Effective Birth Control Options

Choosing the right type of birth control is all about you: your body and your health, your family planning, your health insurance, and other factors. 

The expert OB/GYNs at North Texas Obstetrics and Gynecology Associates can help you choose the best, most effective type of birth control for your lifestyle after a contraception consultation. 

That said, it always helps to study up before seeing your provider. Here are four types of effective birth control you should know about before committing to one over another.

Hormonal birth control

Perhaps the most well-known kind of birth control, hormonal contraceptives include “the pill,” as well as shots, patches, and vaginal rings, such as the NuvaRing®. This type of birth control is 99% effective if used properly, but that efficacy rate can drop significantly with improper use. 

Hormonal contraceptives send small, regular doses of the hormones progestin and estrogen into your body, and a missed dose (such as a missed pill) can result in pregnancy.

Long-acting reversible contraception (LARC)

Intrauterine devices (IUDs) are small devices that implant into your uterus and emit hormones to prevent pregnancy. IUDs last 3-10 years, depending on the type, and research shows them as 99% effective at preventing pregnancy. 

The arm implant,such as Nexplanon®, another type of LARC, is a small, plastic rod about the size of a match. It sits beneath the skin on your arm and sends hormones into your bloodstream. The arm implant is thought to be 99% effective as well.

Barrier birth control

Barrier birth control includes any strategy that involves physically blocking sperm from reaching the uterus. For example, condoms and female condoms are barrier birth control methods, as are spermicides, cervical caps, and diaphragms. 

Contraceptive sponges also fall into this category. One type of IUD, the copper IUD, does not emit hormones, so it can be considered a barrier contraceptive.

While barrier birth control methods can prevent pregnancy, they’re the least effective of all types When used improperly, barrier birth control methods are only about 85% effective. It’s best to use another form of birth control, such as the pill, in addition to barrier methods.

Permanent birth control

While permanent birth control options are arguably the most effective of them all, they aren’t the right choice for people who intend to start a family one day. That said, if you and your partner are 100% certain that you don’t want children, you could consider permanent birth control, or sterilization, options. 

The most common form of sterilization for women is tubal ligation, colloquially called “getting your tubes tied.” This procedure involves cutting, sealing, or tying the fallopian tubes, so fertilized eggs can’t pass through them and implant into the uterus. 

To learn more about birth control options and find the right fit for you, schedule an appointment with an expert OB-GYN today. Call North Texas Obstetrics and Gynecology Associates at our Plano, Texas, office at 469-240-1866. You can also send a message to the team here on our website.

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