Which Form Of Birth Control Is Right For Me

Which Form Of Birth Control Is Right For Me – Birth control is used to prevent pregnancy and treat certain medical conditions. There are many methods of birth control, including long-acting reversible contraceptives, short-acting hormonal methods, barrier methods, and lifestyle methods.

Remember! Birth control methods other than condoms do not protect against sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) such as HIV/AIDS. To protect yourself from sexually transmitted diseases, be sure to use a condom during sex in addition to other birth control methods.

Which Form Of Birth Control Is Right For Me

Which Form Of Birth Control Is Right For Me

For a quick comparison of different birth control methods, see the chart below.

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Long-acting reversible contraceptives are the most effective forms of reversible birth control. The implant and hormonal and non-hormonal intrauterine devices (IUDs) are long-acting reversible contraceptives. They do not need to be used with other forms of birth control to effectively prevent pregnancy.

Short-acting hormonal methods are the next most effective form of birth control. They use hormones to prevent pregnancy and must be taken on a schedule to be effective. These include birth control pills, hormonal rings, birth control injections, and the birth control patch.

Barrier methods create a physical barrier that blocks sperm from entering the uterus, sometimes combined with spermicide to make it more effective. To be effective, they must be used every time you have sex. These include condoms, internal condoms, diaphragms and contraceptive sponges.

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A 24-hour crisis line for people in the Seattle area. Call if you are concerned about emergency mental health needs off campus. Faced with bad PR and a lack of awareness, reproductive health groups have set out to make the IUD the first line of defense against unplanned pregnancy. it won’t be easy.

Most women have been there: sitting in their gynecologist’s office, frustrated by yet another conversation about yet another unsatisfactory form of birth control, wanting to try something new.

Take the Marlies home. At 17, she was cycling, as many women do on various versions of the pill, but the hormones gave her headaches or made her gain weight, or she forgot to take the pill and suffered from anxiety. She switched to the NuvaRing, a flexible loop inserted into the vagina where it releases hormones that prevent fertilization, but she hated the way it felt inside.

Which Form Of Birth Control Is Right For Me

House’s gynecologist referred her to the CHOICE Project at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. CHOICE is an ongoing contraceptive use survey of 10,000 women that also offers family planning counseling. There, House was first told about the intrauterine device (IUD) machine. One of its selling points was the fact that IUDs are trouble-free, lasting anywhere from three to 12 years without maintenance or replacement, depending on the brand. It is also virtually safe, equivalent to female sterilization or vasectomy to prevent pregnancy.

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“I thought, ‘This is it,'” said House, now 25 and a social worker in Missouri. She was sold.

However, American women and the doctors who advise them on family planning have been slow to accept it. Today, only 9% of American women of reproductive age use an IUD, the lowest rate of any developed nation. And more than half of the women surveyed in the US had never even heard of it.

But women are under increasing pressure to consider it. As successful as health groups have been in reducing unintended pregnancies, especially among teenagers, half of all pregnancies in the United States are still unplanned.

“If you can prevent a lot of them by denying the human ability to screw up, you’ve done amazing things,” says Mary Jane Minkin, MD, clinical professor of obstetrics, gynecology and reproductive services at Yale School of Medicine.

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Some early signs are promising. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), many women try at least five different types of birth control and are not satisfied with all of them, suggesting that alternatives may be ready. Meanwhile, Planned Parenthood reports a 75% increase in IUD use by patients since 2008. But the dual challenges of terrible PR and a lack of understanding by doctors who provide family planning advice mean that the transition from pill-a-day or condom use to long-term contraception will not be easy.

An IUD is a very small T-shaped rod that a doctor inserts into the uterus, where it releases either the hormone progestin or copper, which is hostile to sperm. There are three FDA-approved IUDs available in the U.S. — Mirena and Skyla, which are hormonal, and ParaGard, which incorporates copper coils — and all are extremely effective, with a failure rate of less than one pregnancy in 100 women. -compared to 9 out of 100 women on the pill.

“Leading medical organizations are now recommending them as a first-line choice,” says Megan Cavanaugh, a senior research fellow at the Guttmacher Institute, a reproductive rights nonprofit, who points out that while IUDs have historically been recommended for women who have already had them. their first child. , it is no more. In 2012, the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, considered an authority on reproductive health, delivered that message, concluding that IUDs are safe and appropriate for teenagers.

Which Form Of Birth Control Is Right For Me

So why is the adoption rate slow in the US? This is largely due to the fact that IUDs are still the subject of widespread misconceptions. The device has been plagued by a troubled history dating back to the 1970s, when an earlier version of the device called the Dalkon Shield was pulled from the market after being linked to infertility and infections. Today’s versions are smaller and much safer, with almost no risks, but the stigma is hard to erase—both among women and among doctors who prescribe birth control.

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Until recently, IUDs could be expensive—up to $900 for the previously uninsured. But a provision of the Affordable Care Act requires coverage for all FDA-approved contraceptives, except for women whose health plans are sponsored by religious employers. (The Supreme Court recently ruled that nonprofit corporations whose owners claim to run their businesses on religious principles do not have to cover emergency contraception. The IUD can act as emergency contraception when inserted after unprotected sex because it prevents the fertilized egg from implanting . in the womb).

Another barrier is lack of awareness. According to the Guttmacher Institute, the IUD is still virtually unknown to more than half of American women. However, according to early findings from the CHOICE project, once women learn about the IUD, more than half will choose it.

“We thought cost and availability were the only barriers,” says Gina Secura, an epidemiologist and director of Project CHOICE who previously worked at the CDC. “But when we asked the first participant, ‘Which method would I like?’, she asked, ‘What are my options?’ The pill? We realized we had a lot of education to do.

The concern about the spiral of the past is not unfounded. IUDs began appearing on the U.S. market in the 1950s, and by the early 1970s, one particular brand, Dalkon Shield, had reached 2.8 million, according to the CDC.

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But Dalkon had his flaws. Unlike the T-Spiral, the Dalkon was more insect-like with multiple legs protruding from either side. This made insertion difficult, causing misalignment, and also led to IUD failure and pregnancy. Doctors and manufacturers also did not know that the IUD should be removed if a woman becomes pregnant – but if not, it can lead to serious infections. According to various reports, more than 15 women who became pregnant with the Dalkon IUD in them died from infections after the abortion.

The Dalcon Shield was hit by lawsuits, and in 1974 the manufacturer A.H. Robins Co has voluntarily withdrawn the product from the market. A few years later, AH Robbins filed for bankruptcy, and by 1986, virtually all brands of IUDs had disappeared from US shelves.

Dalcon Shield has also been linked to pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), a painful condition in which the lining of the uterus, fallopian tubes or ovaries can become inflamed and cause infertility.

Which Form Of Birth Control Is Right For Me

But Yale’s Minkin, who was called as a medical expert in one of the lawsuits against Dalcon Shield, says the IUD’s failure was much more complicated than a single product falling out. Many cases of PID in the 1960s and 1970s could have been caused by STDs such as gonorrhea and chlamydia, Minkin says. “So you have the sexual revolution, chlamydia is on the rise, women aren’t using condoms or birth control pills, and bingo! You have a problem,” Minkin says. “It was terrible because women lost a good method. “People became hysterical.”

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After the Dalcon Shield, “the concern was the same all over the world, but nobody had the same reaction as the US, where the IUD practically disappeared,” says Dr. Carolyn Westhoff, Senior Medical Advisor, Planned Parenthood Federation of America. In the late 1980s, some health groups were interested in bringing back the IUD, especially outside the United States.

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