Pills, injections, rings, IUDs -- there are a wide variety of birth control methods on the market, each with advantages and disadvantages. If you’re confused about the many types of birth control available today, Javier E. Fajardo, MD, FACOG with For Women, Ltd. in Chicago, is ready to provide you with the information you need to make this important decision.
While many of today’s birth control methods share high levels of effectiveness, they differ markedly in the ways you use them.
Birth control pills, the Nuvaring, and the IUD are three very different methods, ranging from daily administration to a monthly cyclic change to long-term birth control. Each of these forms of birth control is reversible; you stop using them when you’re ready to get pregnant.
Birth control pills contain hormones that prevent pregnancy. If you remember to take the pill every single day, it’s 99% effective.
But studies indicate that the pill is about 91% effective because there are occasions where many women forget to take it. If you’re the forgetful type, the pill may not be the best option for you; there are other choices.
You may find that the pill is an excellent method for you if you have severe, painful cramps during your period, as the pill eases your pain. If you never know when you’re going to get your period and it’s very irregular, you may like the pill because it regulates your cycle. It can also relieve acne!
The NuvaRing is a small circular plastic device containing hormones; you wear the Nuvaring in your vagina to prevent pregnancy.
NuvaRing works on a monthly cycle: You keep the ring in your vagina for three weeks, or exactly 21 days, and then remove it. You’ll usually have a period then. Seven days after you remove the old NuvaRing, you insert a new one.
Instead of having to remember birth control every day, you’re down to a few important days to plug into your calendar. Set alerts for those days so you won’t forget.
An intrauterine device (IUD) is a lower maintenance birth control method than the pill or the ring. It’s a small piece of flexible plastic, or a combination of plastic and copper, shaped like a T that Dr. Fajardo inserts into your uterus.
IUDs are 99% effective in preventing pregnancy. You can leave them in from three to over 10 years, depending on the type of IUD.
You can select an IUD that is made of plastic and copper -- copper acts as a spermicide -- and doesn't release hormones. You need to do a monthly thread check if you choose an IUD with hormones.
Essure is a permanent, minimally-invasive birth control option. The procedure — which happens right in the office — involves inserting a small, soft insert through your vagina and cervix, into your fallopian tubes.
Over the following three months, your body starts working with the inserts to create a natural barrier in your fallopian tubes. It’s essential to use a backup form of birth control during this timeframe. This barrier prevents sperm from reaching your eggs, so you don’t get pregnant.
After a three-month period, Dr. Fajardo takes an X-ray to ensure that the barriers are in place. Once he confirms that your fallopian tubes are fully blocked, you can stop using other forms of birth control.
Call or book an appointment online with Dr. Fajardo today. He’ll help you pick the birth control method that suits your lifestyle and needs.