The Different Birth Control Methods Available

Different Birth Control Methods

When it comes to birth control it is easy to be confused by all of the option available. You may be wondering if you should get the mainstream combination pill or if you should have an IUD. It is important that you know what options are available and why you should or should not use them.

The Combination Pill

The combination pill is the mainstream birth control pill on the market and still offers a 99% rate of effectiveness. The pill will need to be taken around the same time each day to be effective. It is also known to ease hot flashes and can help in restoring regular periods.

However, you should avoid this if you are a smoker and over 35 years of age. The estrogen could cause blood clots which are very dangerous. Migraine sufferers should also pass on this as it could trigger the headaches.

Progestin Only Pills

The progestin-only pill is also known as the mini pill and does not contain any estrogen. These pills are safe for smokers, those with heart disease, diabetics and women at risk of blood clots. If you are breastfeeding they will not reduce the milk supply.

However, you should avoid the pill is you have trouble remembering to take it at the same time each day. These pills have to be taken at the exact same time each day. If you are more than 3 hours late you need to have a backup birth control option available.


An IUD or ParaGard is a surgically implanted copper device that prevents the sperm from getting to the egg. Mirena, another implant, will release hormones to stop pregnancy. An IUD offers more than 99% effectiveness and will be fine for up to 10 years.

The problem is that some doctors will only recommend these devices to women who have given birth. When the device is implanted the uterus will expand and this can cause pain for women who have not had any children. If you are planning to have children in the next 2 years then you should look for a different option.

The Diaphragm

The diaphragm is a rubber dome-shaped device that stops the sperm from reaching the egg. The device will cover the cervix and must be used along with a spermicide. The diaphragm will need to be fitted in a doctor’s office.

You need to avoid this if you tend to have fluctuations in your weight as a fluctuation of more than10 pounds will stop this device from working. If you lose or gain weight it will need to be refitted. If you are prone to bladder infections then you will also need to look at a different option.

The Female Condom

The female condom is made of polyurethane or a soft plastic. This device will protect against STD’s and will need to be inserted over the cervix like the diaphragm. However, it is possible for this device to be put into place up to 8 hours before intercourse.

The problem with the female condom is that the male condom does offer better protection. If you are not in a monogamous, long-term relationship then the female condom will not work as a substitute for the male condom.

The Male Condom

The male condom will protect against pregnancy as well as STD’s. When worn correctly the condom will stop the sperm from entering the uterus. It is best to choose a condom made from polyurethane or latex as lambskin does not protect against STD’s.

You will need to avoid this if you are allergic to latex or polyurethane. If you often use a lubricant that is oil based then you will need to either find a different birth control option or change to a water based alternative.

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