s Health in Wichita, Kansas, to make an appointment with one of our expert providers. 

Telehealth appointments are available. Please call our clinic to determine if your visit is eligible for a telemedicine appointment.

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