By: Allyse harris
Unlike the “one-size-fits-all” jegging pants that never honestly seem to live up to their tagline, birth control is not a “one-size-fits-all” product. Choosing a method of birth control should involve an individualized selection and counseling process based on your lifestyle, goals, and overall health.
New birth controls are coming onto the market every year, and it’s therefore important for both women and their healthcare providers to be able to have an educated conversation on what is the best fit.
Taking birth control should ultimately be a personal decision, even if there is pressure for you to take it from your significant other. Of course your partner’s input can be very valuable, so the both of you should have a thoughtful discussion about the options and outcomes, but if you are not comfortable with taking birth control it is ultimately your body and you therefore shouldn't feel as though you need to subject yourself to it for the benefit of your partner.
As you will see, there are multiple methods that do not include hormones or additives that can screw with your body's chemistry, so you may find something in the below list that suits your fancy. First and foremost, however, here are a couple of things to consider when evaluating birth control and maybe some questions to ask yourself:
Your lifestyle and preferences:
Effectiveness of the birth control:
Reasons for the birth control, including desires for lighter periods or even wanting to have no periods at all:
Definition clarification: For the purposes of discussing effectiveness in this article, the focus will be more on prevention of pregnancy. However, as already mentioned briefly, this may not be the only thing factoring into your desire to start or switch birth control, so be sure to voice ANY AND ALL reasons or concerns with your healthcare provider to really find what is the most effective option for you.
PLEASE NOTE: When considering the costs listed here, I am not taking into account visit costs, follow-up costs or any other related expenses, just the cost for the birth control itself OUT OF POCKET. The great news is many of these forms of birth control are covered fully or in-part by health insurance plans, so check with yours to see how much it would set you back (if at all).
FOR MORE REFERENCES: Check out Planned Parenthood!! It is an AWESOME resource for any questions about birth control, pregnancy, and STIs.
Sterilization (non-reversible contraception)
Injectable (AKA Depo-Provera shots)
Oral contraceptive pills
Withdrawal (AKA pulling out)
Now, this little addition isn’t for birth control but it is about safe sex and I think should therefore be mentioned…
So, going back to some of those questions you might want to ask yourself when researching or choosing a birth control method…
The biggest take-away should be to:
Final things to keep in mind when selecting a birth control:
Other helpful resources:
This really is the best figure representation about the effectiveness of the mentioned birth control options. It’s from UpToDate, and gives its resource in the references at the bottom: