What Form of Birth Control is Best for You?

There isn’t one type of birth control that’s best for everyone. Choosing the right birth control for you involves knowing the advantages and drawbacks of different options and asking yourself some important questions about your needs and lifestyle. One thing is for sure, the various options to choose from means that there’s something for every woman.

Choosing a form of birth control is a major decision, so it’s wise to discuss the available options with a doctor, ask questions, and learn the facts. Here at Capital Women’s Care, our compassionate and highly skilled OB/GYNs are dedicated to helping guide women through all phases of life. 

We’ve put together a helpful guide to give you some important points to consider when choosing a form of birth control. The guide is based on the various characteristics of birth control methods: protection length, maintenance, effectiveness, reversibility, and side effects.

Protection length

If you’re focused on other aspects of your life and aren’t looking to have children for several years, you may want to discuss long-term protection with your doctor. The length of protection for birth control varies, and it’s wise to choose a time span that matches your lifestyle. 

Long-acting reversible contraceptives (LARCS), such as IUDs, implants, and injections, are highly effective at preventing an unwanted pregnancy. These devices protect against unwanted pregnancy for several years, and depending on the type of LARC you choose, some offer up to 12 years of protection.

Maintenance

Birth control methods require different levels of maintenance. For example, you must take birth control pills every day to get the maximum effectiveness. Some birth control methods provide production for three months and require less maintenance, while others take a “set it and forget it” approach and require no maintenance.

We tell patients that the best birth control for you is the one that you can maintain. Birth control pills won’t work well for you if you regularly forget to take them. Determine what level of maintenance best suits your lifestyle. If you’re active, and on the go and prefer low-maintenance birth control, that’s something to let your doctor know so she can make a recommendation for you.

Effectiveness

Most forms of birth control offer excellent protection against unplanned pregnancy. However, some forms of birth control offer more protection than others. The level of effectiveness you’re looking for is another important point to consider when trying to decide which form of birth control is right for you.

If your lifestyle doesn’t suit having children right now, you may want to discuss options that offer maximum protection to give you peace of mind.

Reversibility

For many women, blocking pregnancy is choice that’s meant to provide temporary protection. For some women that may be a year, while for others it may be several years, so the ability to reverse birth control, and how long that takes, is another factor to consider.

If you’d like your fertility to return immediately once the birth control is stopped or removed, ask about options to match that preference. 

With some forms of birth control, it can take months for fertility to return. If this is fine with you, an option like the birth control shot may be a good fit.

Side effect tolerability

All medicines have side effects and that includes birth control. Side effects of birth control are generally mild, but certain side effects may be a deal breaker for you. For instance, if

you’re an athlete that must maintain a certain weight, the side effect of gaining a few pounds may be a no-go for you.

Birth control is a responsible part of family planning. We’re here to answer any questions and help you make an informed decision about your birth control needs. Click the online scheduling tool to request an appointment right now. Or you can call one of our offices in Arlington or McLean, Virginia, to schedule a visit with Dr. Andrea Williams, Dr. Sandra Caskie, Dr. Michele Berkeley or Dr. Alexis Light.

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