Contraception & Birth Control Specialist in Austin, TX
Birth Control and Contraception OBGYN in Austin, TX
Contraception Q & A
What kinds of contraception options are available?
There are numerous contraception options available. In fact, there are so many options to choose from that finding the right birth control method can feel a bit overwhelming. Birth control options can be divided into two basic categories: hormonal and barrier methods.
Hormonal birth control
These methods reduce the risk of pregnancy by altering your hormonal balance to prevent ovulation, thicken cervical mucus, or otherwise create an inhospitable environment for fertilization.
Examples of hormonal birth control include:
- Birth control pills
- Vaginal rings
- Intrauterine device
Barrier birth control
These methods reduce the risk of pregnancy by creating a physical barrier between egg and sperm.
Examples of barrier birth control include:
- Condoms, internal and external
- Cervical cap
- Birth control sponge
Surgical procedures like tubal ligation and vasectomy are permanent options for preventing unwanted pregnancy.
Which form of contraception is the easiest?
If you’re searching for a birth control method that doesn’t require daily upkeep or frequent trips to the OB/GYN, there are several long-term options to consider. An intrauterine device can provide protection for 3-12 years, depending on the type.
Having an IUD placed requires a trip to the office. Once your IUD is placed, you don’t need to do anything else. Your gynecologist will check your IUD during your well-woman exams.
The birth control implant (Nexplanon®) is also a great option that provides lasting coverage with virtually no effort on your part. The device is around the size and shape of a matchstick but is flexible. It’s inserted just beneath the surface of your skin during an office visit.
Once in place, birth control implants effectively prevent pregnancy for up to five years. If your plans change during that time, you can remove the implant with a simple in-office procedure.
How do I know which type of birth control is right for me?
Finding the right form of birth control is a highly personalized matter. The process begins with a thorough discussion of your family planning needs and lifestyle. Your specialist explains the pros and cons of the options that most closely align with your needs.
For example, if you’re not in a long-term relationship, male or female condoms might be the best approach. You won’t need to take a daily pill or change a patch, and condoms also help reduce your risk of sexually transmitted disease.
Women searching for a more lasting option might be a good fit for the birth control injection or patches. These options provide protection for a longer period but still don’t require remembering to take a pill each day.
The birth control pill is a great option for women who also want to potentially lighten their periods or address issues like acne or polycystic ovary syndrome. There are many different birth control pills to try, and finding the right match can take a period of trial and error.
Emergency contraception, commonly called the “morning-after pill,” is also available as needed.
When you’re ready to learn more, call or click to schedule a visit at Women’s Health Domain.