What Are Your Birth Control Options?
Birth Control Options
Birth control is how you prevent pregnancy. There are many types of birth control and the one that is right for you may depend on a variety of factors. The best way to find the right birth control is to talk to your primary care provider about your options. Its also important to consider other factors like which one is the best at preventing pregnancy, which is the easiest to use, which helps prevent STDs, which helps with periods, and which has little to no hormones.
An Overview of Birth Control That Community Health Alliance Offers
Birth Control Shot (Depo-Provera or “Depo”)
This form of birth control is a shot that you will need to get every three months by a healthcare provider. That’s it! It is one of the most effective forms of birth control, as long as you get it every three months on time. With perfect use, Bedsider states it is 99.8 percent effective. The shot contains progestin which is a hormone that prevents your ovaries from releasing an egg. Learn more about the birth control shot here.
Birth Control Patch
This form of birth control is a piece of plastic that looks like a Band-Aid. You stick the patch on your skin and it releases hormones that prevent your ovaries from releasing an egg. You change the patch once a week. According to Bedsider, with perfect use, it is 99.7 percent effective. Learn more about the birth control patch here.
Birth Control Pill (aka “The Pill” or “Oral Contraception”)
When taken perfectly, it is 99.7 percent effective according to Bedsider. In order to take the pill perfectly, you must take the pill at the same time every single day. Therefore, the pill is more like 93 percent effective. If preventing pregnancy is your main goal but you are forgetful or have a wild schedule, this may not be the best option for you. Learn more about the pill here.
Birth Control Ring (NuvaRing)
The Birth Control Ring is a small ring that you insert into your vagina. You leave the inserted ring in for three weeks then take it out on the fourth week. The ring works by releasing hormones that prevent your ovaries from releasing eggs. According to Bedsider, with perfect use, the ring is 99.7 percent effective. If you desire to skip your period, you can keep the ring in for four weeks then insert a new ring at the end of the month. Learn more about the birth control ring here.
The Implant (Nexplanon)
Nexplanon is a rod that is inserted under the skin of your upper arm. It is very small, most people can’t see it. The implant works by releasing progestin, which prevents your ovaries from releasing eggs. It prevents pregnancy for up to four years. According to Bedsider, the implant is 99.9 percent effective for perfect and typical use. The great thing about this form of birth control is that there are no worries, you don’t have to remember to take a pill every day or even pick up prescriptions; it’s a once every four-year thing. Learn more about the implant here.
The IUD (Mirena, Skyla, Kyleena, LILETTA, Paragard)
The IUD is a T-shaped device that gets put in your uterus to prevent sperm from fertilizing an egg. IUDs offer protection for years. Depending on the one you choose, you can have protection from three to 12 years. According to Bedsider, the IUD is 99.2-99.9 percent effective for perfect and typical use. There are two types of IUDs – hormonal or non-hormonal. The hormonal IUD releases progestin which thickens your cervical mucus, which prevents sperm from reaching the uterus. Hormonal IUDs may make your period lighter or even go altogether. Non-hormonal IUDs are made with a small amount of copper and can work for up to 12 years. This birth control is easier because it lasts long and you do not have to do anything besides get it inserted and removed when it’s time. This is the most effective form of birth control. If you choose to get pregnant, you just get your IUD removed by your provider, that’s it. Learn more about IUDs here.
A Cervical Cap (FemCap)
A cervical cap is a cup that is inserted into a vagina to cover your cervix and keep sperm out of your uterus. The cap needs to be used with spermicide for it to be effective. A positive of this form of birth control is that there are no hormones and is immediately effective. According to Bedsider, it is 71-86 percent effective with typical use. You must use a cervical cap every time you have sex and they work best if you have not given birth. If you are looking for very effective birth control to prevent pregnancy, this would not be your best option. Learn more about the cervical cap here.
Condoms slip over the penis to prevent pregnancy and lower the risk of STIs by keeping sperm inside the condom and out of the vagina. Condoms come in hundreds of brands, shapes, sizes, and conditions (with lube, without lube, ribbed, etc.). The great thing about condoms is they do not require a prescription and are inexpensive. With perfect use, according to Bedsider, condoms are 98 percent effective. In order for a condom to be 98 percent effective, you must use it correctly every time. Learn more about condoms here.
Community Health Alliance’s Title X Program
The Title X Program creates a safe place for all who want to access comprehensive reproductive health services. We assist individuals and couples in family planning and birth spacing services.
Please review our 2021-2022 sliding fee scale fee and federal guidelines to understand your financial obligations when receiving reproductive healthcare services.
Talk to your healthcare provider about the best birth control option for you.