Understanding the Different Types of Birth Control

Understanding the Different Types of Birth Control

When you’re a woman in your childbearing years, there’s a chance that you could get pregnant every time you have sexual intercourse without birth control. By using birth control, you can plan your pregnancies for a time that’s best for you and your family.

Our expert providers at The Center for Women’s Health in Newport News and Hampton, Virginia, recommend that every woman of childbearing age who might have sexual intercourse be prepared with contraception. In this blog, our providers discuss the different forms of birth control and explain why you should choose a method before you need it.

Why make a birth control plan?

The only way to have the best chance at preventing pregnancy is to be prepared and use birth control every time you have sexual intercourse. With so many birth control options available, ranging from long-active reversible contraception (LARC) to short-acting options, to barrier methods, it’s easy to be prepared.

Having a long-term contraception plan can help you stay in the driver’s seat of your family planning and always have birth control ready when you need it. Every woman’s birth control needs are different, and your choice of contraception should be convenient and effective for your current health, lifestyle, and family plans.

What birth control options are there?

There are a number of birth control options. These are some of the most common methods.

Long-acting reversible contraceptives

These contraceptives prevent pregnancy for 3-5 years. They either prevent you from ovulating, keep an egg from implanting in your uterus, or keep sperm from getting to your egg.

Intrauterine devices (IUDs), such as Mirena®, and hormonal implants, such as Nexplanon®, are common types of LARCs. You can get a LARC inserted at an in-office procedure at The Center for Women’s Health.

Short-term hormonal birth control

Short-term hormonal birth control, such as the birth control pill, patch, ring, or shot, prevent ovulation or sperm from fertilizing your egg. These methods are short-term, meaning they stop working quickly if you stop using or taking them.

This type of birth control can also help you manage some medical conditions, including polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), menorrhagia, and endometriosis. Our team can prescribe short-term hormonal birth control for you. 

Barrier birth control

Barrier birth control creates a physical barrier that prevents sperm from fertilizing your egg. Condoms, which also provide some STD protection, diaphragms, and cervical caps are all barrier birth control methods. 

Our providers can prescribe and fit you for cervical caps and diaphragms, while condoms can be bought over the counter.

Sterilization

Sterilization permanently prevents you from becoming pregnant. Female sterilization is known as tubal ligation and involves a procedure to block your fallopian tubes, which prevents your egg from being fertilized by sperm.

How can I choose a birth control method?

Our providers are experts on birth control and can help you choose the best method during a consultation. During your consultation, our team reviews your medical and sexual history, pregnancy plans, and personal birth control preferences and needs.

Our team may also perform a pelvic exam, physical exam, and lab testing as part of your birth control consultation. Based on your health and personal needs, our team then works with you to make a birth control recommendation and plan.

Take charge of your body and fertility by being prepared. To learn more about birth control and to pick the method that’s best for you, book an appointment over the phone with The Center for Women's Health today.

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