Any method used to prevent pregnancy is a type of birth control. The options include barrier methods as well as hormonal medications and devices.
Birth control pills, patches, and shots are types of hormonal medications. Hormonal devices include implantable contraception, such as vaginal rings and intrauterine devices, or IUDs. These methods of contraception work by stopping the release of an egg to prevent pregnancy. Hormonal methods of birth control are 90 to 99% effective, depending on the type.
Dr. Weyhrich can go through all the different types of hormonal options with you to help you decide which one fits your lifestyle.
Over-the-counter barrier methods include condoms and dental dams. In addition to preventing pregnancy, barrier methods of birth control may also protect you from sexually-transmitted diseases. Barrier methods work by preventing the sperm from reaching the egg and are about 80% effective. The low effective rate is primarily due to user error.
An IUD is a long-term method of birth control. The T-shaped, plastic device is inserted into your uterus by a doctor. IUDs are 99% effective at preventing pregnancy and come in two forms: hormonal and nonhormonal.
Dr. Weyhrich often uses Mirena® and Kyleena® IUDs, which are hormonal IUDs that prevent unplanned pregnancy for up to five years.
Nonhormonal IUDs are copper-based because copper is a natural spermicide. These types of IUDs are effective for up to 12 years.
As a form of birth control, IUDs offer a number of advantages beyond being 99% effective at preventing pregnancy for several years. IUDs are convenient. There’s no need to take a pill everyday or pick up a prescription once a month. Once placed, you only need to do a self-check once a month to make sure your IUD is still in place. Dr. Weyhrich can easily show how to do your monthly check.
If you are planning a family, but not right now, IUDs may make a good birth control option for you. Once removed, you can get pregnant right way. There’s no waiting period.
The hormonal IUDs, including Mirena ® and Kyleena ®, may help improve menstruation symptoms, including decreasing cramps and making your periods lighter. And if you’re concerned about taking hormones due to medical concerns, the nonhormonal copper IUDs make a good birth control option.
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