10 Birth Control Options for the Modern Woman
For a woman navigating modern society, selecting a birth control method that aligns with her active lifestyle can be a challenging endeavor. Thankfully, there are numerous choices available to prevent pregnancy and more, yet determining the ideal option can be an intimidating process.
When evaluating birth control options, there are various crucial factors to take into account such as age, health condition, possible side effects and risks, as well as daily routines – and these are only a few examples. Additionally, your partner’s preferences are also important to consider. Ultimately, it is essential to comprehend your requirements and acquire essential information to make an informed decision. Therefore, the following is a compilation of ten birth control choices for today’s woman.
While most women are familiar with the birth control pill, today’s women have a wider range of options than their predecessors. One option is the combination pill (such as Estrostep Fe and Ortho-Novum 7/7/7), taken orally every day. However, smokers and women over 35 should avoid this due to the increased risk of blood clots, and some migraine sufferers may experience headaches.
Another choice is the mini-pill (like Micronor and Nor-QD), which contains only the progestin hormone, making it safer for smokers, those with heart conditions, and diabetes. However, it requires a consistent intake schedule, as a three-hour delay may require a backup plan.
Lastly, there is the extended-cycle pill (including Lybrel, Seasonale, and Seasonique), which is taken daily, with menstruation occurring only once every three months. It could be an excellent option for women with difficult menstrual cycles, but it’s worth noting that while research suggests no health risks associated with a lack of monthly periods, further studies may be required to establish its safety.
The diaphragm is a rubber dome-shaped contraceptive device that covers the cervix and prevents fast-swimming sperm from fertilizing an egg. Spermicide is always necessary when using a diaphragm, and a doctor’s appointment is required for fitting. Women who experience weight fluctuations of more than 10 pounds are not recommended to use this method as it may not be effective. In case of significant weight changes, a refitting from a doctor is necessary. Popular brands of diaphragms include SILCS, Milex Wide Seal, and Semina.
We’re all familiar with Durex, Trojan, and Lifestyles as condom commercials are quite prevalent on television and the Internet these days.
The humble condom has been around since 1564 and acts as a barrier during sex to prevent pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections (STIs). The rubber condom was introduced in 1855, and in the 1920s, latex condoms were also made available. This is an ideal method of birth control for women who are not in a committed or monogamous relationship, although some men can be allergic to the polyurethane and latex they are made of.
In the 1990s, the female condom was introduced, largely in response to the fact that some men preferred not to use a condom during sex. Made from soft materials and polyurethane, the female condom works in a similar way to the male version, covering the cervix to prevent sperm from fertilizing an egg. The female condom can be worn for up to eight hours before sex. However, the male version provides a higher level of protection. Popular brands of female condoms include Protectiv, Femy, and Reality.
An IUD, or intrauterine device, is a popular form of birth control that involves a small, surgically implanted coil. This method is particularly convenient for women who don’t want to deal with daily pills or the hassle of condoms. IUDs are highly effective, with a success rate of about 99%, and can remain in place for up to 10 years. However, doctors typically recommend this form of birth control for women who have already given birth, as the insertion process can be painful for those who haven’t. It’s also not the best option for those who plan on having children in the near future. While IUDs can be removed, it can be costly, with prices reaching up to $500. Some popular examples of IUDs include ParaGard and Mirena.
No, this has nothing to do with the horror flick that terrorized movie-goers in 2002. The technical term for this form of birth control is a vaginal ring and much like the combination pill, it delivers added estrogen to your body. It’s made from plastic, and the ring is simply placed in a women’s vagina for three weeks and removed during the week of menstruation. It’s not recommended for smokers, those who suffer from specific cancers, or are susceptible to blood clots. NuvaRing is a highly popular brand that produces the vagina ring.
If you’re a woman who doesn’t want to use vaginal birth control, there’s another option: the skin patch! All you have to do is apply the patch to your buttocks, stomach, or arm and you’re done. The patch releases hormones for a week at a time, but it’s not recommended for people who are prone to blood clots, as it contains 60% more estrogen than a low-dose pill. The Ortho Evra brand produces this type of birth control patch.
A compelling option for women seeking birth control is the implant, which offers nearly 100 percent effectiveness and three years of pregnancy prevention. The implant, shaped like a matchstick, is inserted under the skin of the upper arm. While the procedure can be expensive, costing up to $800, it may not be ideal for those who are overweight.
For couples who have decided not to have any more children, sterilization can be a perfect birth control option that eliminates the worry of pregnancy altogether.
There are two options available for women. The first is tubal ligation, a surgical procedure that blocks the fallopian tubes, preventing eggs from reaching the uterus. The second option is nonsurgical, and involves placing a coil in the fallopian tubes to prevent pregnancy.
Many men are familiar with the idea of vasectomy, but may be hesitant to undergo the procedure. However, it is a common and minor surgery that takes only about half an hour. It involves cutting the tubes that deliver sperm from the testicles.
It is important to note that all of these methods are considered permanent, and should only be chosen by those who are certain they do not want to have children in the future.
Abstinence is the only 100 percent effective way to avoid pregnancy. However, some women use the rhythm method, also known as natural family planning, as a form of birth control. During a woman’s menstrual cycle, there is a brief window of time, known as the ovulation period, when an egg can be fertilized. To prevent pregnancy, some women abstain from sex for approximately five to seven days each month. Knowing when ovulation occurs is crucial for this method to work, but it can be challenging as a woman’s menstrual cycle can be affected by various factors like stress, illness, or minor changes in routine. The rhythm method may not be the most reliable form of birth control and carries certain risks.
The Morning-After Pill
If you have had unprotected sex and are worried about pregnancy, there is still an option to prevent it. The morning-after pill can be taken within 72 hours of intercourse, and in some cases, up to five days afterward. Plan B is one of the brands available over-the-counter at most drugstores for women 18 years and older, even without a prescription. So, whether you had an accident while using the rhythm method, a broken condom, or simply didn’t use any birth control, the morning-after pill can be a back-up plan.