Choosing the right form of birth control can be daunting, due to the wide variety of options available. At Susquehanna OB/GYN Nurse and Midwifery in Bel Air and Havre de Grace, Maryland, the caring practitioners will discuss all the contraception care options and help you make the right choice that works for your lifestyle and family planning goals. Call our Bel Air or Havre de Grace office or make an appointment online today for a contraception care consultation, and get the guidance you need to make the best possible decision for you.

What forms of contraception are available to me?

There are numerous choices for birth control today. Options include:

  • Hormonal methods: birth control pills, shots, rings, patches, or implants
  • Intrauterine devices (IUD)
  • Barrier methods (condoms and diaphragms)
  • Permanent birth control: tubal ligation for women and vasectomy for men
  • Natural family planning
  • Emergency contraception

Are hormonal birth control options safe?

Hormonal forms of birth control, including pills, patches, a ring, and shots are considered safe and can prevent pregnancy long term. Today’s hormone methods of contraception have very low doses of estrogen, and more women can tolerate these minimal side effects.

These methods also control the number of periods you have and reduce the intensity of PMS symptoms for many women.

How does hormone birth control methods work?

The hormone methods of birth control all contain estrogen and progestin, which are chemicals naturally produced in your body. These hormones prevent the eggs from being released by the ovaries.

They also create a thick layer of mucus in the cervix that serves to prevent sperm from entering the uterus and also causes the uterus lining to be thin, which prevents an egg from implanting.

You must take birth control pills daily (ideally at the same time each day), while a patch is applied once per week, and rings are inserted once per month. Your choice of method may depend on your ability to follow the necessary routine for each option.

For women who cannot tolerate estrogen-based methods, there are progestin-only pills, implants, and shots. The shots are given once every three months.

All forms of hormonal birth control require a prescription.

What is emergency contraception?

Emergency contraception is a way to prevent pregnancy if:

  • You had sex without using birth control
  • Your birth control method failed
  • You were recently sexually assaulted

The immediate use of emergency contraception can prevent unwanted pregnancy and keep you from worrying while you wait for your next period to start.

There are two main types of emergency contraception: birth control pills and the copper IUD. Birth control pills are less expensive and are relatively easy to obtain, so they are the more popular choice. An IUD requires insertion by a doctor, but it is a good option as well.

The practitioners at Susquehanna OB/GYN Nurse and Midwifery believe that each patient’s individual needs, concerns, lifestyle, and health must all be taken into consideration when selecting the optimal form of contraception care.

Call our Bel Air or Havre de Grace office or make an appointment online to schedule a consultation to find the best option that works for you.