Over the past decade, methods of birth control have expanded and there have never been more available options. While the multiple options For some people, convenience suggests no bothersome side effects, ease of use or no disruption of the sexual experience. For others convenience means no prescriptions required. When considering a method of contraception, it’s important to take several factors into consideration.
Consider whether you want to have children in the future. If you would like to have children, it’s also important to consider when and how soon after using a method you would like to get pregnant. There are many effective methods for the short term, long term and even permanent methods of birth control. A tube blocking procedure or tubal ligation, for example, may not be the best choice if you would like to have children in future or even are unsure. Non-permanent options can include diaphragm, spermicidal gels and condoms.
Prevention of STDs
Some methods of birth control do not offer protection against STDs and HIV. If you want protection against HIV, condoms are generally your best choice. Condoms can be used in addition to another method that may not protect against STDs and HIV.
Consider the health risks associated with the method you choose. For instance, birth control pills are not recommended for women who smoke and are over the age of 35. Your doctor can help you evaluate the health risks for each of the methods you are considering so you should be honest about your health and or lifestyle.
Some methods are associated with side effects such as headaches, increased blood pressure, breast tenderness and nausea. Be sure to ask your physician about the possible side effects of the methods you are considering.
Your partner’s willingness to support and accept a given method may affect your choice of birth control method. There are also options if you would like to keep your method private from your partner. Talk to your doctor about the available options.
Some birth control methods are more easily accessible than others. Many methods require a prescription or medical insertion by a physician. If you are not comfortable with visiting a doctor for your birth control, you may want to explore methods that are available over-the-counter and in-store.
This is an important consideration for many because costs may not be covered by health insurance. Check with your insurance company regarding coverage on different methods of birth control. If your insurance doesn’t cover the costs, speak with your doctor to explore available options. Sometimes, paying more for a longer term method may be more cost effective in the long run as compared to less expensive methods.
Consider how comfortable you are with a method of birth control. If you are not comfortable or may not consistently use a method of birth control, your risk of unintended pregnancy is higher. Other factors that come into play include your age, emotional maturity, health, sexual relationships, marital status and religious convictions. Knowing the options is just part of the process, an honest assessment of yourself and your relationships is equally important when deciding the type of birth control that is right for you.
If you would like more information on selecting a birth control method that is right for you, contact Woodlands OBGYN Associates and let us help you find the right birth control to fit your own needs!