There are a variety of birth control options to consider when selecting your preferred method of contraception. Many of the birth control options available – pills, implants, injections, rings, patches and IUDs – serve as temporary solutions for contraception, meaning that at any time, women can choose to discontinue use and have a chance of becoming pregnant in the future. Some women, who are certain that they do not wish to have any (or more) children, may be interested in learning about the options for permanent birth control.
In addition to determining whether or not permanent birth control is the right option for you, you may wish to consider these things:
- How often do you have to administer this birth control method? Are ease of use and convenience important to you?
- Do you and your partner agree on this birth control method?
- How many sexual partners do you have? Does this birth control method protect against sexually transmitted diseases (STDs)?
- Do you have any religious or moral beliefs that limit your birth control options?
Your overall health and age
- Do you have any health conditions or risk factors that limit your birth control options?
- Are there any side effects or risks associated with this birth control method?
- How effective is this birth control method in preventing pregnancy? How would an unplanned pregnancy affect your life?
- Does this birth control method offer added benefits that you are interested in (i.e. lighter cycles)?
The cost of your selected birth control option
- How much will this birth control method cost you on a monthly/yearly basis?
Just like any medication or procedure, it is important that you evaluate the benefits and risks of each birth control method as well as the answers to the above questions with your health care provider. The chart below may help you better understand each method. It divides available birth control methods into hormonal and non-hormonal options. Hormonal options prevent pregnancy by releasing hormones to prevent ovulation. Non-hormonal birth control methods work by providing a barrier so that the sperm cannot reach the egg.
It’s important to remember that there is no perfect method for all women – that’s why there are so many options! Take the time to weigh the positives and negatives of each method with your partner and your health care provider in order to make the decision that is right for you.