There’s certainly no shortage of contraception methods on offer to women these days. This is great, because it means you should be able to find a form of birth control that suits your needs perfectly. However, the sheer number of options can make deciding on a method confusing. There are now 15 different forms of contraception available. When you’re trying to decide what’s best for you, you’ll need to ask yourself a number of questions. Are you prepared to make contraception part of your daily routine? Do you want to get pregnant in the near future? Do you mind if your periods change? Do you smoke? The answer to these questions, and many more besides, will help you to hone in on most suitable method for you. Meanwhile, this guide takes a look at some of the most popular options.
You may be most familiar with the combined pill. Often simply called ‘the pill’, this contains synthetic versions of the hormones oestrogen and progesterone. It works by preventing ovulation and it also makes it difficult for sperm to reach an egg, and for eggs to implant in the lining of the womb. There are a number of different types of combined pill on offer. For example, through your doctor, family planning clinic or a trusted online source such as onlinedoctor.lloydspharmacy.com you may be able to get a prescription for Marvelon, Femodene or Microgynon.
Another option is the progesterone-only pill, which is also called the mini pill. This contains progesterone and works by thickening the mucus in the neck of the womb, making it harder for sperm to reach an egg. Some versions, like Cerazette, may also stop ovulation.
If you don’t like the thought of having to remember to take a pill each day, perhaps the contraceptive injection would be a better option. Usually given in the bottom, this steadily releases progesterone into your bloodstream. There are three different types of injection on offer, namely Noristerat, which lasts for eight weeks, the 12-week Depo-Provera and the 13-week Sayana Press.
Another option is the intrauterine system (IUS). This is a small, T-shaped plastic device that is inserted into your womb by a doctor or nurse. Like the injection, it releases progesterone. However, you don’t have to worry about going back to your doctor on a regular basis to ensure it is effective. It is a long-acting but reversible contraceptive and it can work for either three or five years, depending on the type you get.
A fourth option is the intrauterine device (IUD). It is also small and T-shaped, but it is made from both plastic and copper. Instead of releasing progesterone, it releases copper, and this changes the makeup of the fluids in the womb and fallopian tubes, stopping sperm from surviving. It may also stop fertilised eggs from implanting in the womb. IUDs can remain effective for between five and ten years, depending on the type.
Do your research
Of course, these are only some of the options available. Other birth control methods include caps, vaginal rings, diaphragms and patches. Also, bear in mind that the only way to protect yourself against sexually transmitted infections is to use a condom each time you have sex.
Before you decide which contraceptive to go for, it’s important that you do your research and seek advice from medical experts.