The best option depends on your lifestyle and your relationships with sexual partners. A 25-year-old single woman may have different needs than a 35-year-old married woman who is planning a family. Birth control pills remain one of the most common choices, and there are plenty of options within the category. There are two general types: mini-pills and combination pills. When selecting combination pills, there’s a further choice between conventional style or continuous dose pills. The conventional type follow the monthly cycle and users experience monthly menstrual periods. Continuous dosing may reduce periods to 4 per year or eliminate them completely. Long-acting reversible contraception (LARC) is another popular option.
For a woman who’s made the decision to postpone childbearing for several years, choosing long-acting reversible contraception may be the ideal option. There are two choices:
Intrauterine devices, or IUDs, have been around the longest. IUDs works two ways: by creating conditions hostile to sperm to prevent fertilization, and by preventing an egg that does become fertilized from implanting in the uterine walls IUDs can be placed and removed during short appointments at Gemini OBGYN.
Contraceptive implants are thin plastic rods, about the size of a matchstick. These are implanted in the upper arm, and they work in much the same way as birth control pills. The implant typically lasts up to three years. While women who are done having children may choose LARCs, permanent sterilization is also an option.
There are both surgical and non-surgical options for permanent sterilization:
Tubal ligation, commonly referred to as “having your tubes tied,” breaks the path of the fallopian tubes, preventing the egg and sperm from coming into contact. Surgery can now be done laparoscopically, reducing the invasiveness of the procedure.
Fallopian tube occlusion is a non-surgical option that also breaks the path of the fallopian tubes. Inserts placed in the fallopian tubes develop a natural barrier about 3 months after insertion. This is an in-office procedure that may be done without anesthesia.