Birth control is any device or medication that’s designed to reduce the risk of an unintended pregnancy. It’s important to consider your age, medical history, overall health, and sexual activity when choosing a birth control method. At Life Care for Women in Gilbert, Arizona, Dr. Linda Sodoma can educate you on your options and help you find the method that’s right for you. If you’re in the Phoenix metropolitan area and you’d like to know more about available birth control options, call or book your appointment online today.
Although you can choose from several forms of birth control, each comes with advantages, drawbacks, and rate of effectiveness. The five main categories of contraception are:
Hormonal birth control prevents ovulation so that your eggs can’t be fertilized. The pill, shot, and contraceptive patch are common forms of hormonal contraception. Dr. Sodoma also offers NuvaRing®, a hormonal vaginal ring that you wear for three weeks at a time.
LARC methods include IUDs and implants. An IUD is a T-shaped device that’s placed in your uterus to prevent sperm from reaching an egg; an implant is a tiny, flexible rod that’s placed in your upper arm, where it releases hormones that prevent ovulation. Dr. Sodoma provides advanced NEXPLANON® implants, which are 99% effective for up to three years.
This form of contraception prevents sperm from entering your uterus. Male condoms, female condoms, diaphragms, and cervical caps are barrier methods, as are spermicidal foams, sponges, and films.
Permanent birth control may be done surgically, with a tubal ligation that cuts, ties, or seals off your fallopian tubes. It’s also done nonsurgically, with the placement of an implant that permanently blocks your fallopian tubes.
The two most effective methods for preventing pregnancy in the hours following unprotected sex or condom breakage include a copper IUD and emergency contraceptive pills.
Dr. Sodoma can help you choose the birth control method that best meets your needs after considering the following factors:
If you don’t plan to start a family in the near future, an IUD may be your best choice; if you have heavy or irregular periods, you may benefit from a hormone-based contraceptive, which can help regulate your menstrual cycle.
No matter which type of birth control you choose, its rate of effectiveness for preventing pregnancy depends on proper use.
When used correctly, IUDs and implants are 99% effective, hormonal birth control shots are 94% effective, and hormonal patches, vaginal rings, and birth control pills are 91% effective.
Male and female condoms, which are often used along with another type of birth control to provide added protection, are only about 80% effective when used alone.