There’s no single “best” type of birth control that works for every woman. Luckily, you have options. From the pill to an IUD to condoms (and more!), you can find something that works for you.
At The Center for Women’s Health in Newport News and Hampton, Virginia, our expert OB/GYNs help patients find the best type of birth control for their lifestyle, needs, and sexual preferences.
If you’re feeling confused or overwhelmed about choosing birth control, knowing all of your options for birth control is a good place to start.
Different types of birth control
Barrier birth control
This group of contraceptives includes anything that physically blocks sperm from entering your uterus. Male and female condoms, sponges, spermicides, diaphragms, and cervical caps all fall into barrier birth control. The copper IUD Paragard is also a physical barrier, but its main contraceptive value comes from copper, which creates an inflammatory reaction toxic to sperm and eggs.
Hormonal birth control
The pill, arm implants, shots, vaginal rings, and patches all contain low doses of progestin hormones that prevent pregnancy. Hormonal birth control stops your ovaries from releasing eggs, so sperm can never unite with an egg, thus you can’t get pregnant.
Long-acting reversible contraception (LARC)
This class of contraceptives, which includes all intrauterine devices (IUDs), is becoming more and more popular due to the “set it and forget it” nature. IUDs are inserted once and can last for several years.
Emergency contraception, such as Plan B (the “morning-after pill”) should be considered a last resort and should not be used as regular birth control. Emergency contraception pills contain very high doses of levonorgestrel, the same hormone found in many hormonal birth control options.
Permanent birth control
If you know for sure — absolutely, 100%, undoubtedly for sure — that you never want children, you might consider permanent birth control as a viable option. Permanent birth control, or sterilization, alters your body in a way that prevents you from getting pregnant. For women, this means undergoing tubal ligation (or “getting your tubes tied”), and for men, this means having a vasectomy.
Which type of birth control is best?
In general, all of the birth control options are considered very safe, and most types are very effective when used properly (“when used properly” being key). Each type of contraception has its own unique set of pros and cons and it’s up to you to choose the best type for your lifestyle, needs, and sexual preferences.
For instance, many people use hormonal birth control because it provides the opportunity to enjoy a spontaneous and relatively care-free sex life. But, hormonal birth control causes nausea, weight gain, and other side effects in many women. Barrier birth control, on the other hand, may interrupt spontaneity and they aren’t foolproof. But, you won’t experience any hormone-related side effects.
To determine which of the many birth controls options is best for you, come in for a consultation at The Center for Women’s Health. Our expert providers will help you choose a birth control option that best supports your current lifestyle and future family planning needs.
Schedule an appointment today by calling our office at 757-874-2229 (Newport News) or 757-874-2229 (Hampton). You can also send a secure message to our team online.