Intimate moments are often impulsive and spontaneous, but without some forethought and planning, unwanted pregnancy may result. Choosing the right birth control depends on a wide range of factors that include both health and lifestyle considerations. As you sort through the choices for your best option, Dr. Brandon Lingenfelter and his team are your partners in family planning.
What’s best for you?
Whichever birth control method you choose you should, as a woman, drive the choice based on what best suits you. Though you may sometimes be pushed into one direction or another ultimately, it’s your body, and since your choice may affect your health, the decision is ultimately yours to make. That’s why birth control decisions are often made in conjunction with an OB/GYN or primary care physician.
Your health history
Your genetic history, lifestyle choices, and current health all impact on the birth control decision. For instance, if you smoke or if you have chronic health issues such as migraines or hypertension, contraception solutions that use synthetic estrogen are probably not your best option.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has five contraceptive categories. These are:
- Long-acting reversible contraceptives: intrauterine devices (IUDs)
- Short-acting hormonal contraception: birth control pills, patches, rings
- Contraceptive injections: hormonal implants, also considered a long-acting reversible method
- Barrier methods: diaphragms, condoms, cervical caps, sponges
- Permanent sterilization: tubal ligation, vasectomy
Currently, the Affordable Care Act guarantees that insurance plans offer one type of birth control product from each of these categories with no out-of-pocket costs for the insured patient.
There are aspects of your life that are considerations when choosing contraception. Some of the questions you’ll ask yourself include:
- Do you plan to have children in the future?
- Can you use a contraception method reliably, according to its instructions?
- Do you feel comfortable with the reliability rate of a contraceptive method?
- Do you need protection against sexually transmitted infections (STIs)?
- Can you handle the side effects of a given method?
Hormonal versus non-hormonal
Another division in the types of contraception includes those based around hormones and those that don’t. Birth control pills, implants, and some IUDs use estrogen and other hormones to control the way your menstrual cycle progresses, blocking ovulation and creating a hostile environment for sperm in your body.
Non-hormonal contraceptives use physical barriers or substances that block the activity of sperm in your body. These are often beneficial when the side effects of hormone-based contraception aren’t compatible with your health.
Choosing birth control pills
Birth control pills remain the most popular form of contraception, and though they are hormonally based, there are different types of pills that deliver hormonal loads in a variety of ways. If you have an adverse reaction to one formulation, another may offer relief from side effects.
Since there are so many contraceptive methods from which to choose, including combinations, a visit with Dr. Lingenfelter is your best way to navigate through your options. Call the office, or request an appointment using the online tool to schedule your consultation today.