Birth Control Types to Consider

Today, there are many options as it relates to birth control. To select the one that is best suited to your needs, and those of your partner, you should consult with a gynecologist from Women’s Health Partners of Boca Raton and Boynton Beach, Florida.

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Hormonal Contraceptives

Hormonal birth control can often help to regulate a woman’s menstrual cycle and associated symptoms by stabilizing her hormones. While hormonal contraceptives are particularly common, they are not recommended for each and every female. This decision will be based upon the patient’s health and any prior conditions or risk factors she may have.

Birth Control Pills

Birth control pills are a form of oral contraception that generally contain two hormones, estrogen and progestin, and are taken daily to prevent a woman’s ovaries from releasing eggs. They also help to prevent pregnancy by causing the cervical mucus to thicken, which blocks sperm from fertilizing an egg. Birth control pills are safe, effective, and convenient, though they may be less effective for women who are overweight. Additionally, vomiting and/or diarrhea may keep the pill from working properly to prevent pregnancy. If a woman is concerned about this, a backup method of birth control should be used.

Birth Control Patch

Used correctly, the patch is as effective as birth control pills are in preventing pregnancy. The patch is a form of birth control that a patient wears on the skin and looks like a small bandaid. The hormones it contains (estrogen and progestin) are similar to those used in birth control pills but are absorbed through the skin. The patch works by suppressing the pituitary gland which, in turn, prevents the ovaries from releasing eggs. It also thickens cervical mucus making it more difficult for sperm to reach an egg. Since the patch contains a dosage which is 60% higher than that delivered by the pills, there is the risk of side effects such as blood clots. Because of this, it is essential that patients using the patch do not smoke. The patch can also be used to treat irregular periods, menstrual cramps, or endometriosis.

The Birth Control Shot

The Depo-Provera or Depo shot is another very effective method of birth control. This shot must be given once every 3 months by a trained medical professional, typically during a quick appointment at our office locations in Boynton Beach or Boca Raton, Florida. Women who receive this shot will typically experience lighter periods, or will stop getting their period all together after several months of consecutive shots. This method is especially beneficial to women who are looking for a flexible and low-maintenance form of birth control that is still highly effective with a success rate of over 99%.

Vaginal Ring (NuvaRing)

A vaginal ring is a form of contraception that is soft, flexible, and worn in the vagina. The key benefit of the ring is that a patient does not need to take it daily to get complete monthly protection. In a given one month period, the ring must be inserted into the vagina, removed after 3 weeks, and a new ring inserted no more than 7 days later. The hormones it contains (estrogen and progestin) are similar to those used in birth control pills. However, unlike birth control pills, they are absorbed directly into the blood stream through the vaginal wall, delivering a consistent level of medication improving effectiveness and limiting side effects.

Non-Hormonal Birth Control in Boca Raton, FL

Some women can experience adverse side effects from adding more hormones to their body via contraceptives. Non-hormonal options are ideal in these situations, and is also commonly recommended for women who wish to breastfeed while remaining on an effective form of birth control.

Condoms

Condoms are a barrier form of birth control that physically block the sperm from entering the vagina. They are the only form of protection that can help to stop the transmission of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), like HIV, and prevent pregnancy. A condom is a latex or polyurethane sheath that is closed at one end and fits over a man’s penis. Condoms are also available for females and have a flexible ring at either end. One end is closed and inserted into the vagina and the other end is open with the ring remaining outside the vagina. To help assure protection, users should read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

Diaphragm

A diaphragm is a thin, rubber, dome-shaped device with a springy and flexible rim. Inserted into the vagina by the patient, it fits over the cervix and is held in place by muscles in the vagina. The diaphragm is designed to hold spermicide in place over the cervix to kill sperm. To maximize the effectiveness of the diaphragm it should be left in place for up to 6 to 8 hours. The effectiveness for birth control ranges from between 86-94%. If one chooses to use a diaphragm, it must be fitted in a clinic. Additionally, weight changes, vaginal surgery, and pregnancy can affect the way a diaphragm fits, requiring that a medical provider check it to make sure it fits properly and to determine if a new size is needed.

Permanent Contraception (Tubal Ligation)

Tubal Ligation is a procedure that seals off a woman’s fallopian tubes that carry an egg from the ovaries to the uterus. By blocking these tubes, where fertilization usually occurs, sperm is unable to reach the egg to fertilize it. The procedure seals the fallopian tubes with thread, bands, clips, an electric current, or small implants. Patients should be aware that the procedure provides permanent birth control and is NOT reversible.

Other Hormonal & Non-Hormonal Options

There are a few different contraceptives that are available in both hormonal and non-hormonal forms.

Intrauterine Device (IUD)

An IUD is a contraceptive device that delivers small amounts of hormone directly to the uterus. It is a form of birth control that remains in the uterus and can last for up to 5 years. It is a small, T-shaped, plastic device that is both soft and flexible, and is put into place by a gynecologist during a visit at Women’s Health Partners. An IUD works through several different actions that include thickening the cervical mucus to prevent sperm from entering the uterus, inhibiting the sperm from reaching or fertilizing an egg, and making the lining of the uterus thin. While they are 99% effective with regards to birth control, a gynecologist can remove the device if a patient is looking to become pregnant immediately.

Your Safety and Well-being is our Priority

On behalf of all of us at Women’s Health Partners, in these difficult times, we want to thank you for your support and confidence in our practice.

We want you to personally know that our patients’ health and well-being has and always will be our number one priority. This reminder bears repeating in the face of any challenges and especially now, given concerns posed by the corona virus (COVID-19) pandemic.

We are taking all necessary precautions to ensure your safety and well-being and that of our staff. To that end, we want to share some of the steps we are taking:

Furthermore, our staff will be asking several screening questions regarding your health. We ask that you do not enter our office if you, or someone in your family, or someone you recently were in contact with, has exhibited flu-like symptoms such as fever, cough, shortness of breath, severe muscle aches, shaking chills, or recent loss of taste or smell, or recently diagnosed with COVID19.

In order to help us participate with our social distancing effort, we are asking patients to enter the office without any visitors, including children.

You will also have the option of waiting in your car instead of the waiting room after you have checked in. The front desk staff will call your cell phone when we are ready for you to come in for your visit.

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