Women have various options to choose from when it comes to contraceptives. The type that works best for you will depend on your lifestyle, medical history, and personal preference. There are several things to consider when deciding which contraceptive is right for you, including effectiveness and ease of use.
The team at Monarque Health and Wellness Center can discuss available birth control options with you in detail and help you choose the best option.
1. Intrauterine device
An intrauterine device (IUD) is a reversible, long-term birth control, and it’s one of the most effective options available. There are two types of IUDs; hormonal and copper, and five FDA-approved brands:
Paragard is the only non-hormonal IUD available. It’s made with copper and prevents pregnancy for up to 12 years.
IUDs prevent sperm from reaching an egg so that fertilization doesn’t occur.
Hormonal IUDs prevent pregnancy in two ways: first, they thicken the mucus that lines the cervix, blocking and trapping the sperm, and second, they occasionally prevent ovulation, which means there won't be any eggs for the sperm to fertilize.
IUDs can prevent pregnancy for years, but they aren’t permanent. Your provider can quickly and easily remove your IUD if you decide to become pregnant or no longer want to use it. After removal of the IUD, you can start trying to conceive.
An IUD is safe and very effective and may be the right choice if you want a long-term birth control option that you don’t have to think about.
2. Contraceptive implant
The Nexplanon birth control implant is a very small, thin rod surgically implanted into the arm where it releases the hormone progestin to prevent pregnancy. The contraceptive implant prevents pregnancy for up to five years in two ways:
- The progestin thickens cervical mucus, which prevents sperm from reaching an egg.
- Progestin can also prevent ovulation, which stops the release of eggs from your ovaries. Without ovulation, pregnancy cannot occur.
When you decide to become pregnant, you can start trying immediately upon removal of the implant since it is reversible.
Women choose the contraceptive implant when they want to prevent pregnancy for several years but prefer a zero-maintenance contraceptive.
3. Contraceptive injection
Depo-Provera is an injection given every three months. It contains the hormone progestin and, like the implant, thickens cervical mucus and prevents ovulation.
To fully benefit from the shot's birth control properties, you must remember to get a new shot every three months. The contraceptive injection is most effective when you schedule a visit with us every 12-13 weeks to get your next shot.
You are free to begin using the birth control shot whenever you want. If your first shot is within the first seven days of your period, it will protect you from pregnancy. If you get it at any other point in your cycle, you must use another form of birth control (such as a condom) for the first week following the injection.
The contraceptive injection may be the right choice if you prefer a short-term contraceptive and are comfortable and capable of maintaining a regular three-month schedule for getting your shots.
4. Transdermal contraceptive patch
The transdermal contraceptive patch is worn on the skin where it releases hormones through your skin. There are two contraceptive patches available:
The birth control patch works by preventing ovulation and thickening cervical mucus. Like other forms of hormonal contraceptives, it contains estrogen and progestin. A contraceptive patch is a good option for women who want a short-term contraceptive and are comfortable changing the patch once a week. A patch is worn once a week for three weeks (21 days). No patch is worn during the fourth week, allowing for menstruation.
When you’re ready to choose a form of contraceptive, our team can help! Give us a call at our Ashland, Oregon office or book online to schedule a visit today with one of our Monarque Health and Wellness Center providers.