Contraception, also known as birth control, refers to a number of methods designed to prevent pregnancy. While your gynecologist or OBGYN can help determine which contraception method is right for your needs, you may find it helpful to learn about the various contraception options available prior to your appointment.
A diaphragm is a “barrier” contraceptive method placed within the vaginal canal prior to intercourse to block sperm and stop it from reaching the uterus. Additional barrier methods include cervical caps, sponges, and prophylactics.
Oral medications are among the most popular types of contraceptives. The medications are typically taken for three weeks at a time, after which point placebos are taken for one week to allow menstruation to occur. Some women may prefer oral contraceptives that are taken for several months at a time so that they can limit the number of periods that they have per year.
Vaginal Contraceptive Rings
Vaginal contraceptive rings, such as the NuvaRing, are flexible, circular rings that are inserted into the vagina for a period of three weeks and then removed for one week to allow for your normal cycle. Women who utilize vaginal contraceptive rings will want to use a back-up barrier method if the contraceptive is removed for longer than three days.
An intrauterine device, or IUD, is a small, T-shaped device that is implanted into the uterus during an outpatient office procedure. Similar to vaginal contraceptive rings, intrauterine devices release small amounts of hormones or copper to prevent pregnancy. These can be used for several years.
Another common form of contraception is hormone injections. Birth control injections work similarly to pills and stop ovulation from occurring. They are typically given in the patient’s arm every three months.
The Essure method is a permanent means of contraception that is natural, convenient, and hormone-free. The non-surgical procedure entails placing inserts in the fallopian tubes, which then create a natural barrier to keep sperm from reaching eggs. This takes three months, but the procedure itself can be performed in less than 10 minutes.
Here at WomanCare, we offer a variety of contraception options, including diaphragms, IUDs, oral contraceptives, NuvaRing, Essure, and more. You can learn more about your options by calling (847) 221-4700. We also offer prenatal care, women’s bladder control treatment, and bioidentical hormones.