As a woman, it is crucial to have control over your reproductive health. One of the ways to do that is by choosing the right birth control method that suits your lifestyle, priorities, and health needs. However, with so many options available, from hormonal contraceptives to non-hormonal devices, choosing the best one for your circumstances and preferences can be daunting.
One of the essential factors to consider when choosing a birth control method is how effective it is at preventing unwanted pregnancy. If pregnancy prevention is a top priority, consider a method that boasts high effectiveness rates and that fits your lifestyle.
Hormonal or Non-Hormonal
Hormonal contraception usually contains synthetic versions of estrogen and progestin or a combination of both hormones. While this works well for many women, they are not suitable for everyone. This type of contraception comes with possible side effects, including mood changes, acne, and intermenstrual bleeding. Non-hormonal options such as condoms, cervical caps, or diaphragms that work as barriers that prevent sperm from reaching the egg are other options you can consider. Women who experience medical conditions where hormone use is strongly discouraged or are intolerant due to side effects should consider non-hormonal contraception.
Your Health Conditions
Consider your current and past medical history, particularly if you have any conditions that can impact the efficiency of a particular birth control method. Considering the effect of conditions like hypertension, migraines, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, chronic liver or kidney disease, and thromboembolic events, such as deep vein thrombosis, is essential when selecting a birth control method. If you have any of these conditions, you may need to avoid using contraceptives that contain estrogen.
Convenience and Accessibility
It is crucial to consider a birth control method that fits your lifestyle and that you can use with ease. Factors affecting ease and convenience include insertion time or effort, duration of administration, the potential for side effects, and partner involvement. Moreover, you should also consider the accessibility of the contraception method where you live and how much it costs. Some methods require more frequent updates or appointments and may become challenging if the nearest clinic does not offer such services.
Personal values and beliefs around sexuality, reproduction, and birth control can be one of the most critical factors in deciding on a birth control method. Some women may prefer natural family planning or contraceptive methods with lower environmental footprints. Other women may prefer the peace of mind of knowing that they have an effective form of contraception.
Contact your gynecologist for more information.