How To Know Which Birth Control Is Right For You
When you go to a doctor and say, “I want a prescription for birth control” many will just write up a prescription for a birth control pill without asking you many or even any questions about your medical history, lifestyle and personality. But all of those factors are important when it comes to deciding which birth control to choose. Here are some questions to ask yourself to determine which contraceptive is right for you.
Is your schedule routine or chaotic?
Do you pretty much know exactly what you’ll be doing every day at every hour? If so, you could benefit from a progesterone-only pill. It comes with far fewer health risks than a combination pill however it is only its most effective if taken at the exact same time each day. If your schedule is chaotic and it will be hard to take a pill at the same time each day, try a combination pill which is just as effective, so long as it’s taken within a few hours of the same time each day.
Are you sensitive to weight fluctuations?
Does your weight tend to respond strongly to changes in your routine? And are you strongly emotionally and mentally affected by weight changes? Know that most pills can cause weight fluctuation, so this is something you should be prepared for.
Are you prone to skin breakouts?
Most birth control pills can help with skin breakouts, so if you have less than desirable skin and you’d like to tackle two issues at once, the pill could be a great option for you.
Do you plan on having children, but not soon?
If you want children one day, but are about a decade away from taking that step, an intrauterine device could be right for you. An IUD is surgically implanted and meant to stay in for about 10 years. It’s 99% effective, but very expensive to take out so be certain you don’t want children any sooner than about 10 years from the time you put it in.
Do you suffer from severe PMS symptoms?
Most pills can help ease symptoms of PMS like mood swings and hot flashes, so again the pill could help tackle several issues if you have difficult periods.
Are you at risk for blood clots?
The combination pill (the one that must be taken within a few hours of the same time each day) comes with higher risks of blood clots. If you have a history of blood clots in your family, it could be worth it to take the progesterone only pill, and make a point of taking it at the same time each day.
Do you count on your period to know you’re not pregnant?
The extended cycle pill allows you to only get your period a few times a year. That is a dream come true for many women, but for those who are paranoid about getting pregnant and count on their period to know they’re not pregnant, this can be a nightmare.
Are periods painful?
If your periods are incredibly painful, a pill might not be strong enough to ease the symptoms, and this is when the extended cycle pill could really help.
Is your partner well endowed?
Just for comfort reasons know that a partner can usually feel a vaginal ring inside of you. If your partner is particularly well endowed, he might tap your ring during intercourse. That isn’t harmful, but just something you both should be prepared for.
Are you prone to bladder infections?
Diaphragms can cause bladder infections, so they may not be the best choice for women prone to that painful type of infection.
Are you comfortable using spermicide?
If you do choose to use a diaphragm, know that it must be paired with spermicide in order to be effective. Some women who are not comfortable adding any sort of foreign, liquid substances to their bodies stay away from it for that reason.
Are you in a line of work that requires you to wear revealing clothing?
If your job, or the climate you live in, requires you to often show off your arms, shoulders or mid drift, just know that the patch might be visible.
Do you swim daily?
The patch is meant to be strong enough to stay on through showers, but there is naturally a higher risk of it falling off if you’re a competitive swimmer or spend a lot of time in water.
Do you have $800?
An implant is said to be one of the most effective forms of birth control and can last up to three years. This is a tiny stick about the size of a toothpick surgically implanted in your upper arm that administers hormones. It is however one of the most expensive forms—estimated to cost around $800.
Are you done having children?
If you know you don’t want any more children, sterilization (otherwise known as a hysterectomy) could be the right decision for you. But if your partner is willing to get a vasectomy, the procedure is much less intrusive for men than it is for women.