Whether you’ve just given birth and want to prevent a subsequent pregnancy, aren’t ready for children yet or simply want to regulate your menstrual cycle, contraceptives can prove effective. There are a number of contraceptive choices available today. A thorough consultation with Dr. Binford and the Austin gynecological team can help you determine which method of birth control is best for you. A few of the most popular birth control options prescribed by Balcones OB/GYN are discussed in detail below.
Birth Control Options for Austin Residents
Birth Control Pills
Birth control pills must be taken daily for maximum effectiveness. This prescription medication is more than 99% effective in preventing pregnancy. Birth control pills are also helpful for regulating your period, because they supply your body with additional estrogen or progesterone. Both of these hormones are needed for healthy ovulation. However, taking birth control pills prevents eggs from leaving the ovaries. This prevents pregnancy because the sperm is not able to reach the egg. Birth control pills also thicken the cervix, making it nearly impossible for sperm to pass through. Side effects of the birth control pill can include breast tenderness.
Birth Control Shot
Depo-Provera, or the birth control shot, is administered every three months at our Austin Clinic. This is often considered a hassle-free form of birth control. You won’t have the obligation of taking a daily pill, but won’t have to worry about getting pregnant for three months at a time. If you decide you want to become pregnant, you can skip a dosage of the birth control and regain your fertility in a few months.
The shot is given in the arm, and costs between $35 and $100 per injection. Depo-Provera releases progestin into the body, a hormone that prevents pregnancy. If you’re taking medication to treat Cushing’s syndrome, have fragile bones or have suffered from breast cancer, it’s best to choose another method of birth control.
An intrauterine device or IUD is a small T-shaped structure that is placed in the uterus to prevent pregnancy. Once you have an IUD inserted, it should prevent pregnancy for 5 or 10 years, depending on the device you select.
There are two types of IUD’s. Hormonal intrauterine devices, also known as Mirena or Skyla, supply the body with progestin and can cut down on heavy menstrual bleeding. ParaGard is the non-hormonal IUD. This birth control method relies on copper to change the environment in the IUD to prevent fertilization and implantation. and keep pregnancy from occurring.
After getting an IUD, it’s common to experience cramps and back pain for a few days. You may also have spotting in between periods for up to 6 months. ParaGard may give you heavier periods or more severe menstrual cramps.
Which Contraceptive is Best for You?
Before you make your final decision about the contraception you’ll use, talk to Dr. Binford at Balcones OB/GYN about any pre-existing conditions you have. It’s also a good idea to discuss whether you’d like children in the future, or how soon you’d like to get pregnant. This will help you select a birth control method that will fit well with your family planning goals.
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