Birth control methods help you prevent pregnancy. There are a lot of options to choose from, and for someone who has no idea about the pros and cons or effectiveness of each method, the choice can be difficult. It’s best to consult your ob-gyn before you start family planning and using birth control, so they can best guide you on this path based on your medical history and needs.
In this article, we will discuss the different methods of birth control so you can make a well-informed decision that goes best with your lifestyle and health.
How to Choose the Best Birth Control Option for Yourself?
There is no single best option when it comes to family planning and birth control methods. Each method works, but its effectiveness and duration vary. Thus, it’s best to consult your ob-gyn and partner before making any decision.
You also need to ask yourself the following important questions to know what type of method works best for you.
- What is your budget?
- Do you plan to get pregnant in a few years?
- The number of sex partners and how often do you have sex?
- Do you want to reduce the risk of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs)?
- How is your overall health?
- And how reliable do you want your birth control to be?
Once you answer these questions, you can choose from the many birth control methods.
Different Methods of Birth Control
Birth control methods are divided into 5 types: barrier methods, reversible contraceptives, sterilization, hormonal, and natural. Here, we will list some of the most popular and effective birth control methods.
Birth Control Pills
The most commonly used method for family planning is birth control pills. Pills are highly effective and a type of reversible contraceptive. They prevent pregnancy by stopping ovulation; thus, no egg is available for the sperm to fertilize. It also thickens the mucus on the cervix, preventing sperm from swimming.
There are 2 types of birth control pills, combination, and mini pill. A combination pill is taken every day and consists of estrogen and progestin that prevent ovaries from releasing the eggs. It is 91% effective and needs to be taken orally every day at the same time. Thus, it’s best to set a reminder.
Intrauterine Device (IUD)
If you are looking for a low-maintenance, long-term birth control option, IUDs are perfect. IUD is a t-shaped device that is inserted into your uterus. It is of 2 types: copper IUD and hormonal IUD. They work by changing the direction or movement of the sperm cells so they can’t reach the egg. For example, sperms don’t like copper; thus, they move in the opposite direction when a copper IUD blocks their path. Similarly, hormonal IUDs release progestin that prevents ovulation and the release of eggs.
Both methods are 99% effective and cost around $13,000.
The vaginal ring is a 2-inch-wide plastic ring and is a type of hormonal birth control method. You place the ring inside your vagina, which consists of hormones estrogen and progestin, like the birth control pills, and prevent ovulation and thickens the mucus, thus, preventing sperms from reaching an egg.
There are 2 types of vaginal rings, NuvaRing and Annovera, differing in durability. The NuvaRing lasts for 5 weeks, after which it is replaced. In contrast, Annovera lasts 13 cycles (1 year). It is worn for 21 days, taken out for 7 days, and then inserted again.
It is 91% effective and offers multiple benefits like regular periods, reduced acne, etc., but it costs around $200 per month.
The diaphragm is a type of barrier birth control method that can be used as needed. A diaphragm is a flexible rubber disk with a rigid rim. It is inserted into the vagina against the cervix and used with a spermicide. A spermicide is a contraceptive that destroys the sperm, and a diaphragm helps in keeping the surviving sperm from passing into the uterus. The spermicide is put in and around the rim of the diaphragm and needs to be added 2 hours before every intercourse.
It is a great non-hormonal option and is around 88% effective. Although, it does require a lot of pre-planning.
Another effective birth control method for family planning is the implant. An implant is a matchstick-long thin rod that is inserted into your arm. The rod releases the hormone progestin, prevents ovaries from releasing eggs, and thickens the mucus. This is a low-maintenance method as it can last up to 3-5 years.
It is more than 99% effective and costs around $800. One major disadvantage is that it doesn’t protect against STDs.
The patch is another hormonal birth control method that prevents pregnancy by releasing progestin and estrogen hormones. The patch is a safe birth control method. You use it by sticking it on your upper arm, back, or butt. A single patch lasts up to a week, and you can wear a patch every 3 weeks and then remove it the 4th week for your menstrual cycle.
It is 91% effective and costs around $50 per month. It has no side effects and is super easy to use.
If you don’t want to take medicine, insert an implant, or wear anything, then you can also prevent pregnancy by making lifestyle changes.
You can also educate yourself about fertility methods, such as tracking your ovulation cycle, body temperature, etc.
There are many other methods available for family planning and birth control. Such as using a sponge, an internal/external condom, getting a birth control shot, vasectomy, and more. All these methods vary in their effectiveness and usage; thus, it’s best to choose one according to your preference and what is recommended by your ob-gyn services provider.