With the wide variety of contraceptives available to men and women, you may be struggling to figure out which one you should use. The best contraceptive regimen for you depends on several factors, such as your health profile, your lifestyle, and your plans for starting or growing a family.
Types of Contraceptives And Their Effectiveness
Some types of contraceptives are more reliable in preventing pregnancy than others. The most effective types of contraceptives are those which eliminate the risk of human error.
Hormonal contraceptives work by preventing you from releasing an egg and by making it difficult for sperm to reach and fertilize an egg or for a fertilized egg to implant itself in your uterus. Hormonal contraceptives are very effective when used properly. They can cause side effects which some women find positive but some find negative. Also, hormonal contraceptives may not be appropriate for women with certain health conditions. They are only available by prescription from your healthcare provider.
One of most effective contraceptives is the hormonal implant, called Nexplanon. It is a thin plastic rod that resembles a matchstick. It contains hormones and works by releasing a small amount of hormones into your body that prevents you from getting pregnant. Your healthcare provider uses a special instrument to insert the device under the skin of your upper arm. Once implanted, you do not have to do anything else to prevent pregnancy.
The implant remains effective for up to 4 years. One reason the implant is so effective is that it eliminates the risk of human error. That is, you do not have to remember to take a pill or put on a condom or worry that whatever device you are using malfunctioned.
Another very effective hormonal contraceptive is the hormonal IUD. It is a T-shaped plastic device that your healthcare provider inserts in your uterus. It releases a small amount of hormones that prevent you from getting pregnant. The IUD remains effective for three to ten years.
The patch is a small hormone-infused patch that is applied to your skin. Your body absorbs the contraceptive hormones through your skin to prevent pregnancy. It is very effective but must be replaced every week.
The pill is effective if you take it every day at the same time for a certain number of days each month. If you forget to take it or fail to take it properly, it loses its effectiveness.
You use the Ring by inserting it into your vagina and leave it for three weeks. It releases pregnancy-preventing hormones into your body. At the end of three weeks, you must remove it. You can replace it immediately with a new ring to avoid having a period. Alternatively, you can wait seven days while you have a period and then insert a new one.
Barrier contraceptives work by physically preventing sperm from reaching the egg. They are effective between 71% and 88% of the time, depending on the contraceptive used. Barrier contraceptives provide one-time protection and they lose their effectiveness if they are not used properly. In many cases, the sex partners choose not to interrupt their intimacy to put the device in place. However, barrier contraception methods are readily available without a prescription in many retail stores and online.
A copper IUD is a copper wrapped device that your healthcare provider inserts in your uterus. It contains no hormones. Technically, the copper IUD does not create a barrier to sperm, but the copper causes inflammation in your body which is lethal to sperm and eggs. It is highly effective for women who prefer to avoid hormonal contraceptives and are looking for a relatively hassle-free, effective, long-term contraceptive option.
Condoms block the sperm from entering your vagina and reaching the egg. However, a condom can fail if it is damaged or if it is not properly fitted. One advantage to condoms is that they are the best way (other than abstinence) to prevent the transmission of a sexually transmitted disease.
Spermicide foam is most effective when used in combination with another form of contraception, such as a condom. It is not sufficiently reliable to depend on when used by itself.
The sponge is a soft disk-shaped device made of polyurethane foam. It is infused with a spermicide that blocks or kills sperm.
You must insert the sponge deep inside your vagina before having sex. You must leave it in place for six hours after sex and remove it within 24 hours to prevent infection.
If you know that you do not want more children, a permanent solution is available. Men can have a vasectomy. A vasectomy is an out-patient procedure performed by your doctor where the doctor ties off the vas deferens, which transport the sperm out of your body. Women can have a tubal ligation, an out-patient procedure where your doctor ties or removes your Fallopian tubes.
Contact the Women’s Health Experts at Raleigh Gynecology and Wellness for More Information about Contraceptives
Make sure the contraceptive option you choose will help you achieve your goals safely, suit your lifestyle, and are consistent with your long-term family plans. Consult with the experts at Raleigh Gynecology and Wellness in selecting the best contraceptive for you.