Birth control, also known as contraception, is any method used to prevent pregnancy. There are many different methods of birth control, for example: condoms, birth control pills, IUDs, Nuva Ring, the rhythm method, tubal ligation, and vasectomy. Understanding how each method works will help you decide the best method for you.
Dr. Bhanot will discuss the different options and help you decide what the best method for you might be.
What are the benefits of using contraception?
The need for contraceptives
• There are 61 million U.S. women of reproductive age (15–44).1 About 43 million of them (70%) are at risk of unintended pregnancy—that is, they are sexually active and do not want to become pregnant, but could become pregnant if they and their partners fail to use a contraceptive method correctly and consistently.2
• Couples who do not use any method of contraception have approximately an 85% chance of experiencing a pregnancy over the course of a year.3
• In the United States, the average desired family size is two children. To achieve this family size, a woman must use contraceptives for roughly three decades.4
Contraceptives allow you to:
• Decide how many children to have
• Choose the distance between your kids’ ages
• Decide when to stop and start having kids
• Provide optimal care for you and your child during a planned pregnancy
What forms of contraception can I choose?
Condoms are the best way to protect yourself against sexually transmitted infections (STIs). They are also an excellent way to prevent an unwanted pregnancy when used correctly and consistantly. Condoms are a barrier contraceptive made from latex rubber, a synthetic rubber called polyisoprene, or a very thin plastic called polyurethane.
Oral contraceptives, commonly called “the pill,” come in the form of pills you swallow every day. The pill contains hormones that prevent you from ovulating each month. They also thicken the mucus in your cervix to deter sperm from swimming toward the egg.
Intrauterine devices (IUDs)
Dr. Bhanot offers 4 different IUDs to patients who would rather not remember to take a pill or change devices regularly. ParaGard® is a copper IUD that sits in your uterus and prevents pregnancy for up to 10 years. The practice also offers Mirena®, a five year hormonal IUD, and Skyla®, a three-year hormonal IUD as well as Liletta®, a five year hormonal IUD.
NuvaRing® is a circular soft ring that sits comfortably in your vagina, releasing the hormones estrogen and progestin to stop you from ovulating. It works much like birth control pills except you do not need to remember to take a pill daily and it needs to be changed every month.
The rhythm method, also called the calendar method or the calendar rhythm method, is a form of natural family planning. To use the rhythm method, you track your menstrual history to predict when you’ll ovulate. This helps you determine when you’re most likely to conceive.
If you’re hoping to get pregnant, you can use the rhythm method to determine the best days to have sex. Similarly, if you’re hoping to avoid pregnancy, you can use the rhythm method to determine which days to avoid unprotected sex.
Using the rhythm method for birth control requires careful record keeping and persistence. If you don’t want to conceive, you and your partner must avoid having sex or use a barrier method of contraception during your fertile days each month.
Permanent Birth Control:
These are surgical procedures that prevent pregnancy permanently and cannot be reversed.
Laparoscopic Tubal ligation or Removal is an out-patient surgical procedure where the fallopian is surgically interrupted or removed in order to prevent a woman’s egg to meet sperm and be fertilized.
Vasectomy is a surgical in office procedure for men to prevent the release of sperm in the ejaculate. Dr. Bhanot can refer your partner for this procedure to a urologist.