Posts for tag: Birth Control
Several convenient birth control options are available today for helping women maintain reproductive control. The different options allow women to select a birth control method that is best for them based on their preferences and needs. At Bala Women’s Health in Bala Cynwyd, birth control options include both oral and injectable contraceptives, as well as intrauterine devices. Our knowledgeable and friendly physician, Dr. Helene Koch, can help you choose a birth control method that meets your needs.
Birth Control Pills
One method for preventing pregnancy is the birth control pill, which is taken orally everyday. Birth control pills contain hormones, such as estrogen or progestin, and inhibit the body’s ability to become pregnant by preventing ovulation. In addition to being a reliable method for preventing pregnancy, birth control pills also help regulate a woman’s menstrual cycle and can even lead to less intense menstrual cramps. The medical professionals at our office in Bala Cynwyd can help you decide if birth control pills are the right contraceptive choice for you.
Birth Control Injections
Injectable contraceptives are another option for preventing pregnancy. Depo-Provera is one commonly used type of birth control injection. Injectable contraceptives are administered once every three months and are a convenient option for women concerned about remembering to take a birth control pill daily. Injectable contraceptives rely on the hormone progestin to suppress ovulation and prevent pregnancy. Since the injections do not contain estrogen, they are an appropriate option for women who have had certain types of hormone-positive cancers.
Intrauterine devices, also called IUDs, are an alternative birth control option that does not require an injection or taking a pill daily. An IUD is placed inside the uterus and inhibits pregnancy by either preventing sperm from reaching the eggs or suppressing ovulation by thinning the uterine lining. Intrauterine devices can last between three and five years before needing to be removed. Popular brands of IUDs include Mirena and Skyla.
You have several birth control options and we can help you select one that is right for you. Make an appointment with Dr. Koch at our office in Bala Cynwyd to discuss your birth control options by calling Bala Women’s Health at (610) 667-6363.
You're more likely to experience a birth control failure if you select a method that's not comfortable or convenient for you. Fortunately, there are plenty of effective birth control options available if you're not happy with your current method. Your OBGYN can help you evaluate the pros and cons of each option and make an informed choice.
Types of birth control available
Birth control options include:
- Barrier Methods: Barrier types of birth control physically prevent ejaculated semen from entering your cervix. Condoms are the most well-known type of barrier birth control. Other options include cervical caps, diaphragms and contraceptive sponges. Condoms also help protect you from sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).
- Spermicide: Spermicide is a cream, foam, gel or film placed inside your vagina to kill sperm. It's most effective when combined with other birth control methods, such as diaphragms, condoms or cervical caps.
- Intrauterine Devices (IUDs): IUDs are T-shaped devices inserted in your uterus at your OBGYN's office. The devices protect you from pregnancy for several years and provide reversible protection against pregnancy. Some IUDs release a hormone that thickens the cervical mucus and makes it difficult for eggs to attach to the uterine lining. Others secrete small amounts of copper to prevent sperm from moving.
- Hormonal Methods: Hormonal birth control thickens your cervical mucus and prevents you from ovulating, a process that occurs when you release eggs into the Fallopian tubes. Birth control pills are taken every day, while implants, patches, rings and shots can provide protection from three months up to three years, depending on the method.
- Natural Family Planning (NFP): If you choose NFP, you'll chart your monthly menstrual cycle and avoid sex during fertile periods. NFP doesn't work as well as other methods because ovulation doesn't always occur at the same time every month.
Factors that will affect your choice
Before you select a birth control option, you'll need to consider the method's effectiveness and ease of use. Will you remember to take a daily pill or use a condom every time you have sex? If not, a long-term birth control method may be a better choice.
Your health is an important consideration when selecting a birth control option, particularly if you're interested in hormonal methods. Although hormonal birth control is a good choice for many women, it may not be recommended if you smoke and are over age 35, or have a history of breast cancer, stroke, blood clots, migraine with aura, or other conditions.
Do you need a little help selecting a birth control method? Contact your OBGYN to schedule an appointment to discuss your options.
What is an IUD?
An IUD (intra uterine device) is a temporary form of birth control for women. It is a small, plastic device that is implanted into the uterus by an OBGYN to prevent pregnancy.
How Does an IUD Work?
There are two different forms of the device - hormonal and copper. The device prevents pregnancy in several ways. The copper version prevents fertilization by targeting and killing the sperm. The hormonal version releases daily low levels of levonorgestrel, thickens the mucus produced by the cervix during ovulation and thins out the uterine lining, all of which prevent the sperm from fertilizing an egg.
Do IUDs Provide STD/STI Protection?
No. IUDs only offer protection from pregnancy, and will not protect against sexually transmitted diseases and infections. Discuss sexual activity and risk factors with your OBGYN to determine the best methods for protection and safe sex with an IUD.
Who is a Good Candidate for an Intra Uterine Device?
IUDs are safe and effective for both younger women in their teens and older women, and can be used whether or not a woman has already given birth.
Will an IUD Affect the Ability to Get Pregnant in the Future?
No. The device does not affect fertility, and the woman's ability to conceive will be the same as before the device was implanted once it is removed, according to the woman's age and individual fertility levels. Once a woman is ready to become pregnant, an OBGYN can help to establish a fertility chart to determine ovulation and the best time to conceive.
Is the Device Painful?
Some women, particularly those who have never had children, may experience some initial discomfort when it is first implanted. Over the counter pain killers like Advil or Motrin prior to insertion of the device can help to minimize any pain or discomfort during and immediately following implantation.