Birth Control (Contraception)
An important part of a women’s yearly checkup is discussion regarding birth control. There are many options for the reproductive age women (from your first period through menopause). Your OBGYN doctor is a great source of information to help you make the right choice for your situation.
Hormonal birth control (pills, patches or rings) are used by millions of women in the United States to prevent pregnancy. Implantable systems and injections are also safe and effective for most women. There are medical conditions, family history concerns, and habits such as cigarette smoking that make some women unable to use hormonal birth control.
Used consistently, barrier method birth control such as male and female condoms with spermicide, the diaphragm and the sponge offer effective pregnancy prevention. Some patients prefer natural family planning where they chart the fertile time of their cycle and abstain from intercourse during that time.
Effective longer term birth control can be found in intrauterine devices. These are either copper (10years) or Progesterone (5 years) containing devices that are placed into the uterus by your doctor. The advantage is very effective birth control that can be easily removed with very little maintenance by the patient. A monogamous relationship is essential.
When your family is complete, male and female permanent sterilization is available through a urologist for a vasectomy ( male) and gynecologist for tubal ligation (female). Sterilization for women can be done at time of Cesarean Section, postpartum, or any time beyond the 6 week postpartum exam. Laparoscopic as well as vaginal approach with no incisions on the abdomen (Essure) are methods to provide permanent birth control.
Your Obstetrician Gynecologist can help you make the decision that is right for you.