In previous blog posts, we’ve discussed some of the pros and cons of different birth control methods, but we want to take a different approach here. In this month’s post, Dr. Gary Willen and our team here at Tahoe Women’s Care want to go a step further to discuss birth control, your lifestyle, and how you can protect yourself against sexually transmitted diseases.
Here’s a look at condoms versus birth control pills and what to consider when making this choice (*spoiler alert — using both may be the best solution).
If your only goal is to prevent pregnancy, oral contraception is a very good choice. With a 91% efficacy rating, the pill certainly gets the job done.
Birth control pills work by controlling your ovulation through hormones — when you take the pill properly, you won’t release eggs that can be fertilized.
Please note that we use the word, “properly.” The reason why the pill doesn’t enjoy a 99% efficacy rating is there’s room for user error. If you don’t take these pills every day, you run the risk of lowering your protection quite a bit.
If you’re weighing condoms as a method of birth control, there’s a notable margin of error here, too. At best, condoms offer 85% efficacy, only if they’re used without incident. Condoms are delicate so they can break, which will allows sperm to make their way inside you.
That said, some women are sensitive to hormonal birth control methods, and if you’d rather not tinker with your hormone levels, condoms are a good option. Another advantage is that condoms are widely available and you don’t need a prescription to get them, unlike the birth control pill.
While both condoms and birth control pills offer good protection against pregnancy, only condoms can protect you against sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).
This point is terribly important, especially if you consider that there was a whopping 30% increase in reported STDs in the United States between 2015 and 2019. Furthermore, STDs reached an all-time high in 2019 with 2.5 million cases, which is the sixth year in a row that STDs reached new all-time highs.
This trend is very worrisome, and we want our clients to be safe. So, if you want to prevent pregnancy and protect yourself against STDs, there’s a good case for using both the pill and condoms, especially if you have new or multiple partners.
If you’d like to discuss your pregnancy prevention and protection plans further, please contact our office in Carson City, Nevada.