As a woman, contraception is a subject that you may not be comfortable discussing. However, if you plan on being sexually active, it is very important that you learn about your several birth control options. It can be overwhelming considering all the choices out there, especially since each option comes with its own risks and side effects. Here are just some of the options that you have and what you should consider before choosing one.
Intrauterine Devices (IUD)
Example: ParaGard or Mirena
Mirena is a surgically implanted device that releases hormones. ParaGard is a copper device that is also implanted, and prevents sperm from reaching the egg. IUD’s can last for 10 years and are more than 99% effective in pregnancy prevention.
Doctors recommend IUD for only women who have already given birth. This is because once implanted, the device can cause the uterus to expand which can result in pain in a woman has never bore children.
Example: Estrostep Fe or Yasmin
The combination pill is 99% effective against pregnancy when taken regularly around the same time every day. It can also reduce the severity of hot flashes and restore regular periods.
If you are a smokers who is 35 or older, or suffer from migraines, you should avoid this medication. The estrogen can cause blood clots for smokers and trigger painful migraines for those who suffer from migraines.
Similar to the combination pill, the vaginal ring delivers progestin and estrogen. You place the ring accordingly for three weeks, remove it for one week to have a regular period, then repeat.
If you are a smoker, have certain cancers, or blood clots, you should not use the vaginal ring.
Example: Ortho Evra
The patch can be placed on your abdomen or your arm. It will release hormones for one week.
Once again, if you’re at risk of having blood clots, you should avoid this method. It delivers 60% more estrogen than the low-dose pills, placing you more at risk for severe blood clots.
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