Birth control is essential when you're not quite ready to start a family. Among the most popular options are oral pills and implanted devices like an IUD. But how do you choose the right one for you?
If you need help deciding, Dr. John Paul Roberts and his team can help you at our practice in Plano, Texas. Dr. Roberts is an experienced OB/GYN who considers your health and plans when helping you choose a birth control method.
What is the birth control pill?
The pill is an effective type of birth control that contains estrogen and progesterone to prevent pregnancy. You typically take a pill every day for three weeks and then nonhormonal pills for a week to induce your menstrual cycle.
There are various types of birth control pills on the market. Each type of pill works in different ways to prevent pregnancy. Most of them stop you from ovulating or releasing an egg.
Some pills also thicken your cervical mucus and thin the lining in your uterus, making it very difficult for sperm to swim and an egg to implant.
The birth control pill is up to 99% effective when you take it properly. But if you miss a dose, there's a chance you could become pregnant if you had unprotected intercourse.
You should take the birth control pill at the same time every day to prevent pregnancy. The pill has some risks, although it's a safe and effective option for many women.
An IUD is a device implanted in your uterus to prevent pregnancy. There are two main types of IUDs — hormonal and copper.
Hormonal IUDs deliver small doses of progestin, which it releases over several years. Progestin prevents pregnancy by stopping ovulation and making it difficult for sperm to reach an egg.
Copper IUDs don't contain hormones but are a natural sperm-repellent. Sperm don't like copper, which is how the IUD prevents pregnancy. The copper IUD can stay in place for up to 10 years before Dr. Roberts needs to remove it.
Dr. Roberts inserts and removes the IUD, a simple procedure he performs in the office. It only takes a few minutes and is a hassle-free option for preventing pregnancy. Hormonal IUDs can stay in place for up to seven years, depending on the specific one you have.
Once the IUD is in, you don't have to do anything more. It stays in your uterus until you're ready to get pregnant or it’s time for a new one.
Which option is best for you?
When choosing a birth control option, there are a lot of factors to take into consideration. For example, do you want to worry about taking a pill every day, or are you OK with a device staying in your uterus for several years?
You also need to consider when you want to have children, if that's what you have in your plans. The birth control pill is easy to stop quickly, and you can do it on your own.
If you have an IUD, you need to make an appointment to have Dr. Roberts remove the IUD before you can get pregnant.
Both the IUD and birth control pill are highly effective in preventing pregnancy when you use them properly. But if you forget to take a birth control pill one day, you could get pregnant.
You should also consider each option's side effects and the associated risks. For instance, the IUD has the risk of infection, although it's not common. Birth control pills can increase your chances of blood clots if you smoke or have high blood pressure.
Ultimately, it's your decision which type of birth control you want. Dr. Roberts evaluates your health and risk factors to help you pick the best option for your lifestyle and overall wellness.
Call us today at our Plano, Texas, office to schedule an appointment to discuss your birth control options or book a consultation with Dr. Roberts through this website.