An ovarian cancer diagnosis is often overwhelming and frightening. However, advancements in science and medicine provide hope for remission with effective ovarian cancer treatment. As you navigate this challenging journey, your gynecologist can help guide you through various treatment options. These options can empower you to make informed decisions about your health.Surgery is usually the…
5 Common Birth Control Methods from an OBGYN
If you are looking for ways to prevent pregnancy, you have probably heard about birth control. Several types of birth control can be used as a method of contraception, including pills, implants, an IUD, shots, and rings. This article will review everything you need to know about the five most common forms of contraception.
5 Birth control options to consider
Before deciding which contraception to use, it is important to understand that birth control does not protect patients from sexually transmitted diseases. Therefore, if the patients are sexually active, we still encourage them to be proactive by using condoms. In addition, everyone is different and therefore has differing needs, so scheduling a consultation with our office will help make the decision easier.
1. Birth control pills
Traditional birth control pills are the most common form of contraception. They are often referred to as “the pill.” Birth control pills contain synthetic hormones that prevent pregnancy by stopping ovulation (the release of an egg from the ovaries). The hormones also thicken and make it harder for sperm to get through the cervix.
It is important to take the pill every day at the same time to maximize its effectiveness. Sometimes it can be difficult for people to remember this rule, so it may be a good idea to set a calendar reminder or make a note in a visible place. If a dose is missed more than once a month, we suggest calling our office to discuss additional low-maintenance options.
2. Nexaplan implant
The birth control implant, Nexaplan, is a single rod inserted into the arm to prevent pregnancy. The implant works by slowly releasing a progestin hormone called etonogestrel that prevents ovulation and thins the lining of the uterus, making it less susceptible to pregnancy and thickening cervical mucus. Hence, sperm have trouble entering the uterus.
According to Planned Parenthood, the implant can be used for up to three years and is more than 99 percent effective. However, it is important for patients to understand that Nexaplan may not be suitable for everyone. Therefore, we will require screening before moving forward.
3. Intrauterine Device (IUD)
An IUD stands for intrauterine device. It is a small, T-shaped device that the doctor inserts into the patient’s uterus. This style of contraceptive is offered by five major brands: Paragard, Mirena, Kyleena, Liletta, and Skyla.
Placing an IUD takes roughly 10 minutes and involves inserting the device through the patient’s cervix (the opening between the vagina and uterus) with a special applicator. Once in place, the IUD will aid in preventing pregnancy by releasing copper into the body, which makes it difficult for sperm cells to travel through the fallopian tubes and fertilize an egg cell.
Since they are over 99 percent effective at preventing pregnancies, some doctors recommend them over the more traditional form of birth control (pills) because it does not require patients to remember a daily schedule.
4. Depo-Provera shot
The Depo-Provera shot, often referred to as the Depo shot or DMPA, is a three-month birth control injection. Then, every 12 to 14 weeks, the patient will receive the injection in their upper arm, thigh, or buttock and is given in-office. Over time, the contraceptive solution will prevent pregnancy by stopping ovulation and thickening cervical mucus, preventing sperm from reaching the egg.
The shot is also considered 99 percent effective in preventing pregnancy. The depo shot can be given to patients of any age but is most effective when younger than 35. Our office will help patients maintain a schedule to help maximize the shot’s effectiveness.
As with all birth control options, the depo shot has side effects (which we will review during the appointment), though they are different for everyone. Three months between appointments allows patients to notice changes in their bodies, and if they wish, they can change birth control methods.
5. Vaginal ring
The vaginal ring is a small flexible ring inserted into the vagina and comes in two options: NuvaRing and Annovera.
Annovera is left in the patient’s vagina for three weeks and removed. The hormones released by the vaginal ring prevent pregnancy, treat heavy periods and can be used as an emergency contraceptive if inserted within 72 hours after unprotected sex.
The NuvaRing is about 40mm long and 4mm wide; it contains two active ingredients: Ethinyl estradiol (a synthetic estrogen) and etonogestrel (a progestin). These together work by suppressing ovulation and thickening the mucus to make it difficult for sperm to infiltrate the uterus and alter the uterine lining structure to make implantation less likely an egg becomes fertilized. To maximize effectiveness, the patient will need to schedule an appointment every five weeks to have the contraceptive replaced.
Learn more about your birth control options today
Birth control is a great way to prevent pregnancy and lessen uncomfortable symptoms related to your monthly cycle. However, each option can affect patients differently. If you are interested in learning more about birth control or want to learn more about which option is most effective for you. Call our office to learn more about our birth control options or to schedule a consultation. We look forward to speaking with you.
A variety of birth control methods are available in Fresno and the surrounding area. Call (559) 424-1180 to schedule an appointment or visit https://fresnoobgyn.com to learn more.
Check out what others are saying about our services on Yelp: Birth Control in Fresno, CA.
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