Birth Control / Contraception

Birth Control / Contraception

Birth Control

All of our practitioners are experts in most methods of birth control. Come in and talk about which will work for you.

Birth Control Pills are one of the most popular types of contraception. Most girls and women take birth control pills with little to no side effects.  In addition to preventing pregnancy, benefits include predictable and often lighter periods.  Mittelschmerz, or pain with ovulation, is stopped because "the pill" suppresses ovulation.  Ovarian cysts may be prevented.  Menstrual migraines are often controlled by taking "the pill" continuously.  Acne often improves on "the pill."

Birth control pills do not prevent sexually transmitted diseases such as chlamydia, HPV, HIV, syphillis or gonorrhea.

Most side effects, such as a mild headache, mild nausea or bloating (feeling like you are full of water) usually go away after the first month or two.

Some side effects require immediate medical attention. Difficulty breathing or swelling in one leg more than the other can be a sign of a blood clot and you should call 911 or go to a hospital right away. High blood pressure, jaundice (yellow skin or yellow eyes) can be a sign of liver damage and you should see a doctor.  Smoking cigarettes increases your risk of a complication from birth control pills.

Less severe side effects may include acne, breakthrough bleeding, breast tenderness, depression, diarrhea, dizziness, fatigue, headache, lethargy, nausea, oily skin, skin color changes, vaginal yeast infection and changes in the menstrual cycle.

Birth control pills are less effective (have  higher pregnancy rates) in women who weigh over 165 pounds.

Condoms

Only condoms can prevent sexually transmitted diseases, and even then, they are not perfect.  Latex condoms are the best for preventing disease, but some people are allergic to latex.

Condoms should be used with additional spermicide.

Condoms are inexpensive, easily available and easy to use.

Diaphragm

A diaphragm is a cap that covers the cervix during intercourse.  Our providers will be happy to discuss a diaphragm with you and fit you for one if you decide that it what you would like to do.

IUD

There are several types of IUD's, or intrauterine devices.  IUD's come with or without hormones.  Any IUD can be used while breast feeding.

Advantages of an IUD are that they last for several years and you do not need to think about contraception from the time it is inserted until it is removed.  You can have one IUD removed and another placed at the same visit.

A disadvantage is that placement of  IUD can be uncomfortable to painful.  We are happy to offer anesthesia for your IUD placement.  Also, an IUD can make a newly acquired STD worse.

Nexplanon

Nexplanon is a rod that is placed in the arm and released progesterone to prevent ovulation.  The Nexplanon lasts for 3 years and has the advantage that you do not have to think about contraception from the time it is placed until it expires.  A disadvantage is that many women have irregular bleeding.  It does not protect you against STD's.

Patch

The makers of "the patch" have stopped making it, so come in to discuss other options with one of our providers.