How to Choose the Right Birth Control

Starting a family is an incredible commitment and one that you may not be ready for. Whether you’re looking for immediate, short-term, or long-term birth control, there are plenty of options that suit almost every need. In fact, there are so many options, we thought it might be helpful to break them down to help you choose one that’s best for your goals and your lifestyle.

Here at Boro Park OB/GYN, we want to make sure that our patients in Brooklyn, New York, are able to make an informed decision with all of the facts laid out before them. And here’s what we tell them:

Choosing a method

To help you narrow down your choices, it’s sometimes helpful to put birth control into four categories so you can pick the avenue that’s best for you. And they are:

Hormonal

Hormonal birth control methods work by regulating your ovulation through your hormones. These birth control methods rank among the highest when it comes to efficacy rates (which range from 90-99.9%) and ease of use. Hormonal birth control methods come in almost every form imaginable, including pills, injections, implants, patches, vaginal rings, and IUDs.

Barrier

In this category are birth control methods that prevent sperm from reaching your eggs. The most common barrier controls are condoms, diaphragms, sponges, and cervical caps. These options are a bit trickier to use, because they call for on-the-spot implementation and there’s a larger room for error. That said, used properly, they offer great protection rates that range in the 80s and 90s percentage-wise.

Natural

Under this category lies the only birth control that’s 100% effective -- abstinence. In addition, there’s also fertility awareness planning, which entails tracking your ovulation schedule and engaging in intercourse accordingly. Withdrawal and outercourse also fall under natural methods.

Permanent

If you’re looking for a permanent method, there are minimally invasive options for closing off your fallopian tubes, such as Essure®. Your partner can also undergo a vasectomy, which takes his sperm out of the picture. (A hysterectomy is typically not used for permanent birth control, but rather a procedure that we turn to for health reasons.)


Lifestyle considerations

When it comes to choosing birth control, we always talk to our clients about their lifestyles and goals. For example, if you’re constantly on the go and don’t have time for daily maintenance (or, let’s put it simply -- you can be forgetful!), a daily birth control pill or barrier methods may not be the best solutions. Implants, patches, and injections take the guesswork out of birth control and, mostly, don’t require you to give it a second thought.

If you’re worried about sexually-transmitted infections, the only birth control methods that help protect you are condoms, both male and female, and abstinence. So, if this is part of your decision-making, please let us know and we’ll work with you to explain the use and efficacy of condoms and set up a regular screening schedule for your peace of mind.


Planning ahead

Many of the women who come to see us are worried that certain birth control methods may interfere with their ability to have children down the road. Most of the methods above, aside from the permanent ones, are easily reversed. For example, if you simply stop taking the pill, your body responds fairly quickly, and you begin to ovulate normally again. Or, if you’ve just had an injection, you’ll need to wait out its effects and then you simply don’t return for another one.

If you have an IUD or an implant, we can easily remove it and get you on the road to motherhood.

We explain what you need to do with all of the birth control options we provide, so that you understand how you can reverse its effects when the time is right.

If you still have questions, please don’t hesitate to call us, or use the booking tool on this website to schedule a visit. We’re happy to sit down with you to discuss your goals, and together we can map out a plan that works best for your situation.

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