Many of us find ourselves overwhelmed when it comes to choosing a form of birth control. Pills, patches, condoms, cervical caps, rings, sponges, spermicides...AHH! So many to choose from! To choose the method that best suits your needs, it’s best to look into the pros and cons of each. Some contraceptive methods help to protect from sexually transmitted diseases (STD’s) and some only help to prevent unwanted pregnancies.
Birth Control methods may keep eggs from being released on a monthly basis, prevent sperm from ever reaching the egg, change the lining of the uterus, or kill sperm. If the idea of taking a daily form of birth control doesn’t excite you, you may consider a once a month option, such as NuvaRing. For more information and coupons, feel free to click on the link below: NuvaRing website
Remember, if you want protection from STD’s, you will need the condom!
If you decide, for whatever reason, that you are uncomfortable with using birth control, natural family planning is another option. With this method:
- You will avoid sex during the “fertile” period in which an egg is released about 2 weeks before your next period (ovulation).
- You can discover when ovulation occurs. The five methods of natural family planning include the basal body temperature method, calendar method, cervical mucus method, symptothermal method, and lacational amenorrhea method.
- You are unable to protect yourself from STD’s.
- If you choose not to avoid sex around the time of ovulation, when your partner ejaculates and releases sperm into the vagina, it will travel up to the fallopian tubes. If a sperm joins an egg in the fallopian tube, fertilization can occur.
Others use what is called the “withdrawal method.” This is when the male withdraws his penis from the vagina before ejaculation. This is not a failure-proof option! Sperm can be present in fluid released from the penis, even before ejaculation.
When it comes to birth control methods, all of them have their ups and downs. Birth control pills, patches, the vaginal ring, cervical cap, injection, and diaphragm are recommended for those who need a long-acting method of control. If you are concerned about more than just pregnancy, condoms protect against pregnancy and STD’s. Women who don’t want to have a baby in the next 5-10 years may want to consider an IUD. Those who want an easily reversible form of protection, may consider the sponge. Lastly, those who don't want children or are done having children, may consider either male or female sterilization. For more information, feel free to click on the links below:
Remember that some methods are more effective than others, convenience differs, price differs, health benefits and side-effects are also inclusive of some options. Some are available over the counter, others require a visit with your doctor or nurse. Some women may have trouble inserting one method and some methods are to be used in conjunction with another. Speak to your doctor to help discover what may work best for you.