The best kind of contraception or birth control is the kind that works for you. There are so many varieties of contraception available, that you and your doctor will discuss the options and you will choose the best one to meet your needs. Many women find LARC options such as copper and hormonal IUDs and implants effective and convenient because there is no need to remember to take a pill or other interruptions. Factors that could affect your decision about the best birth control for you include your sensitivity to hormones, sensitivity to latex, your intentions for getting pregnant in the near or distant future, your ability to remember to take a pill at the same time every day, and if protection from sexually transmitted diseases is also a concern.
An Intrauterine Device (IUD) is a small T-shaped device that is inserted into a woman’s uterus. The device is either wrapped in copper (ParaGard) or contains slow release hormones (Mirena/Liletta/Skyla). The IUD damages or kills the sperm as well as making the uterus inhospitable to fertilization by affecting the uterine lining thereby preventing fertilization. Once it is inserted, the woman will not feel the device and does not have to think about the IUD again. Women are advised to check the IUD each month following her period by feeling for the fine string which passes through the cervix. An IUD provides effective birth control for 5-10 years, depending on the kind of device being used.
Nexplanon is a small device, about the size and shape of a matchstick that is implanted into the inside of a woman’s upper arm. Nexplanon releases progesterone hormone slowly which prevents pregnancy, similar to those found in non-estrogen containing birth control pills. Nexplanon is effective for up to 3 years. This form of birth control is popular with many women because they do not have to remember to take a pill every day. Nexplanon doesn’t prevent the spread of sexually transmitted diseases, so condoms are recommended with new partners.
If you are interested in Nexplanon, an IUD, or other form of birth control, make an appointment with one of the gynecologists at the Women’s Health Center for a consultation.
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