20 September 2017

Newer Birth Control Methods | Birth Control Options

Weighing your options for birth control options is important for all women in child bearing age.  It is easy to be confused by all the birth control options out there. For example, should you take a progestin-only pill or the mainstream combination pill? Can an IUD affect your chances of having children in the future? Is the female condom as effective as its male counterpart?

Here are 12 of the most common and modern birth control methods for women:

The first option is the combination pill.  It is known as ortho-novum, loEstrin, Estrostep.  This birth control mainstay is still 99% effective against pregnancy when the pill is taken around the same Birth Control Options; Old and Newtime every day. It is also known for easing hot flashes during menopause and restoring regular periods for those that have abnormal or longer than usual periods.  Smokers and those 35 or older should avoid this option because estrogen may cause dangerous blood clots. If you suffer from migraines, you should also avoid this method of birth control because it may trigger the painful headaches.

The next option is the Progestin-only pill.  Its formal name is Micronor, Nora-BE, Nor-QD, Ovrette.  It is known as the mini pill, progestin-only meds do not contain estrogen. They are safer for smokers, diabetics, and those with heart disease, as well as those at risk for blood clots. They also will not reduce the milk supply for women who are breast-feeding.  Women who should not take this pill are those who have trouble remembering to take their pill at the same time every day, progestin-only pills might not be your best bet. They need to be taken at exactly the same time every day; if you are more than three hours late, a backup method should be used.

Another pill form is the Extended-cycle pill or the formal name-Lybrel, Seasonale, Seasonique.  These pills prevent pregnancy and allow you to have a period only every three months. (Lybrel stops your period for a year, but you must take a pill every day, year-round.)  There is no evidence proving it is dangerous not to have periods, but because this form of birth control is fairly new, there is still no long-term research to show that it is safe.

Moving away from the oral contraception you will find the Vaginal ring or NuvaRing.  The ring is made of flexible plastic and delivers estrogen and progestin, just like the combination pill. You place the ring in your vagina for three weeks, and then remove it for one week so that you have a regular period.  Women who smoke, or have blood clots or certain cancers, should not use the NuvaRing.

Another vaginal form of contraception is the Diaphragm or Milex Wide Seal, Ortho All-Flex, Semina, SILCS.  Made of rubber and shaped like a dome, a diaphragm prevents sperm from fertilizing an egg. It covers the cervix and must always be used with a spermicide. Women must be fitted for a diaphragm in their doctor's office.  If your weight tends to fluctuate by more than 10 pounds at a time, the diaphragm may not work. If you gain or lose weight, you will need to be refitted.  If you are prone to bladder infections you might want to consider another option. If you have had toxic shock syndrome, you should not use a diaphragm.

The IUD or Mirena, ParaGard is another option for vaginal contraception.  ParaGard is a surgically implanted copper device that prevents sperm from reaching the egg. Mirena, also surgically implanted, works by releasing hormones. Intrauterine devices (IUDs) are more than 99% effective and good for 10 years.  Some doctors recommend the device only for women who have given birth, but others feel this is an affective choice for adolescents who are sexually active.  The risk of pelvic inflammatory disease with the IUD is only increased in the first 20 days after being placed. Women should be routinely screened for STIs at the time of insertion as well.  When the device is implanted, your uterus is expanded, and this might cause pain in women who have not had children. If you are planning on having children in a year or two, look at other options. The IUD can be removed, but the high cost—up to $500—might not be worth it for short-term use.

The Female condom or Femy, Protectiv, Reality, may be a quick backup method.  The female condom is made of polyurethane, or soft plastic, and protects against STDs. It is inserted deep into the vagina, over the cervix, much like a diaphragm. Unlike the male condom, the female condom can be put into place up to eight hours before sex.  Male condoms offer more protection—both against STDs and pregnancy—than female condoms, so if you and your male partner are not in a long-term, monogamous relationship, female condoms are not a perfect substitute.

The Male condom or Durex, LifeStyles, or Trojan are affective against STDs.  Male condoms protect against pregnancy and STDs, including HIV. If worn properly, condoms can prevent sperm from entering the uterus, but go with latex or polyurethane condoms as lambskins do not shield against all STDs.  If your mate is allergic to latex or polyurethane, you will have to find another option. And if you tend to use a lubricant that contains oil, such as hand lotion or baby oil, you will need to switch to an oil-free option like K-Y Jelly, which, unlike oil-based lubricants, does not degrade latex.

The Patch also called Ortho Evra is a hormone-releasing patch placed on your arm, buttock, or abdomen, and can work for one week.  If you are particularly at risk for blood clots, you might want to find a different method. The patch delivers 60% more estrogen than a low-dose pill, so you are at an increased risk for dangerous blood clots.

An Implant or Implanon or Norplant, is an affective Long-Acting Reversible Contraception (LARC).  It is about the size of a matchstick, this implant is placed under the skin on the upper part of the arm. Implants last for three years and can cost up to $800. The good news is that they are nearly 100% effective.  Implanon may not work as well for women taking St. John's wort, or women who are overweight or gain weight quickly.  This form of contraception is a good option for sexually active adolescents. 

Sterilization or Essure, tubal ligation, vasectomy, are all irreversible option of contraception.  Women can undergo either tubal ligation, a surgical procedure that blocks the fallopian tubes from carrying eggs to the uterus, or tubal implants (Essure), a nonsurgical technique in which a small coil is inserted into the fallopian tubes. But the sterilization process is less risky for men.  Called a vasectomy, it is a minor surgery in which the tubes that carry sperm from the testicles are cut.  If you plan to have children, sterilization is not an option—it is not designed to be reversible.

Emergency contraception or what is called the Copper T IUD, Next Choice, Plan B, or Plan B One-Step is a backup for regular birth control. Plan B contains a higher dose of the same synthetic hormones found in the combination pill. It works best if taken within 72 hours of unprotected sex, but may work up to five days later. There is also the copper T IUD, which a doctor can insert into your uterus five to seven days after unprotected sex.  Plan B, known as the morning-after pill, is available over-the-counter at most pharmacies, but only to women 18 years and older. Minors need a prescription. The Plan B should never be the main form of contraception, but used only when there is unprotected sex or as a secondary measure to other contraception.  Copper T IUDs can be very expensive—up to $500. Plus, they last for up to 10 years, so if you hope to get pregnant in the future, this is not the route for you.

Many of these contraception are perfect for stopping pregnancy, but should be used together with a condom to prevent sexually transmitted infections especially for adolescents and adult women who have multiple or new partners.  For further information or same day appointments for contraception options, please call Dr. Joanne Hinson at 801-364-4030.  Dr. Hinson has been serving women in Utah and beyond for over 25 years.  Her experience cannot be rivaled and her caring methods will be comforting to women of all ages.

Why Choose Dr. Hinson

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Passionate about her vision. Treating women as people, respecting their value as females, and as people.

25 years of OB/GYN experience, acting as the only doctor for most of her patients , treating other medical needs as well.

Emphasizes a partnership with the patient in her health care, strongly advocating her responsibility in her health.

Focused, nonjudgemental listener, effective communicator and educator.

Considers the patient's overall health, mental state, and social issues as possible factors contributing to her present problems.

Considers the female body as a whole, not just the pelvic region.

Committed to staying current with changing guidelines and treatment options.

Continuously updating skills with emphasis on minimally invasive and in-office procedures.

More About Dr. Hinson

For 25 years Dr. Joanne S. Hinson has provided compassionate healthcare to the women of Salt Lake City, Utah and beyond. From puberty to menopause, Dr Hinson provides the best personalized GYN services… caring for the whole woman.

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