West Family Medicine
Family Practice located in Pocatello, ID
Women have more birth control options than ever, but finding the right method can still be challenging. At West Family Medicine in Pocatello, Idaho, you have access to comprehensive birth control options and knowledgeable providers who can guide you toward the choice that’s right for you. Call West Family Medicine or make an appointment online today.
Birth Control Q & A
What types of birth control are available?
There are many different types of birth control to choose from. In fact, the sheer volume of available options can make the process feel overwhelming. Your West Family Medicine providers can help you find a method that suits your family planning goals and your lifestyle.
There are two primary types of birth control: barrier methods and hormonal methods.
Barrier birth control
These options prevent pregnancy by creating a physical barrier that prevents sperm from reaching an egg. Some available options include:
- Male and female condoms
- Birth control sponge
- Cervical cap
Any of these methods can be made even more effective by incorporating spermicide. It’s important to note that the only forms of birth control that provides a degree of protection against sexually transmitted diseases are male and female condoms.
Hormonal birth control
These options prevent pregnancy by altering your hormonal balance to prevent ovulation or create an environment that is inhospitable for fertilization. Some available options include:
- Birth control pills
- Intrauterine device, or IUD (a nonhormonal copper IUD is also available)
- Birth control implant
- Birth control shot
- Vaginal ring
- Birth control patch
It may take some trial and error to find the right form of hormonal birth control, but your doctor is there to support you along the way.
How does the rhythm method work as birth control?
The rhythm method, also known as fertility awareness, is a birth control approach that requires you to track your menstrual cycle to predict which days you are most fertile. You then avoid having sex on those days to reduce your chances of getting pregnant.
This is not an effective means of birth control and should only be used by those who are willing and able to move forward with an unwanted pregnancy.
Which birth control methods require the least maintenance?
The birth control implant is one option and provides up to five years of protection. Best of all, you can regain full fertility very quickly after having the implant removed if you and your partner decide to move forward with parenthood.
Birth control shots only require four quick visits a year and are 94% effective. A vaginal ring lasts a month before it needs to be replaced. An intrauterine device can prevent pregnancy for 3-12 years, although it requires professional insertion and removal.
To discuss these and other birth control options in greater detail, call or schedule an appointment online today.