From pills to skin patches and intrauterine devices to injections, there are lots of options when it comes to birth control. The two main types are hormonal and barrier methods, and each option has its benefits.
All the options might seem overwhelming, but the right birth control method for you depends on your health, your sexual habits, and your family planning goals. If you’re wondering what type of birth control is right for you, it’s time to schedule a consultation with us at the private practice of A. Michael Coppa, MD.
We specialize in family planning and contraception, and we’re here to help you learn more about your options.
Hormonal birth control options
Some of the most common birth control options rely on hormones to reduce your chances of getting pregnant. Hormonal birth control contains estrogen, progestin, or a combination of both. These methods tend to be more than 90% effective when used correctly.
Hormonal birth control either prevents ovulation, thickens cervical mucus, thins your uterine lining, or a combination of these to make pregnancy less likely. There are many different types of hormonal birth control, including:
Birth control pills may be the most common and well-known of all hormonal contraceptives. In general, you take one pill at the same time each day for three weeks, then take a pill without hormones (placebo) for one week. The week without hormones triggers your menstrual period.
Skin patches release hormones into your bloodstream through your skin. You wear one patch per week for three weeks, then go without a patch for a week, when you have your period. The patch reduces your chances of getting pregnant by preventing ovulation.
Hormonal intrauterine device (IUD)
An intrauterine device is a type of long-term hormonal birth control. Dr. Coppa places the T-shaped device in your uterus, where it releases hormones to stop ovulation and thin the lining of your uterus. Depending on the type of IUD you get, it can last for five or more years.
Depo-Provera injections are another popular option for hormonal birth control. If you choose this method, you need to come into our office once every three months for an injection in your arm.
Non-hormonal birth control
Not every woman is interested in hormonal birth control methods. Whether you want to avoid hormones or you can’t use hormonal contraception for other health reasons, Dr. Coppa and our team can help you find a birth control that’s right for you.
Copper intrauterine device
Along with hormonal IUDs, we offer copper IUDs, which function in a similar way but without the hormones. The T-shaped device is made from copper, which naturally repels sperm and keeps it from reaching your fallopian tubes to fertilize an egg.
Barrier methods of birth control physically block sperm from reaching eggs in your reproductive system. When used correctly, these methods can prevent unintended pregnancy.
Common barrier methods include male and female condoms, sponges, and diaphragms. You might choose to use a combination of hormonal birth control and barrier methods for added protection.
Partner with Dr. Coppa and our team to make a confident decision about the birth control that’s right for you. To set up an appointment, call the office nearest you in Cranston, Smithfield, or Providence, Rhode Island, or use our online tool to request an appointment.