A Guide To The Best Birth Control For Every Type Of Woman
With all the debates about Planned Parenthood, more women are trying to learn about their options for safe sex and contraception. Funny enough, Planned Parenthood (which some see as simply an abortion clinic) has a long list of possible contraceptives to consider, whether your goal is to avoid making a baby, or avoid some tough diseases and just practice safe sex in general.
Yes, there are SO many types of birth control and options it can be overwhelming. The fact of the matter is that choosing the right birth control has a ton of factors to consider from your goal, your abilities, your health, your future plans and so forth.
Here’s a primer to help you sort through the options and find what’s best for you:
Best for the women who crave a schedule:
If you’re the type that likes to stick to a routine so you don’t have to sweat the small stuff, the combination pill (aka The Pill, Combination Oral Contraceptive, or the COC Pill) might be something you want to pencil in to your routine. The pill is composed of two hormones: estrogen and progestin, and together, they mimic the hormones you naturally produce and stop your little eggs from releasing or developing.
This form of birth control ranges from 91 percent to 99 percent affectivity, depending on how properly it’s used. So, if you’re going to take this route, be sure to stay on schedule.
The plus and minus: This can be a positive or a negative depending on your end goal. As soon as you stop taking these guys for about a week, you’re back to normal and fertile again.
So, if you might want a kid in the near future, but not quite yet, these could be great for you. But if you don’t want a child any time soon, then you better make sure you’re keeping up with them.
Who can take them: The perfect candidate for this method would be a healthy woman younger than 35, doesn’t smoke, isn’t breastfeeding, doesn’t get migraines, and doesn’t hold the risk of blood clots or cardiovascular problems.
There are debates on how effective or ineffective The Pill is for overweight women, just considering how many hormones you should/can put into your body, and there are some women over 35 that this could still work for, but of course, you just need to get in touch with your doctor and find out through them, since there are so many possible options and dosages that may or may not work for you.
Best for women who aren’t candidates for the combo pill:
For women who do have some of the concerns listed above, such as risk of blood clots, smoking or are breastfeeding, a progestin-only pill is a much safer option for you.
Best for women who don’t really want to think about it:
So let’s say you’re the forgetful type (no judgment here!). Reminding yourself that you need to take down a little dry pill every day and refill it in good time could pose a problem.
What then? There are actually quite a few options, depending on your desired timeline. So, how long before you think you might want kids?
Not for another 10 years: ParaGuard, a type of IUD made of copper that doesn’t use hormones. It’s more than 99 percent effective, and is a T-shaped device that’s inserted into the uterus to block eggs from being fertilized.
Think of it as the overprotective father or brother that you actually want around to make “the guys” stay away. No sperm is good enough for these potential babies.
Maybe in 5 years: Mirena, another type of IUD. This IUD is inserted in the same manner as the former, but also releases the progestin hormone. An IUD can be uncomfortable for some women, so be sure to discuss this with your trusted doctor.
Maybe in 3 years: Implant, a little match-sized object that is inserted into your upper arm and releases progestin to suppress your ovulation.
Best for women who hate their period:
If you hate all the mess that comes with that big monthly visitor, or have severe PMS symptoms that are essentially crippling, an extended cycle pill would be an angel to you. An extended-cycle pill uses hormones to not only prevent pregnancy, but also limits your periods to only happening one to four times a year.
Other hormonal contraceptives can help reduce the effects your period has on your body, but this is for the ladies who are simply fed up with anything that has to do with mother nature’s “gift.” You just have to take these pills every single day for them to be effective.
Best for forgetful women:
If three to 10 years and/or a surgery is too big and too long of a commitment for you, and the pill is just not something your busy mind could keep up with every day, you’re not out of luck. But if you’re super-duper forgetful, it’s not a bad idea to put an alert on your phone to remind you of when to replace your preferred manner of the following types of birth control.
Birth control shots last for about three months. You go to the doctor, get the shot, and then you’re covered for about three months (12 weeks). This method is a little more than 99 percent effective, and you don’t have to worry about any variations in how effective it is, because it’s administered by a doctor, and directly injects the contraceptive hormones into your body.
So if you’re cool with needles, and don’t want
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