Is The Birth Control Patch Effective Immediately – If you’re busy (not all of us?) and looking for options that don’t require you to take the daily pill or forget to buy a condom, long-acting reversible birth control (LARC) may be a good option for you.
Long-acting methods can provide protection for several weeks to several years and can be undone if you decide you’re ready to try baby.
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But as with other birth control methods, you must weigh the pros and cons when deciding which LARC is right for you.
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There are many different types of LARCs to choose from. Most are similar in effectiveness and reversibility, but differ in the following:
There are two types of intrauterine devices (IUDs), one of which is copper. Copper coils are sometimes referred to as the Paragard brand.
How to use: The doctor uses a speculum to insert a copper IUD into the uterus. They usually do this procedure during an office visit and only take a few minutes. Some people report mild pain, cramping and spotting after insertion.
How to prevent pregnancy: The copper IUD creates a foreign body response in the uterus. This means that a person’s active immune system will target anything that enters the uterus, including sperm. Copper also releases ions that help increase inflammation, which can prevent sperm from reaching the egg.
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Approximate cost: Copper IUDs are free with most health insurance plans. If your insurance doesn’t cover copper IUDs, check with your doctor’s office about available discounts. If not covered, costs could be more than $1,000.
Side effects: Side effects may include temporary tingling and cramping when inserted, fainting, dizziness or nausea. You may also have heavier periods.
A hormonal IUD is similar to a copper IUD, but also releases a low, sustained dose of synthetic progesterone. Hormonal IUD brands include Mirena, Kileena, Liletta, and Skyla.
How to use: As with the copper version, the doctor uses a speculum to insert the hormonal IUD directly into the uterus through the vagina.
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How to prevent pregnancy: The hormonal IUD works in two ways. Like the copper version, it causes the immune system to inflame the uterus and attack foreign bodies such as sperm. Another way it works is by secreting progesterone, which prevents your eggs from being released and thickens your cervical mucus.
How long is it good for: Hormonal IUDs last about 3 to 7 years, depending on the brand of IUD you choose.
Approximate Costs: Most health insurance plans must pay for at least one form of IUD as well as the full cost of insertion and removal. However, they can cost more than $1,000 if they’re not covered by your insurance. Check your specific plan to see which brand can be covered.
Efficacy: You need to wait 7 days before having unprotected sex, but after the first wait, the hormones spike in a spiral
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Side effects: Hormonal IUDs can cause cramping and spotting for the first few months. After about 1 to 2 years, you may not have a period. They can also cause headaches, nausea, breast tenderness, spotting, or bloating.
The etonogestrel implant provides long-term hormonal birth control when worn in your arm. Sometimes the brand name is called Nekplanon.
How to use: The doctor places the implant under the skin of the upper arm using a special device. This
How to prevent pregnancy: Hormonal implant slowly releases progestin. The hormone thickens the cervical mucus and prevents the egg from leaving the ovary.
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Approximate Costs: Although most insurance companies cover all costs, it can cost more than $800 if not covered.
Efficacy: The birth control implant is effective within 7 days of insertion. According to the CDC, the implant
Side effects: The implant is generally safe but may cause swelling, redness or pain at the injection site.
Reversibility: The implant will need to be removed by a healthcare professional. The effects of the implant are completely reversible and pregnancy is possible shortly after removal.
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Birth control involves injecting hormones into your bloodstream to help prevent pregnancy for up to 3 months.
If you are not comfortable with injections, injection may be a good choice for you. However, if you hate needles or if you are over 35 and smoke, the injection may not be the best option for you.
How to use: Your doctor will use a needle to inject progestin into your upper arm or buttocks.
How to prevent pregnancy: Like other hormonal contraceptives, it creates more mucus around the cervix and prevents the ovaries from releasing eggs.
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How long is good: The vaccine is effective for up to 3 months and must be re-administered in your doctor’s office.
Approximate cost: Adding a dose every 3 months, the vaccine can cost about $240 per year. Most insurance plans should cover the cost.
Side effects: The injection may cause irregular bleeding for the first 6 to 12 months or longer, heavier bleeding. Over time, you may have fewer or no periods.
The birth control ring is a soft, flexible ring that is inserted into the vagina. It releases hormones slowly into the body to prevent pregnancy.
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How to use: You will need a prescription from your doctor. You will insert the ring directly into the vagina every 21 days. You should have regular menstrual periods for 7 days when it is not used.
How to prevent pregnancy: The birth control ring slowly releases estrogen and progestin into the body. Hormones help thicken cervical mucus.
How long is it good for: Every 21 days you should remove the old ring and put on a new one.
Approximate cost: Over the course of a year, a ring can cost around $1,000 without insurance.
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Side effects: You may experience breast tenderness, headache, nausea, breakthrough bleeding, vaginal discharge or irritation around the vagina while using the ring.
Reversibility: You can’t remove the ring and replace it with a new one when you’re ready or want to try to get pregnant. Pregnancy is possible shortly after removal.
A contraceptive patch is a small patch placed on the skin. The patch releases hormones into the body through the skin to prevent pregnancy.
How to use: The patch is a small square that is placed directly on the skin of the upper back, upper arm, hip, chest or abdomen. You will need a prescription from your doctor. You should change the patch once a week, on the same day of the week. In the fourth week you skip adding the patch and you should get your period that week.
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How to prevent pregnancy: The patch releases estrogen and progestin that help thicken cervical mucus and prevent ovulation.
How long it is useful: For continued protection against pregnancy, you should change the band once a week, on the same day of the week.
Effectiveness: You are less likely to get pregnant if you use the patch as directed on the same day each week. When used correctly, less than 1 in 100 women become pregnant in the first year of use. CDC estimates patch in place
Side effects: In general, side effects are mild and usually disappear within a few months. It includes symptoms such as breast tenderness, sudden bleeding, skin irritation or headache.
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Reversibility: If you want to get pregnant, you can stop wearing the band and get pregnant soon.
If you’ve decided that babies aren’t on your radar now or in the future, you may be looking for a more permanent way to prevent pregnancy.
Although both methods have the potential to reverse surgically, reversal is more complex than other methods and may not always be effective.
Tubal ligation involves cutting and removing or ligating the fallopian tubes. The cut tubes prevent the sperm from reaching the egg, which prevents pregnancy.
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How to use: Tubal ligation can be done alone or during other abdominal procedures. The procedure can take about 30 to 60 minutes. The surgeon will completely remove or tie the tubes to prevent the egg from entering the uterus.
Approximate cost: A tubal ligation can cost around $1,500 to $6,000, depending on where you have it done and your insurance.
Effectiveness: The probability of getting pregnant within 10 years after the procedure ranges from 18 to 37 out of 1000 women. The CDC states that although abdominal and laparoscopic ligations are immediately effective, another method of contraception should be used for the first 3 months after hysteroscopic occlusive ligation. Finished with all three types
Side effects: The most common risk of side effects is a reaction to general anesthesia. There is also a risk of tubal pregnancy and damage to surrounding tissues or organs during the procedure. Bleeding or infection from the incision may also occur.
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Vasectomy involves cutting the connection between the testicles and the penis, which prevents the ejaculation of sperm during sexual intercourse. This is the only long-term form of birth control that addresses the possibility of ectopic pregnancy.
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