Two-thirds of sexually active American women use some form of birth control. As a woman, birth control, also called contraception, is a key component of your health care plan because it gives you the ability to control whether you get pregnant.
The two main types of contraception are hormonal and barrier methods, and there’s an abundance of options to choose from, depending on your family planning goals, lifestyle, and health.
Each method comes with its own advantages and disadvantages, and sorting through your options can quickly become overwhelming.
Michael Coppa, MD, and our team offer comprehensive family planning services, including birth control counseling. Finding the best birth control for you is a personal decision, but a birth control consultation with Dr. Coppa can help you learn more about your options.
Your birth control options
Hormonal birth control stops ovulation to prevent pregnancy. Ovulation is the time during your menstrual cycle in which an egg is released from your ovaries to be fertilized. Hormonal birth control stops this process so you can’t get pregnant.
When used correctly, hormonal birth control is over 90% effective. Hormonal birth control is a flexible contraception solution, and there are plenty of options to fit your lifestyle. A few of the hormonal birth control options available at our office include the following.
The pill is one of the best-known hormonal birth control options. Most birth control pills contain progestin, and some also have estrogen. The hormones prevent ovulation so you can’t get pregnant.
In general, you take the pill for three weeks, and then have one week without hormones. During that week, you have your menstrual period. You need to take your birth control pill at the same time each day, every day, to ensure this method is effective.
Birth control patches are small, beige-colored patches that stick to the surface of your skin. Skin patches release progestin and estrogen into your bloodstream, preventing ovulation and unintended pregnancy.
Skin patches are convenient. You need to put a new patch on each week for three weeks, or a total of 21 days. During the fourth week, you don’t wear a patch and you have your menstrual period.
An intrauterine device (IUD) is a small T-shaped device that we place inside your uterus. Hormonal IUDs release progestin, which halts ovulation and thins the lining of your uterus to make fertilization less likely.
Along with hormonal IUDs, Dr. Coppa offers non-hormonal copper IUDs. Copper IUDs prevent pregnancy by making the uterus inflamed and inhospitable to sperm and fertilized eggs.
Both types of IUDs also act as barrier methods to prevent sperm from travelling to your fallopian tubes.
Dr. Coppa offers Depo-Provera® injections as another birth control option. The shots contain progestin to prevent ovulation and increase mucus buildup inside the cervix. Depo-Provera is a popular option because you don’t need to remember to take a pill every day.
If you choose Depo-Provera for your birth control, you need one injection every three months to effectively prevent pregnancy. You need to get your shots as scheduled to reduce the risk of unintended pregnancy.
Finding the right birth control for you
After you learn about the options available, Dr. Coppa is here to help you make an informed decision about what’s right for your body. He reviews your medical history and your goals in your birth control consultation.
Come to your appointment prepared to answer questions like:
- What is your health history?
- How often do you have sex?
- How many sexual partners do you have?
- Do you want children? If yes, when?
Your consultation is the best time for you to ask any questions you have, too. Don’t hesitate to learn more about the efficacy of each option and any side effects. When you’re ready, Dr. Coppa can prescribe the method of contraception that you choose.
Many women opt to use a combination of hormonal and barrier methods to prevent pregnancy, and it’s not unusual for your birth control needs to change throughout life. Our team is here as a partner in health and family planning.
Ready to find the birth control method that’s right for you? Schedule your birth control consultation online or call the office nearest you for an appointment. Our offices are located in Providence, Cranston, and Smithfield, Rhode Island.