Pregnancy can be a blessing, but not every woman is ready or necessarily interested in becoming pregnant. Practicing abstinence is a surefire way to avoid an unwanted pregnancy, but that’s obviously not for everyone. Thankfully, there are a number of birth control options available at Gynecology Associates of Gwinnett for women who want to remain sexually active without the risk of becoming pregnant.
The term “birth control” is not all-encompassing. While certain birth control methods have higher success rates than others, there is no “best method”. Selecting the right birth control method for you depends on your lifestyle, personal preference and specific needs.
We’ve highlighted a number of the most common birth control methods below to help you understand the differences between them and help figure out the one that may be right for you:
Birth Control Pills
Birth control pills are the most common method of birth control. These are hormone-based treatments (typically estrogen & progesterone) that prevent unwanted pregnancy by stopping ovulation. If taken daily over time, birth control pills can be up to 99% effective in preventing pregnancy. Birth control pills can also be used to reduce female concerns like ovarian cysts or irregular bleeding and help lower the risk of gynecological cancers. The pills are a commonly preferred method of birth control due to their convenience and limited side effects.
Long-Term Birth Control
Taking daily birth control isn’t ideal for every woman. For these women, there are long-acting birth control options. Long-acting birth control entails implants or devices that are inserted and removed by a board-certified gynecologist that can last for several weeks or even years. This includes intrauterine devices (IUD’s), devices that are inserted into the uterus and block the fertilization of eggs during sex. IUD’s are extremely safe and boast a greater than 99% success rate. Other long-term birth control methods include birth control implants, the Depo-Provera shot and NuvaRing®.
Women who never want to become pregnant have the option of female sterilization as well. Female sterilization procedures eliminate the worry of unplanned pregnancy without the need for additional hormone supplements. Here at Gynecology Associates of Gwinnett, we perform female sterilization using a surgical procedure known as tubal ligation. This procedure is between 98% and 99.8% effective, making it extremely safe by any standard. The effects of female sterilization can be challenging to reverse or negate, so this decision is not to be taken lightly. It is only recommended for women who are 100% sure that they do not want to ever become pregnant.
Any woman choosing between birth control methods should answer the following questions before making their choice?
- How often do you have sex?
- Do you have plans to have children someday?
- How successful is each method in preventing pregnancy?
- How safe is each method?
- What are the potential side effects of each method?
- Will I be uncomfortable physically with a certain method?
We hope this has been instructive to patients unsure of which method of birth control makes the most sense for their lifestyle. For those still unsure, an appointment with Gynecology Associates of Gwinnett can help answer any existing questions or concerns. If you would like to request an appointment, contact Dr. Kristine Gould at Gynecology Associates of Gwinnett today at (678) 380-1980. You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter & Google+ for regular reproductive health news and updates.