85% of women who have unprotected sex, even occasionally, get pregnant within a year. Those odds are not in your favor if you’re not ready to have a child. Choosing a contraceptive method that’s right for you can involve some due diligence and clear thinking.
Decide What You Want
What are your concerns and needs? You must consider if you want an easy, non-thinking type of protection or one that requires preparations and consistency. You must also consider your wallet, what you can afford, how diligent you will be, plus whether you plan to become pregnant at some point.
Once you are clear on how much effort you will put into maintaining your contraceptive method, you are close to picking one that’s right for you. Let’s look at all the options based on these main questions.
You Want Easy
We suppose the easiest method is to have your tubes tied (tubal ligation) and/or your partner getting a vasectomy. It’s an expensive choice, but it works. If you or your partner are not ready for that drastic measure, here are other options.
Least Effective Methods
Ok, we can see you rolling your eyes a bit if you’re single. If you are really committed to not have intercourse till marriage (and maybe after), it’s effective. On the other hand, few are that committed.
Many choose this method to determine when they are fertile via tracking their menstrual cycle and the corresponding symptoms. It costs nothing, takes some diligence, and it usually works best for those who are trying to get pregnant.
These include internal condoms for the female, condoms for males, the sponge, diaphragms, and cervical caps. They prevent the sperm from reaching the egg. Male condoms work best plus they protect you from STIs.
Spermicide blocks sperm from entering the cervix and slows down their ability to swim. It is inserted into the vagina before sex.
Long Lasting Devices
- Intrauterine devices (IUDs) are reversible contraceptives to prevent pregnancy. They are inserted into the uterus by your OBGYN in the office and are 99% effective.
- Some IUDs release hormones into the uterus and as an extra benefit reduce heavy bleeding during menstrual periods. They last 3 to 5 years.
- Implantable rods the size of a matchstick are placed under the skin of the upper arm by your OBGYN. They protect for 3 years.
You must get the shot every 3 months for it to be effective.
The pill is the best known form of using hormones to inhibit ovulation. The patch and the vaginal ring do the same with 91% protection. You must replace the patch every 3 weeks, and you must remember to take the pill at the same time every day for it to be effective.
What Works Best For You
It’s important to discuss your health concerns and lifestyle with your physician to arrive at the best choice for you.
Contact Women’s Health Partners if you are ready for contraceptives or thinking of changing your current form.