Birth control is commonly used to prevent pregnancy and can help to regulate menstrual cycles. There are many different forms, and it can be challenging to determine which is right for you. There are three basic types, and a good place to start to determine which method you would like to use is to figure out which type of birth control would be best for you – pills, injections or implants.
Birth control pills are a form of oral contraception and requires a prescription, and you need to take a pill every day around the same time each day. “The Pill” provides a dose of hormones that keeps the eggs from leaving the ovaries, so you can’t become pregnant. They also have a second protective measure, thickening the cervical mucus to keep sperm from getting to the eggs.
Pills are often quite effective, but there are some factors that can make them less effective, like certain medicines and supplements, vomiting and diarrhea, as well as weight. While you can start taking the pills at any time, it’s best to discuss with your doctor when to start birth control.
Some of the downsides of birth control pills are that you have to remember to take them every day. Side effects can include spotting or bleeding in between periods, breast tenderness and nausea. Some pills have more serious side effects, so it’s important to understand the side effects of the pills you’re considering before you begin taking them.
Injectable birth control is another commonly used option. “The Shot”, as it is often called, is safe and convenient, and lasts 3 months. The most common injectable is called Depo-Provera. While you need a prescription to get the shot, it’s usually quite affordable and effective.
“The Shot” works much like the pills, with an injection of hormones that prevent the eggs from leaving the ovaries and thickens cervical mucus. If you choose to go with this method, it is important to remember that you must get your shot every 12 weeks in order for it to be the most effective – the timing of the shot can also impact the effectiveness of the shot. If you get your shot within the 7 days after the start of your period, the shot will be the most effective, keeping you from getting pregnant. If you don’t get your shot during that time frame, you will need to make sure you use a backup method for the first week after your shot.
The Shot also has side effects, like irregular bleeding, change in appetite or weight, depression, headaches, nausea, and others. Most women report that the side effects, particularly irregular bleeding, improve after they’ve been using the shot for 6-12 months.
Birth control implants are a growing in popularity because they are convenient, effective and last for years, while other types require you to take action more regularly to prevent pregnancy.
Some implants, like Implanon and Nexplanon, go in your arm and prevent pregnancy for 3 years with the release of hormones that work just like pills and injections. This type of implant is not permanent. Anytime you wish to try to conceive, you can have the implant removed and begin trying.
Other implants act as a form of permanent birth control. One of the most common implant is Essure. This implant works with your body to perform a natural barrier against pregnancy. Essure is a minimally invasive procedure that takes place in your doctor’s office and requires very little recovery time.
If you’re interested in an implant, talk to your doctor to determine which type of implant is right for you.
There are a couple of important things to note about the different types of birth control discussed here. First, they do not prevent sexually transmitted diseases. Second, there are always going to be side effects. It is important to understand what they are and how they will affect you before beginning any type of medication. Third, you need to talk to your doctor about when to start birth control. Some forms require that you begin using them at a specific time in your cycle to make them effective right away. And lastly, talk to your doctor about what type of birth control would be best for you.