There is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to birth control. Your lifestyle, health, and reproductive needs are unique, and choosing the best birth control option for you is essential to get the best results.
Our gynecologists and OB/GYN team offers a range of birth control and women’s health services at Memorial Women’s Specialists in Houston, Texas.
All birth control is not the same — 4 types to consider
Most people are familiar with the birth control pill, which is a type of hormonal birth control. There are many birth control pills available with varying levels of hormones. However, not every type of birth control consists of hormones.
Additionally, some are more effective at protecting you from STDs and STIs, while others require additional protection. If you’re planning on getting pregnant in the near future, some types of birth control have a longer window for how long it may take you to get pregnant after you stop using that particular method.
Here’s what you need to know about four types of birth control and how to decide which one is best for you:
Hormonal birth control (short-term)
The most well-known type of short-term birth control method is the birth control pill, but this type of birth control is also available as a patch or through an injection. When you take short-term hormonal birth control, ovulation is blocked to prevent pregnancy. This type of birth control utilizes progestin or a combination of both estrogen and progestin.
The time it takes to become pregnant after you stop taking short-term hormonal birth control can vary significantly from person to person, ranging from a few weeks or a month to up to a year or longer.
The birth control pill, shot, and patch won’t provide protection from sexually transmitted infections, so you may need to use additional protection, like condoms, when using this type of birth control.
Long-acting reversible contraceptives (LARCs)
The most well-known example of a LARC is the IUD (intrauterine device). IUDs are implanted to stop ovulation and prevent pregnancy. Many people find an IUD more convenient and effective than taking a pill every day or using the patch or injection. LARCs are highly effective while they’re in place, and most women can become pregnant soon after the device is removed.
Like with the birth control pill, shot, and patch, an IUD doesn’t protect against STDs.
Barrier methods are non-hormonal and removable forms of birth control, including a diaphragm, cervical caps, and condoms. Barrier methods are considered a single-use type of birth control and must be used every single time you have sex.
Sterilization is a surgical and permanent type of birth control where the fallopian tubes are tied or blocked to prevent fertilization. This type of birth control is irreversible, so it should only be considered if you don’t plan to have children in the future.
For more information about the different types of birth control available and how to choose the best one for your needs and lifestyle, contact Memorial Women’s Health Specialists today to schedule an appointment with a gynecologist at our office in Houston.