Nowadays, women use birth control at some point of time in their lives. It is important to choose the right birth control option for your personal lifestyle which allows in keeping control of future. But you will have to spend lots of energy and time in trying out different birth control methods to avoid pregnancy. This blogpost discusses about different birth control methods to compare and begin a conversation with the doctor for choosing the right one for your case.

Different forms of birth control methods

You will find five categories of birth control methods and these are the following:

  • Short-term
  • Long-term
  • One-time use
  • Permanent
  • Emergency
  1. Short-acting hormonal birth control – The hormonal birth control helps in adjusting natural levels of progestin, estrogen or both of your body to make pregnancy less likely. Some common methods are birth control pills you take regularly, patch you replace each week, vaginal ring you need to change every month or shot the doctor gives in three months. For all these methods, it is important to carry a prescription.
  2. Long-term reversible birth control – The long-term reversible birth control might be a good choice for being effective which lasts birth control without maintenance. One option is intrauterine device or IUD which gets inserted into the uterus having both hormonal and non-hormonal options. The other option is an implant inserted into the arm.
  3. One-time barrier contraception – Diaphragms, condoms, cervical caps, spermicide and sponges are some barrier birth control methods. Each of them work in a different way but they create a sperm “barrier” at the time of intercourse to prevent sperm physically from reaching an egg. The barrier contraception methods do not need any prescription and these can be purchased at the stores or online. Also, condom can help to protect against sexually transmitted infections which is the only birth control method.
  4. Permanent contraception –Salpingectomy (for women) or tubal ligation and vasectomy (for men) are simple surgical methods which seem to make pregnancy impossible. If you do not want to conceive in future, then they are a good option to consider.

In case of tubal ligation, the fallopian tubes will be tied, cut or sealed in order to avoid eggs from reaching uterus. But for salpingectomy, the fallopian tubes will be removed which provides additional benefit of lessening the risk of ovarian cancer by almost 50%.

The recovery time from the procedures requires a few days only. You and your partner’s sexual function will not get impacted in any way and with either of the method, you will still have periods. So, nothing will change in your routine life, except that you won’t become pregnant. This will make permanent contraception among the convenient birth control alternatives but only when you do not want kids in future. It is quite possible to reverse vasectomy or tubal ligation though there is no guarantee that the fertility will return. But salpingectomy is not reversible.

  1. Emergency contraception – When you enjoy sex without any birth control or the birth control option does not work, emergency contraception may help to avoid unwanted pregnancy. If you require emergency birth control, then there are two kinds of pills available and copper IUD. So, whatever method you prefer, you may want to use emergency contraception quickly for it to become most effective.

How effective is emergency contraception

One kind of pill called “Plan B,” can be purchased at most stores without any prescription. This can help to prevent unwanted pregnancy for almost three days after you enjoy sex with your partner. The more effective birth control pill called “Ella,” requires a prescription but it can prevent pregnancy for around five days after having sex. Also, copper IUDs need you to visit a doctor but they are almost completely effective when inserted within five days after enjoying intercourse. Emergency contraception is just a backup when something does not happen as planned. You need to have more control when you regularly use other methods.

How birth control is bad for you

Most people use birth control without any problems, though there are some side effects to it. Even though there are slight risks with hormonal birth control, these will depend on the health conditions and risk factors of individuals. The estrogen levels may increase the risk of blood clots in women with other risk factors related to blood clot such as – age, heart disease or obesity. Your doctor will take these factors into consideration when discussing about birth control.

Thus, invest sufficient time to be sure you have chosen the right birth control option for your situation. Feel free to talk to an OB-GYN provider for getting personalized birth control advice. Since everyone is different, the contraception that works the best for your friend might not be effective for you. Despite the birth control method you choose, make sure you use it as directed by the doctor for the least chance of becoming pregnant.