The best type of birth control for you

Sep 20 • 2014
The best type of birth control for you

When it comes to choosing a birth control, all of the different methods and options can be a little overwhelming. There isn’t a type of birth control that is better than another, it’s all about which method works best for you. If taken consistently and used correctly, all of the different birth control methods are very effective. It’s always a good idea to talk to your OB/GYN or family physician to help weigh out the different options available.


Types of birth control include:


Abstinence – Refraining from all types of intercourse is the only way to entirely prevent pregnancy or the transmission of sexually transmitted infections (STI’s).


Natural family planning/rhythm method – For this method to be effective, a woman must be very in tune with her body and knowledgeable about her menstrual cycles. A couple would need to abstain from sex or use a barrier method on the days the woman is most fertile to prevent pregnancy.


Barrier methods – Includes any type of prophylactic device such as the sponge, diaphragm, cervical cap or cervical shield. These methods block sperm from entering the uterus and must be worn every time you have intercourse to be effective. Another type of barrier method is condoms.


Hormonal methods – The most common hormonal method of preventing pregnancy is the oral contraceptive or “the pill.” There are numerous types of oral contraceptives on the market. You should talk with your physician to determine which type will work best for you. Other hormonal methods include:

  • The patch, which is worn on the skin and releases hormones into the bloodstream to stop the ovaries from releasing eggs
  • An injection once every three months, which stops the ovaries from releasing eggs
  • The vaginal ring, which is worn for three weeks at a time, then one week off, and releases hormones to stop the ovaries from releasing eggs


Implantable devices – These are placed by your physician and can last approximately five years. There are several different types available including implantable rods, which are placed in your arm and release progestin, and intrauterine devices, which release either copper or progestin (depending on the device).


Permanent birth control – For women who are finished having children, there are two types of permanent birth control available. The first is a sterilization implant, which is a coil that blocks the fallopian tubes. The second type is a tubal ligation (sometimes referred to as “having your tubes tied,”) which is where the fallopian tubes are blocked, tied or cut. For men, a vasectomy prevents the sperm from mixing with the semen when the vas deferens from each testicle is clamped, cut or otherwise sealed.


Recommended review by an OB/GYN