What is birth control/contraception?
Birth control is used to prevent pregnancy. Several types of birth control are available that vary in their effectiveness and ability to protect you from sexually transmitted diseases. There are also temporary and permanent birth control options.
How does birth control/contraception work?
The way in which birth control prevents pregnancy depends on the method you select.
Some birth control methods use hormones to prevent the sperm from coming in contact with your egg by thinning the lining of your uterus, thickening your cervical mucus, or preventing your ovaries from releasing eggs.
Other types of contraceptives create a barrier to keep sperm from reaching your egg. Spermicides are also available to kill sperm, so it can't reach and fertilize your egg.
Some women prefer to track their menstrual cycle. In this method, you identify high-risk periods in your cycle for becoming pregnant and avoid sexual intercourse at that time.
A permanent birth control option available for women is sterilization. In sterilization, the eggs are permanently prevented from being fertilized and reaching the uterus.
What types of birth control/contraception are available?
A wide variety of contraceptives are available. Options available through Dr. Jones include:
- Depo-Provera® injections
- Nexplanon® implants
- Mirena®, Paraguard®, or Skyla® IUDs (intrauterine device)
- Nuvaring® vaginal rings
- Oral or patch-delivered contraceptives
- Surgical sterilization (tubal ligation)
Non-prescription birth control options include male and female condoms, spermicides, sponges with spermicides, and periodic abstinence.
Does birth control have side effects or risks?
Each contraceptive has side effects or risks. Some are also more effective at preventing pregnancy while others are better at protecting you from STDs.
Some side effects or health risks associated with some contraceptives include:
- Cramps or bleeding
- Weight gain or bloating
- Dizziness or headaches
- Ectopic pregnancy
- Perforation of the uterus
- Urinary tract irritation or infection
- Allergic reactions
- Heart attack
- Blood clots
Selecting the best birth control option to suit your individual needs is an integral part of your reproductive health. To help you make a decision, Dr. Jones conducts a full medical examination and makes recommendations based on your age, reproductive health, and personal needs.
To learn more about the birth control options available at Total Women's Care, call or schedule an appointment online to learn more.