Many options are available to women of all ages for birth control and choosing the right one can help you stay in control of your life. During your visit, we will discuss the options available and assist you in choosing the contraception method that best fits your goals and lifestyle.
Depending on your stage of life, you may be considering either temporary or permanent birth control.
Temporary Birth Control
Your options include:
- Rhythm method — Rhythm method involves timing of intercourse to avoid sex during fertile times of the month.
- Hormonal methods — Includes the pill, vaginal ring, or a hormone patch. These methods mimic hormones in a woman’s body designed to prevent ovulation and change the uterus and cervix so fertilization is much less likely to happen.
- Barrier methods — Condoms, a diaphragm, or cervical cap. The barriers stop sperm from reaching the egg.
- Injectable methods — Progestin is injected every three months and prevents conception similarly to other hormonal methods.
You may prefer a long-acting reversible contraceptive (LARC). These methods can last for three to 10 years. LARCs include both non-hormonal and hormonal devices.
- Non-hormonal Intrauterine devices — A T-shaped device is inserted into the uterus. These devices affect the interaction between the sperm and the egg. Non-hormone, copper containing IUDs such as the ParaGard lasts approximately 10 years and the copper wire produces an inflammatory reaction that is toxic to sperm and eggs.
- Hormonal intrauterine devices--- The Mirena IUD is a progestin hormonal releasing intrauterine device that is approximately 99% effective at preventing pregnancy and reduces heavy bleeding for up to 5-7 years by causing the cervical mucus to thicken which prevents the sperm from entering the uterus, inhibiting sperm from reaching or fertilizing the egg, and thinning the lining of the uterus.
Permanent Birth Control
There are several options for permanent birth control called sterilization. When you and your spouse are certain that you no longer want to entertain the idea of pregnancy, several types of permanent birth control are available.
- Tubal ligation — Tubal sterilization involves an outpatient procedure in which the fallopian tubes are sealed closed to prevent the egg passing from the ovaries to the uterus. It also stops sperm from reaching the egg.
- Vasectomy — This is a short, outpatient option for permanent male birth control. Contrary to the tubal sterilization procedure in women, no general anesthesia is required during this procedure in which a small incision is made by a surgeon under local anesthesia to close and block the vas deferens. This is the duct that carries sperm from the testes to the ejaculatory ducts. Once the duct is blocked, sperm can’t leave the testis. This procedure may not be fully effective for up to three months. Temporary birth control is used during the three months after the procedure.