When faced with the decision on which type of contraception is best for them, women are often asked to consider their lifestyle and family planning goals. A form of contraception that suits one patient well may not suit another, which is why it’s so important to be honest with your PGOMG provider about your expectations.
PGOMG offers patients several options for contraception, including long-term and permanent options. If you’re aiming to start contraception or change the type of contraception you use, please consider the points below, and then request an appointment with PGOMG.
Nonpermanent contraception options from PGOMG
The birth control pill
Pros: Effective if used correctly every day, can help with difficult menstruation issues like irregularity and heavy bleeding, no interruption of sexual activity
Cons: Must be taken at the same time daily without fail, does not offer protection against STDs, can cause certain side effects, requires a prescription
Mirena IUD (intrauterine device)
Pros: Very effective as soon as insertion is complete, does not require daily attention, can help with difficult menstruation issues like heavy bleeding, can be removed at any time although patients generally use it for three to five years
Cons: Does not offer protection against STDs, needs to be inserted and removed by your PGOMG provider, can cause certain side effects, can’t be used by women with certain medical conditions
Nexplanon (hormonal implant)
Pros: Very effective, can be removed at any time by your PGOMG provider although patients generally use it for three years, can help with difficult menstruation issues like heavy bleeding
Cons: Does not offer protection against STDs, requires minor surgery to complete implant insertion as well as to later remove the implant, can cause certain side effects, can’t be used by women with certain medical conditions
Pros: Does not require a prescription, effective if used properly, does protect against STDs if used properly, low cost
Cons: Risk of improper use, can break during intercourse, risk of latex allergies, can interrupt sexual activity, a new condom must be used during each sexual encounter.
How does human error factor into my decision?
The cons of some contraceptive options listed above get at the issue of human error. For example, women must take the birth control pill every day at the same time to help ensure the pill’s effectiveness in preventing pregnancy over time. If you are prone to forget or believe your schedule does not allow for such a routine, perhaps the pill is not your best option. Condom use also includes the risk of human error. Proper application and use is critical to ensuring protection from both pregnancy and STDs while using condoms.
Your provider will ask which form of birth control is the most realistic to meet your lifestyle (daily routine) and family planning goals. If you find that your method of birth control does not live up to your expectations, your provider will be happy to review options for a different type of contraception.