How do I Choose the Best Contraceptive Method?

B. Miller

Choosing the best contraceptive method is something that can be discussed with a doctor, because there are many different methods available. Hormonal contraceptive methods, such as the birth control pill, injection, or vaginal ring, are effective at preventing pregnancy, but not sexually transmitted diseases. Condoms are a type of contraceptive method that is hormone free, and helps to prevent both pregnancy as well as sexually transmitted diseases. An intrauterine device (IUD) is often available to women who have already had a child, and is available in plastic versions with hormones or copper versions without hormones; these may be inserted and later removed if one wants to try to get pregnant again.

It is possible to get pregnant with contraceptives, but it's rare.
It is possible to get pregnant with contraceptives, but it's rare.

Some women choose to use a few different types of contraception simultaneously to be certain that pregnancy doesn't occur, particularly if they are not in a committed relationship. The type of contraceptive method or methods that are chosen is a personal choice, and should be discussed with a doctor so you fully understand the potential risks and benefits. For instance, the birth control pill can be risky for women who smoke or are over age 35, because it can increase the risk of stroke. In addition, since it cannot protect against STDs, it is not often recommended for people who will have multiple partners. Emergency contraception is intended to be used if a mistake occurs, but not as a regular contraceptive method.

A copper IUD.
A copper IUD.

When considering the best contraceptive method, it is important to consider if you will remember to take a pill every day, or if you would prefer to insert a ring once a week or use a skin patch instead. The contraceptive injection is another potential method; although for women who have had issues with hormonal contraception in the past, it might not be a good choice because once the injection is given it remains in the system for a few months. Some women find that this type of birth control causes depression, for example. Condoms are an excellent option that are free of hormones, and are commonly At the other end of the spectrum, condoms involve no hormones at all, and may be used by people who are or are not in a committed relationship.

A diagram of the female reproductive system.
A diagram of the female reproductive system.

An IUD is a more invasive contraceptive method, and also does not protect against STDs, but is often a good choice for people who think they don't want any more children. It can be removed if necessary. Other invasive ore semi-permanent methods, such as a vasectomy in a male, or tubal ligation in a female, are performed when individuals are certain they will never want children again.

Many women choose to take birth control pills to prevent contraception.
Many women choose to take birth control pills to prevent contraception.
Some contraceptive methods are not advantageous for people who will have multiple partners.
Some contraceptive methods are not advantageous for people who will have multiple partners.
Condoms are one of the most popular contraceptives.
Condoms are one of the most popular contraceptives.
Using multiple forms of contraception can greatly decrease the chances of pregnancy.
Using multiple forms of contraception can greatly decrease the chances of pregnancy.

Readers Also Love

Discuss this Article

Post your comments
Login:
Forgot password?
Register: