Contraception and birth control have changed in recent years, and knowing all your options is the best way to make sure you select a method that suits your lifestyle. At Women’s Health Center of Reno, women receive the information and guidance they need to choose the method that works best for them.
What type of birth control should I use?
Choosing a method of contraception is a highly personal decision, and today, there are multiple options to consider. One of the most widely used types of contraception is the birth control pill, which also has a long and established history. Birth control pills require you to remember to take a pill every day, which some women find inconvenient. Other options like the arm implant and IUD are always in place, helping to prevent pregnancy without any need for interaction on the woman’s part. And some women prefer diaphragms, which are used only when needed and don’t involve ongoing doses of hormones. The best way to know which option is right for you is to discuss all your choices during an office visit so you can weigh the pros and cons of each based on your needs and your lifestyle.
Is there a birth control method that can also prevent STDs?
The only birth control methods that can help prevent STDs are abstinence and condoms, and even then, condoms cannot prevent all types of STDs. Women who are concerned about sexually-transmitted diseases should ask about being tested during their office visit.
BIRTH CONTROL OPTIONS
Below are listed the forms of birth control available. You can also visit the CDC website for more information on reversible methods of birth control.
- Natural Family Planning
- Barrier Methods of Contraception: condoms, diaphragm, cervical cap
- LARC (Long Acting Reversible Contraception): Intrauterine devices and implantable contraceptive. The American College of OB-GYN recommends long acting reversible contraception as a first line contraceptive for most women including adolescents. These devices can usually be placed at a short visit in our office.
- Intrauterine Devices: IUDs can prevent pregnancy for years at a time, making it an extremely easy and convenient method of birth control.
- ParaGard: Works for up to 12 years
- Mirena: Works for up to 5 years
- Kyleena: Works for up to 5 years
- Liletta: Works for up to 3 years
- Skyla: Works for up to 3 years
Insertion can be done in the office after excluding pregnancy. Most insertions are simple and uncomplicated. Your Doctor will assist you in choosing the right IUD and recommended follow-up.
- Contraceptive Implant
- Nexplanon: The implant is a 4-cm by 2-mm rod containing etonogestrel that provides three years of contraception by consistently suppressing ovulation. It is very effective similar to sterilization.
- Insertion is an easy procedure in the office under local anesthesia. The implant can be inserted at any time if pregnancy is excluded.
- Injectable Contraception
- Depo-Provera: Depot medroxyprogesterone acetate (DMPA) 150 mg/ml is given every 13 weeks by intramuscular injection
- Combined Hormonal Contraception: birth control pills, patches, and ring.
- Oral Contraceptives: Effectiveness is based on the woman’s ability to take consistently and not miss pills. Linking the product to daily activities decreases the rate of missing pills.
- Contraceptive Patch and Ring
- The patch (Ortho Evra) is changed weekly for three weeks followed by one week without the patch.
- The vaginal contraceptive ring (Nuvaring) is initially inserted between cycle days one thru five and left in place for three weeks, followed by one week of no use.
- Progestin-Only Pills
- Sometimes referred to as minipills. Must be taken at the same time daily for maximum effectiveness.
- Permanent Sterilization
- Permanent sterilization is an option for those women who have completed their families. Female sterilization outside of being done at time of cesarean section is typically completed either laparoscopically (through incisions in the abdomen) or hysteroscopically with the Essure procedure.
- Laparoscopic sterilization is performed through small incisions in the abdomen through which a camera and instruments are used to interrupt the fallopian tube in some way either by taking out a portion or with the use of clips.
- Hysteroscopic Sterilization (Essure). Typically done as an office procedure or a short outpatient procedure with minimal downtown. It does require and x-ray dye test (hysterosalpingogram) three months after insertion to ensure complete tubal occlusion.