You've decided to use birth control, but what type should you choose? There are so many choices out there, it could make your head spin. One of the best ways to learn about the options available to you is to visit your doctor or gynecologist. Yes, we know that nobody really likes to go to the doctor, but visiting a medical professional can help you choose the best birth control method for your particular body. If you're responsible enough to use birth control, then you're definitely responsible enough to visit a doctor to make sure you get the best for your situation.
So what kind of things should you consider before choosing birth control? A short list of things to consider may include:
-Your current health. Some prescription birth control medications may not be suited for individuals with certain health conditions.
-The rates of effectiveness of different birth control methods. You should be aware that not all birth control is created equal. Some have proven to be more effective than others.
-How active your sex life is. How often you have sex is an important factor in what kind of birth control is best suited for you.
-The number of partners you have. If you regularly engage in sexual intercourse with more than one partner, you will want to consider birth control that protects against both pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases.
-How good you are about being consistent with birth control. If you consider yourself to be forgetful and absentminded about things like medication, you will want to choose a birth control method that doesn't require constant thought.
-Side effects? Of course, you should be aware of any side effects before choosing a birth control method.
Once you have considered these things carefully, choosing the right birth control (or combination of birth control) will be much easier. So what are the most common types of birth control?
-Condoms. By far the most common types of condoms are male latex condoms. Condoms are cheap, easy to get, and prevent against both pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases. The cons? Condoms can break. With failure rates of up to 15%, they are hardly 100% reliable.
-Oral contraceptives (aka The Pill). Many women opt for this type of birth control for several reasons. The pill has been known to ease menstrual cramps and regulate cycles, clear up acne, and is very effective in preventing pregnancy. Oral contraceptives, however, do not prevent against sexually transmitted diseases.
-Ortho Evra (aka The Patch). Like the pill, the patch places the responsibility of birth control squarely on the shoulders of the woman. The patch is a good choice for those who have trouble remembering to take oral contraceptives daily. The bad news? The patch has known side effects such as possible weight gain, skin irritations, and poses increased breast cancer and cardiovascular risks for certain people.
-Tubal Ligation (getting your "tubes tied"). Getting your tubes tied refers to a surgical procedure in which a woman's fallopian tubes are closed to prevent eggs from traveling to the uterus. This procedure is almost 100% effective in preventing pregnancy, although it will not prevent against sexually transmitted diseases.
-Natural birth control methods. This includes things like withdrawal (having the man remove his penis before ejaculation) and charting menstrual and ovulation cycles to avoid intercourse on fertile days.
These methods require a lot of discipline to achieve any degree of accuracy, and are not entirely effective. Obviously, natural birth control methods do not prevent against sexually transmitted diseases.