There are more options than ever today for birth control. In fact, choosing the right method for you may be a challenge. The women’s health specialists at Memphis Obstetrics & Gynecological Association, PC, with locations in Memphis, Germantown, and Bartlett, Tennessee, as well as Southaven, Mississippi, are your partners in helping you select the best method for you. Call today, or request an appointment online.
In the United States, about 62% of women in their childbearing years currently use a contraceptive method as part of their family planning decisions. Over half of these women use either birth control pills or female sterilization. The numbers are evenly split with a slight advantage in favor of pill users. This has been the case since 1982, and currently, 80% of women using contraception have tried the pill at one time.
Male condom use, at less than 15%, falls ten points below the more common methods. Intrauterine devices, or IUDs, place fourth, the choice of about 1 in 10 women, followed by male sterilization, at about 8%. Other pharmaceutical birth control methods combined are the choice for about 8% of women, while over 6% rely on the withdrawal method or fertility awareness, such as the rhythm method and its variations.
The biggest change in contraception is the rise of non-pill hormonal methods, such as hormonal IUDs, implants, injectables, vaginal rings, and contraceptive patches.
Your MOGA caregiver can help you with your contraception decision by walking you through some questions about your needs and lifestyle. For example, a good place to start is by considering temporary versus permanent birth control. If you want to have children someday, then permanent methods such as tubal ligation or Essure® aren’t good options.
If you also need protection against sexually transmitted infections (STIs), then using a male condom is your best option, next to abstinence. Female barrier methods, such as diaphragms and female condoms provide a level of protection against some infections, but not as effectively as the male condom.
Hormonal contraceptives prevent ovulation each month, and there are many delivery methods for hormone solutions. The pill is perhaps the best known, but it requires you to take pills daily. Implants, such as Nexplanon®, shots and patches also use hormones, but the delivery methods have different application times, ranging from weekly to years. IUDs have both hormonal and non-hormonal options.
Mirena®, Kyleena®, and Liletta® brand IUDs use hormones to aid the contraceptive process. Paragard® uses a copper coil, which creates a hostile environment for sperm in your body as a hormone-free way to prevent fertilization.