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Which Birth Control Method is Right for You?

Which Birth Control Method is Right for You?

With such a variety of options, it's difficult to know which birth control is right for you. From pills to patches, each method of contraception has its pros and cons. Always discuss birth control options with your OB/GYN before making a decision. Some common contraception's are:

Birth Control Implant. This is a match-stick sized rod inserted into the arm by a health care professional. It is safe, effective, and can last up to three years. One downside? It can cost anywhere from $0-$800 up front. Some common side effects include breast tenderness and irregular bleeding, especially within the first 6-12 months. Although much less common, more serious side effects can occur. This includes a change in sex drive, weight gain, pain at the insertion site, and nausea.

Birth Control Patch. This birth control option is a small patch that sticks to your skin. It is thin, beige, and plastic, making it virtually unnoticeable. It works similarly to the birth control pill by releasing hormones, and provides the same benefits. Benefits range from preventing acne and painful menstrual cramps to protection against bone thinning and heavy or irregular periods. There are very few side effects to the patch, but some long-lasting side effects could include a change in sex drive or a skin irritation where the patch was placed.

Birth Control Pill. The birth control pill is simple, safe and convenient. The pill is taken once daily, and has shown to help with a variety of ailments, such as acne, cysts in the breast and heavy periods. Some women experience nausea and vomiting when first starting the pill. Serious side effects usually warning signs, which could include a new lump in your breast, a sudden very bad headache, or achy soreness in the leg.

Vaginal Ring. Just like the pill, the vaginal ring releases hormones into the body. The ring stays implanted in the vagina for three weeks, and it is then removed for the last week. It has similar possible side effects to the pill, as well as offering similar benefits.

Intrauterine Device (IUD). An IUD is a small t-shaped device that is inserted into the uterus. IUD's affect the way sperm move, as well as thicken cervical mucus in order to prevent pregnancy. IUD's are some of the least expensive and longest lasting forms of birth control available. Possible side effects include mild pain when the IUD is inserted and cramping or backaches for a few days. Serious side effects include the IUD slipping out of the uterus, which in turn requires removal.

There are so many options when it comes to choosing the birth control right for you. Talk to your OB/GYN to explore the possibilities.

Torrance Memorial Physician Network Women's Centers are home to a number of skilled OB/GYN specialist. To learn more about our physicians, click here.