Our bodies are different, and so are our reasons for opting for contraception. There is no single best choice when it comes to birth control. Based on your purpose, priorities, and comfort, you can choose from condoms, birth control pills, IUDs, hormonal rings and patches, etc. However, keep in mind that none of these are emergency contraceptives.
We have put together a list of factors for you to consider while choosing a contraceptive:
Deciding the Time Frame
The first step toward choosing the right contraceptive is deciding how long you want to commit to it. Choosing an IUD or implant may make sense if you are comfortable with a long-term commitment.
A medical professional places an IUD within the uterus through the cervical opening to prevent conception for three to twelve years (depending on the type of IUD). An implant is placed on the underside of your upper arm and works effectively for three years. Both IUDs and implants are reversible, so if you decide to become pregnant, you can have them withdrawn.
The advantage of these methods is that you don't have to worry about pregnancy for years. However, the procedure requires a visit to the doctor and may be slightly expensive. IUDs can also cause excessive bleeding and other health issues for some people.
On the other hand, if you are anxious about committing to something long-term or you might decide to get pregnant soon, opt for a contraceptive where you can decide when to start and stop.
The hormonal ring, patch, or tablet can be obtained with a prescription and used whenever you choose. If you decide to stop using birth control, you can simply stop getting on the pill (or take off the patch or ring), and your fertility will return in as little as a day.
Ease of Use
Some birth control methods are simpler and more practical than others. For instance, you need to change the patch once a week. In contrast, a cervical cap has very stringent usage guidelines and requires you to plan much of your sexual activities ahead of time.
However, the ease of use varies among individuals. For some, it might mean no prescriptions, whereas for others it might mean little to no side effects. It all boils down to your definition of convenience; so choose one that ticks all your boxes.
Ease of Access
A lot of people only consider up-front expenditures while considering birth control. But these figures can be misleading.
Many birth control methods with a higher initial cost are more cost-effective over time. Other methods are less expensive but might cost more in the long run, especially if they need to be purchased repeatedly. TL;DR: cheap does not always mean more convenient.
Protections from STDs
You run the risk of getting infected every time you have a new sexual encounter unless both partners have been tested negative recently. A condom (barrier method) is the only method of birth control that can lower (but not eliminate) the chances of infection.
Using Contraceptives for Reasons Other than Birth Control
Not everyone uses birth control to avoid pregnancy. These methods have a host of other utilities, such as helping menstruators with heavy bleeding, acne, and PCOS.
The birth control pill and other hormonal techniques can regulate your menstrual cycle, reducing menstruation-related health problems, including PMS. Any combination of medications containing both oestrogen and progestin will control and lighten your periods and alleviate cramping and hormonal symptoms. Plus, various oral contraceptives help minimise acne and lower the risk of ovarian and uterine cancer.
The hormonal IUD, progestin-only pills, and birth control shots can make your periods lighter or stop entirely. However, these methods can result in irregular spotting, especially in the beginning, while your body is still getting used to them.
Pre-existing Medical Conditions
Some types of contraception are not advised (or can be dangerous) for those with certain pre-existing medical issues. Hormonal birth control is most frequently associated with such health constraints.
Speak with a doctor from Rocket Health's team of experts if you have any questions. They will assist you in determining whether any current medical conditions may limit your birth control options.
For a significant number of people, hormonal birth control has no negative effects. When side effects do occur, they are frequently minor and invariably disappear within the first few months of regular use. However, for some, modifying the body's normal hormone levels can result in significant alterations.
Although adverse effects are possible with all hormonal birth control methods, some have a lower risk than others. Methods which only include progestin do not result in the severe side effects caused by oestrogen-containing birth control.
Condoms and copper IUDs are the only forms of birth control that don't have any hormonal side effects, although people who are allergic to latex or copper should probably look into other options.
Have more questions or just want to be reassured of your choice? Book a consultation with our expert online gynaecologists today!
Post your consultation, you can place an order for your preferred birth control method with Rocket Health for discreet, free shipping. We also keep a tab on your timely refills, saving you from the last-minute hassle and the many trips to a pharmacy.