Your Birth Control Options

March 19th, 2014 / by / in: Health / No responses

Some women like to try for number two shortly after having their first baby. While there’s definitely something to be said for getting the pregnancy and newborn phase over quickly rather than stretching it out, most women prefer to give themselves a gap before they start trying to conceive again.

If you’re hoping to prevent a pregnancy for the time being, there are plenty of good options available that will support you in your choice. Use this guide of some of the most popular options as a tool to pick the best birth control for your needs.

Condoms

The male condom is one of the most commonly used birth control methods, and the only one that will protect you from STDs as well as preventing pregnancy.

Pros

  • STD protection
  • Inexpensive
  • Available without a prescription
  • Safe and non-hormonal

Cons

  • Can be ineffective if not used correctly
  • Can occasionally tear/break
  • Some couples find that condoms reduce sensation

The Pill

There are several different types of birth control pills currently available. The pill can be prescribed as a form of birth control or as a way to regulate your normal cycle.

Pros

  • 99% effective if used as directed
  • Can lead to regular, lighter periods
  • Can decrease menstrual cramps
  • Certain combination pills can reduce acne and lower the risk of ovarian cancer

Cons

  • Can be expensive
  • Does not protect against STDs
  • May have a range of side effects including spotting, weight gain, breast tenderness and mood swings
  • Not suitable for all women as it can raise blood pressure and increase the risk of strokes and breast cancer
  • Can cause blood clots in some women

The Birth Control Patch

Some women struggle to remember to take their birth control every day. If this is the case, the patch can be a good alternative. This patch is worn on the skin and is changed on a weekly basis. It works in a similar way to the birth control pill but the hormones are released into the skin instead of being taken orally.

Pros

  • Better for forgetful women
  • Can lead to a decrease in menstrual cramping
  • Can cause lighter periods and regulate the cycle
  • Highly effective

Cons

  • May be expensive
  • Can cause similar side effects to those experienced with the birth control pill
  • Does not protect you from STDs
  • Can cause skin irritation for those with sensitive skin

The Injection

The birth control injection or shot, otherwise known as Depo Provera, is effective in preventing pregnancy for as long as three months. It is injected four times per year and can be a good option for women looking for longer term contraception.

Pros

  • Long lasting
  • No need to remember to take a pill
  • One of the most effective forms of birth control

Cons

  • Can be expensive
  • Does not protect you from STDs
  • May cause a range of side effects, including irregular periods, headaches, acne and weight gain
  • Not suitable for women who are sensitive to hormonal contraception