Birth Control Options - WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.

Birth Control Options

When considering birth control options, there is a wide variety of products and approaches. One has to consider what is the desired result and then, what is the best way to achieve that desired result. One also has to take into consideration their social and sexual history. For example, if you are a married female in a monogamous (i.e. one partner) relationship, then some form of hormonal birth control may be appropriate. If you are young and single with no steady partner, then one should not only approach birth control options from a “no pregnancy” standpoint, but also think about sexually transmitted disease (STD) prevention. Finally, it is important to note that the only 100% sure way to prevent pregnancy and STDs is to abstain from sexual activity. While birth control pills offer 99% protection from pregnancy and condoms prevent pregnancy 78% of the time with perfect use, neither form of birth control is always effective nor prevents all STDs.

Birth control options basically boil down to hormonal forms of birth control and non-hormonal forms of birth control. The hormonal forms of birth control are Oral Contraceptives (OCPs), Ortho Evra (“the patch”), NuvaRing (a small rubber band placed in the vagina), Depot Provera, and Mirena IUD (a small device placed in the uterus by your physician). Obviously , OCPs are taken daily and although in several different packages, all basically offer the patient a monthly period. The patch is very similar to pills as far as side effects, but is placed on the skin weekly rather a daily pill. NuvaRing is a monthly form of birth control and also has the advantage of reducing vaginal infections in women who are prone to recurrent vaginitis. Depot Provera is probably the least friendly form of birth control with a high incidence of abnormal bleeding and spotting, especially the first three months. However, it has the advantage of being a shot given once every three months and is ideal for the patient that “can’t remember” her pills. Finally, the IUD is ideal for the patient who desires semi-permanent birth control, but also the possibility of pregnancy in the future. The main drawback of the IUD is the potential for early pregnancy termination in contraceptive failures.

The non-hormonal forms of birth control include condoms, tubal ligation, spermicides, family planning and abstinence. Condoms have a much lower success rate at preventing pregnancy (around 78% with perfect use), but also are somewhat protective against STDs. Tubal ligation is permanent and designed to be irreversible. And as discussed, abstinence is the only form of birth control that offers protection from both pregnancy and STDs.

If you have any questions or have a need for birth control, please contact your OB/GYN and ask him for more information. Or feel free to contact one of our physician experts at Central Alabama OB/GYN Associates, 334-265-3543.

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