Family Planning Q & A

How Can I Decide Which Form of Birth Control is Right for Me? 

There are a variety of birth control methods and this can often become a difficult decision for women looking for the right form of birth control. Fortunately, this variety allows women to choose the option that’s best for their needs, lifestyle, and comfort level. Options such as IUDs and arm implants can be a set and forget option. Birth control pills are widely used and recognized and different pill options help prevent unwanted pregnancy using a variety of bodily functions. Additionally, diaphragms are typically preferred by women who want to use birth control only during sexual intercourse and not on an ongoing basis.

What Is an IUD? 

IUD is short for intrauterine device. It is a T-shaped device that is implanted in the uterus through a short noninvasive procedure. IUDs are available with hormones (Mirena®) and without hormones (ParaGard®). Non-hormonal IUDs such as ParaGard® feature tiny copper coils that work by altering the chemical composition of the cervix making the environment inhospitable or “unfriendly” to sperm. The Mirena® IUDs also use hormones in addition to the above copper wiring to provide additional protection against becoming pregnant. Some forms of IUD are effective for up to a decade. 

What Is Nexplanon®? 

Nexplanon® is a small birth control implant approximately four centimeters in length. Once inserted, Nexplanon® provides up to 3 years of pregnancy prevention. This is especially effective and efficient for many women because as it allows them to not have to remember to take a pill every day. Nexplanon® is over 99% successful at preventing pregnancy. Nexplanon® can be removed prior to its expiration date if a patient chooses to do so.

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