Birth Control Specialist in Houston
Birth control is a part of a woman taking control of her body and her life. And, while everyone wants to have a healthy, happy sex life, no one wants the life disruption that comes with an unwanted or unplanned pregnancy. Fortunately, there are a myriad of options when it comes to modern birth control. Here’s a breakdown of your options from the team at Northwest Women’s Center in Houston.
Reasons To Start Birth Control
Modern women need to be in control of their bodies, their relationships, and their lives. Using birth control allows a woman to have a rewarding sex life without worrying about an unwanted pregnancy. Nothing can change the trajectory of your life more than an unplanned pregnancy, and there’s no need for that to happen. Modern contraceptives are incredibly effective, incredibly non-intrusive, and incredibly smart. They allow smart women, like you, to decide what you want to do in your life. While there are people who don’t believe in using birth control, at Northwest Women’s Center, we urge those who are sexually active to use some sort of contraception. Beyond the contraceptive value, for some women, the use of hormonal birth control decreases their heavy, painful menstrual cycles.
Types of Birth Control: 5 Categories
When it comes to birth control, there isn’t a shortage of options. You can basically break birth control down by the contraceptive method. There are five basic categories:
- Hormonal methods — These use hormones so the body doesn’t release an egg for fertilization. Types of hormonal methods: birth control pills, patches, implants, shots (Depo-Provera), and the birth control ring.
- Barrier methods — These methods use either physical or chemical barriers to block sperm from accessing the egg. Condoms, diaphragms, and sterilization fit in this category.
- Intrauterine devices — IUDs prevent pregnancy. There are both copper and hormonal IUDs.
- Natural methods — Other than abstinence, natural methods such as withdrawal and fertility awareness methods are not reliable birth control options.
- Emergency contraception — Emergency contraception is a backup for regular birth control. These options hope to prevent pregnancy after having unprotected sex. The Plan B pill is in this category.
The Most Effective Method
Effectiveness of your birth control has two components. First, the method itself. Second, you. If you miss a day or two of your birth control pill, or if you don’t get a new transdermal patch on time, these kinds of behaviors compromise the overall effectiveness of the contraceptive method.
All in all, modern IUDs are the most reliable and effective method of birth control. They can last for up to 10 years depending on the device you choose (you read that right), require no attention whatsoever, and are over 99 percent effective. They don’t depend on you following a schedule or doing anything.
Birth control pills are also 99 percent effective, but real-world studies have factored in missing days and such. When those are included, birth control pills are rated at a 91 percent rate of effectiveness. Barrier methods, such as diaphragms all fall to effectiveness rates in the 80s when real life is factored in.
Choosing The Right Method
Selecting the method of birth control that fits you is completely personal. At Northwest Women’s Center, we will provide you with all of the available information on every form of birth control. We can give you our personal insights into the various methods, as well. What we won’t do is tell you “This is the only way to go.” This needs to be your decision. After all, if you opt for a birth control shot, you need to be sure to come back in every three months to get your next shot. That needs to be factored into your decision. If you’re bad about keeping on top of those kinds of timelines, that would not be the choice for you.
What you’re going to weigh is convenience and personal criteria. For instance, if you don’t like the idea of using your hormones to keep your body from ovulating (even though all of the hormonal contraceptive methods are very safe and very effective), then you may want to pair something like a diaphragm with condom use or think about a copper IUD.
We’ll help you get to the choice you believe.
Cost of Birth Control
Birth control cost varies widely. After all, not having sex is free. Condoms are relatively cheap, but have some hassle and effectiveness questions (real world issues). Most insurance plans cover birth control pills, IUDs, and other options. Talk with us about what you’re interested in and we’ll see what we can work out with your insurance and other variables.
Birth Control FAQs
Yes. There is no absolutely, positively, completely, foolproof form of birth control other than not having sex. And that’s no fun! As mentioned above, modern birth control is highly effective, especially compared to the time of parents and grandparents using condoms and diaphragms, but the highest rates are 99 percent effective. That means a few people still get pregnant even when using the birth control method correctly. The odds of getting pregnant when using an IUD are extremely low. They rise with methods like a cervical cap because the cap may change position without knowing, allowing sperm to get past it.
Get your other top birth control questions answered by reading our blog, Birth Control FAQs.
No, but it takes a little practice to learn how to insert them. During the fitting appointment, patients will be able to practice inserting the diaphragm so they feel confident using it. Diaphragms should be used with spermicide, special gels or creams designed to kill sperm cells.