Choose the best birth control for you!
Before a woman decides to use birth control as their choice of contraceptives, she should know the different types of birth control that are offered and the positive/negative effects that come from each type. Research and statistics have shown that the pill is still the most common type of birth control used by females. On average, 30% of women use the pill and it is at least 92% effective (Olsen, 2006). A positive aspect of taking birth control pills is that studies indicate taking the pill will help protect you from endometrial and ovarian cancer. A negative aspect with the pill is that it could slightly increase the risk of breast cancer (Kotz, 2007). If the pill is not the right type of contraceptive for you, the following are types of birth control with their positive and negative effects for females.
- The Shot: Depo-Provera- Every three months, your doctor would give you an injection of progestin that will suppress ovulation and stop implantation. Pros: A woman using the shot as her contraceptive only has to think about birth control four times in a year, not everyday like the pill. Also, you do not have to worry about blood clots since there is no estrogen the the shot. Cons: A woman using the shot may have irregular periods during the first three to six months of using it and you can also gain weight; women actually gain an average of five and a half pounds during the first year. Bone loss can also result from taking the shot simply because it shuts down ovulation therefore resulting in low levels of estrogen. The shot costs $50 to $70 per shot (covered by most insurers) and the FDA has restricted its use to no more than two years at a time (Olsen, 2006).
- The IUD: ParaGard- Your doctor would insert a T-shaped device into your uterus to prevent pregnancy. Rather than hormones, ParaGard contains copper that will kill the sperm. Pros: ParaGard could lower a woman's risk of developing endometrial, ovarian, and cervical cancers and is about 99% effective. This form of contraceptive also does not require action on a regular basis like taking the pill (Welch, 2010). Cons: Women who have the IUD ParaGard could have longer periods with more cramping and bleeding and you are at risk of uterine perforation when the IUD is inserted (Olsen, 2006).
- The Patch: Ortho Evra- Once a week, a women using the patch would apply a small patch to either her abdomen, back, buttocks, or arm and it releases estrogen and progestin into her body to prevent ovulation. Pros: It is easier than using the pill and it is 92% effective. Cons: Since women using the patch are exposed to more estrogen than whats in the pill, they are at higher risks of getting blood clots (Olsen, 2006).
- NuvaRing- A woman using NuvaRing would insert a flexible ring into her vagina and the ring will release estrogen and progestin which will help prevent ovulation. Three weeks later, the ring would be removed and the woman would have a period and afterwards and new ring is inserted again. Pros: Since the dose of hormones is very low, there are fewer side effects than other forms of contraceptives and is 98% effective. Cons: The ring could fall out during sex or while removing a tampon. Is this were to happen, you would simply rinse it with cool water and reinsert it within three hours (Olsen, 2006).
- The Implant: Implanon- An implant is inserted into your upper arm and released a low does of progestin into the body which ends up blocking ovulation. Pros: The process is quick and easy and it is 100% effective in clinical trials. Cons: The implant could cause irregular bleeding (Olsen, 2006).
- Female Condom- Pros: There are no side effects or hormones released into the female's body. Reduces the chance of getting HIV or any other sexually transmitted diseases. Females do not need prescriptions or doctors' appointments to receive these. Cons: The female condom is less reliable then other forms of birth control and they are more expensive than the male condoms (Fenton, 2013).
- Male Condom- Pros: Male condoms reduce the chances of sexually transmitted diseases, there are no side effects except if the male is allergic to latex, and they are inexpensive and easy to find. Cons: Condoms are not 100% effective and requires constant usage in order to be effective (Fenton, 2013).
Other types of contraceptives...
- Plan B "The Morning After Pill": Plan B does not terminate a pregnancy, it simply helps prevent pregnancy after having intercourse. In order for Plan B to be effective, it must be taken up to 72 hours after having intercourse; however, the sooner its taken the more effective it is. Plan B is available over the counter but the women must be at least seventeen to get it (DiNitto, 2011).
- RU-486: Also known as the abortion pill, RU-486 is a drug that induces an abortion in the early stages of a woman's pregnancy. This drug allows women to avoid abortion clinics and they do not need a physician to help end the pregnancy. Medicaid does not provide the drug unless the woman would normally qualify to receive and abortion under Medicaid (DiNitto, 2011).