Choosing the right Contraceptive
Contraception is a highly personal decision, and finding the right one for you can be challenging. Figuring out how to choose a contraceptive may seem like a daunting task, but luckily there are many options available that are safe, effective, and reliable.
The more knowledge you have about contraceptives, the more likely you will use a method that works for you and your lifestyle.
Hormonal birth control involves the use of synthetic versions of naturally occurring hormones. The term “hormone” applies to both natural chemicals like progesterone and estradiol, as well as artificial substances like the contraceptives called oral contraceptives (birth control pills). Hormonal birth control restricts the amount of oestrogen and progesterone available in your body. Estrogen, an important female sex hormone, stimulates the growth of the lining of your uterus (endometrium), which is why birth control pills work. Progesterone helps regulate ovulation and induces uterine contractions in preparation for pregnancy. Progestin helps prevent pregnancy by thickening cervical mucus, making it harder for sperm to pass through.
Progestin-only contraceptives actively block the body’s natural production of progesterone and estradiol. They are hormone-based birth control methods that do not include oestrogen.
Here are a few examples of common hormonal contraceptives:
- NuvaRing– A contraceptive ring worn in the vaginal canal. It contains an active progestin that prevents pregnancy.
- Qlaira– An intrauterine contraceptive that is inserted in the uterus. It contains the hormone levonorgestrel, which prevents pregnancy.
- Millinette 30/75– A hormonal contraceptive that prevents pregnancy. It contains a combination of ethinylestradiol and levonorgestrel.
- Marvelon– A hormonal contraceptive that contains oestrogen and progestin. It prevents pregnancy by suppressing ovulation and thickening the cervical mucus.
- Microgynon 30 ED– A combined contraceptive pill that prevents pregnancy by suppressing ovulation and thickening the cervical mucus..
Here’s how to choose the best one for you and begin taking control of your contraception:
1. Decide Which Type of Birth Control is Right for You
Hormonal contraceptives are generally safe and effective, but it’s still important to be informed about their pros and cons. Different types have different levels of effectiveness, side effects, and availability.
2. Decide on a Brand Name
Many types of birth control pills are available, including generics and branded versions that contain the same hormones in the same dose. Pill packs may also come in different colours or strengths (generics can come in varying doses). A doctor or pharmacist can help you choose a brand-name pill that works for your body and your budget.
3. Know what you’ll need to Get Started
If you choose a pill, you will need to see a doctor or nurse for an initial checkup before using it for the first time. You may also need a pelvic exam to take measurements of your uterus, ovaries, and cervix. While most hormonal contraceptives do not cause weight gain, a doctor can help you choose the right pill and dosage if you have concerns about weight.
4. Find a Provider That Specialises in Your Contraception
Some types of birth control can be used only by women older than age 21. Other types are only available to women with certain health conditions, like certain kinds of heart or liver disorders. You may need a doctor or other healthcare provider specialising in the type of contraceptive you choose. Your health insurance plan may cover these visits at no cost to you.
Many women face challenges when trying to choose a birth control method. A woman’s pelvic exam and blood tests can be nerve-racking, and having a positive experience with your provider is essential. By learning about the various contraceptives available, you’ll be able to find one that’s right for you.