When it comes to picking the right birth control, things can get confusing. There are several options out there, and the best birth control depends on your lifestyle. Different forms of contraception can fit into four categories: oral, implant, single-use, and low-maintenance.
Oral forms of birth control include the combination pill and the mini pill. The combination pill consists of two hormones, estrogen, and progestin. The mini-pill only contains progestin. Oral contraceptive is best for those who can remember to take their pill every day around the same time.
The combined pill is the most common of the two because it is better at regulating periods, and it has a larger usage window. The usage window for the combination pill depends on the brand, but it is typically 12-24 hours, while the mini pill is only 3-12 hours before you are no longer protected.
Options for a birth control implant include the IUD and the implant (AKA the Nexplanon). For both options, a doctor’s appointment is a requirement to insert the implant. The difference between the two options is the placement and protection duration.
The IUD will keep you protected for 3-6 years, while the implant protects you for up to 4 years. Additionally, the IUD goes into the uterus, and the implant goes into your arm.
Single-use forms of contraception consist of the barrier method. Options for this include condoms and female condoms. They both work by blocking sperm from reaching the eggs. The only difference is the placement.
Regular condoms go onto the male genitalia and remain there for the duration of intercourse. Once finished, the condom is carefully removed and disposed of. Female condoms go inside the female genitalia, and just like regular condoms, they remain there for the duration of intercourse.
Which one you choose depends on the personal preference and comfort of you and your partner.
4. Low Maintenance
Low maintenance options include the birth control shot, the patch, and the ring.
The shot is a birth control given by a doctor, and it lasts three months. When the three months are up, if you wish to remain protected, you go back for another one.
The patch is a sticker containing hormones that you place almost anywhere on your body. The hormones absorb into the skin and protect you from pregnancy. After each week, it is time for a fresh patch. When it’s time for your period, you take the patch off for a week.
Finally, the ring is a silicone ring that goes into the vagina and releases hormones. You leave the ring in for three weeks, and then it is removed for a week when it is time to have your period.
Now that you know the options of birth control there are out there, it will be easier to decide which ones you would like to consider.