What's the Best Type of Birth Control For Me?

When choosing your birth control method, you, of course, want to consider its health effects and success rates, but it may be your personality that casts the deciding vote.

If, for instance, you’re someone who loves the comfort of a routine, taking a pill every day may suit you just fine. If, however, you’re more of a free spirit who prefers freeform to structure, you may want birth control you won’t have to worry about for months or years at a time.

Eventually, you’ll need to consider your plans for children. Your birth control options may be controlled by whether you plan to start trying to get pregnant in a couple of months versus a couple of years. You may have also reached a place in your life in which you don’t want any more kids.

Dr. Lori Davidson is a much-loved and highly respected OB/GYN specialist who is happy to answer questions about birth control and how she helps her patients choose the method that keeps them healthy and best suits their goals, lifestyle, and personality quirks.

What is the best type of birth control?

Your “best” type of birth control method depends on several factors that may change over time. When helping you select a birth control option, I encourage my patients to consider several issues, which may include:

Your willingness or ability to use the birth control also matters greatly. If, for instance, you aren’t comfortable about inserting a diaphragm before having sex, that method wouldn’t be a top choice.

What kinds of birth control are available?

Birth control options are sometimes categorized as permanent, long-term, or short-term and can include:

What are the side effects of birth control?

Each method carries some potential for side effects and the severity often depends on the type. For instance, though rare, an IUD may cause pelvic inflammatory disease, which is easily treated in its early stages with a course of antibiotics.

Because we can change long-acting and short-term birth control methods, I always encourage my patients to contact me right away if they’re experiencing concerning or unexpected symptoms.

Other side effects can include:

It’s also important to note that oral contraceptives (the pill) using combination hormones can cause changes in mood, weight gain, and may increase risk of blood clots and heart attack in women over 35 who smoke.

Oral contraceptives that are progestin-only may cause sore breasts, nausea, and headaches, but don’t carry the risk of blood clots.  

If you’d like to start birth control, want to change the method you’re currently using, or would like more details about the myriad of options available, make an appointment at Caring for Women’s Health.  

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