Choosing the right birth control for you is an important decision. With the wide range of options for women today, it is best to schedule an appointment with a certified OB/GYN to answer all of your questions. Before attending your appointment, though, take some time to explore the different long-term birth control options available to prepare for your discussion with your doctor about the right fit for you.
A Cervical Cap, also known as a FemCap, is a silicone cup shaped like a sailor’s hat that you insert into your vagina over your cervix. The cap acts as a protector from sperm moving into your uterus. Like all birth control, there are pros and cons to using the cervical cap. Women like the cervical cap because it can last for up to two years, it can be inserted up to six hours prior to intercourse and it isn’t felt by your partner. Unfortunately, women who have been pregnant before have a higher risk of becoming pregnant again when using the cap, and it doesn’t protect you from sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). It also shouldn’t be used during your period. If you decide to give the cervical cap a try, it is recommended to be used with spermicide cream or jelly. Learn more about this birth control option at PlannedParenthood.org.
Known by most as the NuvaRing, this form of long-term birth control is a small ring inserted into the vagina once a month. Hormones are released from the ring that prevent eggs from leaving your ovaries while also creating a thicker barrier to make it more difficult for sperm to get through. If the instructions are followed properly, the NuvaRing is a very effective form of birth control. In addition to the ease of using the vaginal ring, it is a popular choice with many women as it can lead to lighter periods and offer other health benefits, such as protection against acne and cramps. Negative effects from vaginal rings include discomfort, nausea and vomiting. To read more about the risks and benefits of the NuvaRing, visit PlannedParenthood.org.
Birth Control Sponge
This safe and convenient form of birth control involves a spermicidal sponge being inserted deep into the vagina before intercourse. The Birth Control Sponge, or the Today Sponge, has a nylon loop for quick and easy removal. The spermicide inside the sponge is released to immobilize sperm while the sponge blocks the cervix. Women who have been pregnant find the Today Sponge to be less effective, and the sponge does not protect users against STDs. More information can be found at PlannedParenthood.org. The Today Sponge can easily be carried with you, usually isn’t felt by your partner and can be inserted hours ahead of time. If this sounds like a good form of birth control for you, ask your doctor for more information and discuss any potential concerns that he or she may have at your next appointment.
Birth Control Shot
If you are looking for a birth control method where you don’t need to do anything before sex, then the birth control shot may be a good option for you. Also known as Depo-Provera, this is a shot in the arm that prevents pregnancy for three months. The shot releases a hormone that inhibits your eggs from leaving your ovaries and makes your cervical mucus thicker to stop sperm. If you receive the shot when instructed, this is an effective form of long-term birth control. Some side effects may occur, including either lighter periods or heavier periods. It is important to note that Depo-Provera will not protect you from STDs. For more information on risks and advantages, visit PlannedParenthood.org.
Birth Control Implant
A birth control implant, commonly sold under the name brands Implanon and Nexplanon, is a small rod that is inserted into a numbed area of your arm by a health care provider. Lasting up to three years, this long-term birth control option is great for women who do not want to take medicine every day and do not wish to become pregnant for a long length of time. Like many birth control methods, the implant releases hormones into your body to create thicker cervical mucus which hinders sperm and stops eggs from exiting the ovaries. According to PlannedParenthood.org, less than 1 out of 100 women will become pregnant when using a birth control implant. Although some women experience irregular bleeding with the implant, most adjust with no issues.
Scheduling an appointment with a comprehensive reproductive care center, like South Avenue Women’s Services, is the safest approach when choosing the best birth control for you. Contact our friendly and highly trained medical staff today at 585-271-3850 for a professional and discreet consultation.