Your choice of birth control method is a highly personal one, but with so many alternatives available, it can be hard to know which contraceptive is right for you. Diane Mustafa, MD, of Women’s Care of Passaic in New Jersey, is a board-certified gynecologist who understands the complexities of choosing the right form of birth control, and she can help you make an informed decision that’s best for your body and fertility goals. Call the Passaic clinic today to schedule an appointment or book online.
A range of short-acting methods of birth control is available. Hormone-based options include:
All these methods reduce the likelihood of conception by regulating or preventing ovulation, but they have a higher incidence of failure than long-term methods of birth control.
Barrier methods that prevent sperm from entering the uterus are also available, such as condoms, sponges, caps, or diaphragms. You can use a spermicide at the same time to kill any sperm that escapes the barrier, but again, failure rates are higher than those of long-term birth control methods.
There are several long-term birth control options available:
IUDs are small inserts shaped like a capital T that Dr. Mustafa fits inside your uterus. Hormonal IUDs release progestin, a hormone that thickens cervical mucus, making it difficult for sperm to reach or fertilize the egg. Failure rates for IUDs are very low, at about 1%, and a hormonal IUD can last for several years before it needs replacing.
Copper IUDs don’t contain any hormones. The copper in the device makes the environment in your body toxic to sperm, keeping them from reaching the egg. Should fertilization take place, the IUD prevents a fertilized egg from implanting into the uterus. Copper IUDs can last up to 10 years.
Hormonal implants are small flexible rods about the size of a matchstick that contain progestin. They work in the same way as a hormonal IUD, but Dr. Mustafa inserts them into your arm rather than your uterus. Implants have a failure rate of under 1% and can last for up to five years.
No birth control method is 100% effective, and the way you use birth control has an impact on how well-protected you are against pregnancy. The method you choose needs to be one that you are likely to stick with and use correctly for optimum protection.
It’s also important to remember that except for condoms, birth control options don’t protect you against sexually transmitted diseases, so unless you’re in a long-term, monogamous relationship, you may wish to use condoms in addition to other methods of birth control.
Dr. Mustafa patiently guides you through your contraceptive choices and helps you make an informed decision. Call or book online today.