What to Consider When Choosing a Birth Control

There are various birth control options out there for you to consider, all working slightly different to suit your values and needs as a woman. It can be challenging knowing which contraceptive option is the right one for you. Rest assured that Gary F. Willen, MD, MBA, and the staff here at Tahoe Women’s Care are on hand to steer you in the right direction at any time and support your  birth control decision.

To assist you in your decision, we’ve put together some factors that you should consider before deciding on the right birth control method for you.

What’s your 5-year plan?

What are your lifestyle, relationship, and family goals for the next five years? Some contraceptive methods are long-term and could impact your future fertility if you’re planning on starting a family, or change your mind down the road. The hormonal changes caused by some contraceptives mean that it can take time for your body to restore itself back to full fertility and be ready to conceive.

Consider how each birth control method works, how long it lasts, and how it might adversely affect your health, emotions, and fertility. Dr. Willen is happy to offer expert guidance in this process.

How effective is the birth control method?

Part of the effectiveness of your chosen birth control method depends on it being used consistently and correctly. Remembering to take the contraceptive pill at the same time every day is one example. Failure to do so renders it ineffective for a week and makes additional protection necessary.

Longer-term methods like IUDs, implants, and injections suit many women with busy lifestyles as they require little effort. But they can be a drawback if you’re planning a family in the future. You need to use the right method that’s manageable for you and fits your lifestyle.

Is the birth control method convenient and affordable?

Convenience to you could mean not wanting to have to take a pill every day, file a prescription or plan appointments in advance. You need to consider which is the easiest option for you within your current lifestyle, as a missed pill or appointment can diminish the effectiveness of the contraception.

Cost is another factor you should consider. Some birth control methods are more costly than others, and insurance coverage can vary. Ask your insurance provider what’s covered and know how much you’ll need to pay before you make your decision.

What are the side effects of the contraception?

Some birth control methods change the hormone levels in your reproductive system, and this can bring a number of side effects, including lighter to absent periods, vaginal dryness, anxiety, and weight gain. Make sure you know the potential side effects and how they might affect you and your lifestyle before coming to your decision, especially when the birth control method is long-term, like an IUD, implant, or injection.

Is permanent birth control an option?

If you already have a family or have no plans to start one, you may be considering permanent birth control options like sterilization, hysterectomy, and tubal ligation. These methods either remove the reproductive organs or block them from functioning, and they’re permanent. They have side effects due to the change in hormones that are non-reversible, so you need to be 100% sure permanent birth control is the right decision for you.

Whatever your personal circumstances and reasons for wanting birth control, Dr. Willen can give you the facts necessary to make an informed decision that’s right for you. Make your appointment today by calling Tahoe Women’s Care or clicking the online booking tool.

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