Birth control is an essential aspect of reproductive health. Choosing the right one can be a daunting task with various options available. It’s also common to find women selecting a contraceptive method based on the recommendations of other women in their circles.
However, like other aspects of life, birth control methods are not a one-size-fits-all product. Different methods work better for some, and women must consider a few factors before choosing a birth control method. Here are a few questions that you should discuss with a doctor.
1. Is it the right fit for me?
Different contraceptives have varied components, work differently, and are effective for specific time limits. These factors make various birth control methods more or less suitable for certain people. Here’s a list of factors to consider when deciding on contraceptive suitability.
It’s important to share your medical history with your doctor to get appropriate guidance on your birth control option instead of buying over-the-counter contraceptive pills. For example, if you have a history of blood clots, taking birth control pills with a combination of progesterone and estrogen is not advisable.
For people with busy lifestyles or who are forgetful, using a daily pill could be ineffective because there would be a high chance of forgetting to take it. Such people could opt for methods that last longer. Women who intend to work on their careers for several years before getting children could use a nonhormonal IUD, which is effective for 5-10 years.
Some women choose to be celibate, making abstinence a logical choice. However, it’s essential to be truthful to yourself about your lifestyle and habits.
Some religions shun the use of contraceptives and instead recommend natural methods of family planning. If you or your partner have objections to specific birth control plans due to personal beliefs, you need to have open discussions and weigh your options.
Specific birth control methods come in injection form; if you’re a person who hates the site of injections, this is a reasonable consideration. Many people also get irritations from certain contraceptives, such as condoms, so they may need to find alternatives while also considering safety from other infections.
2. What are the pros and cons of the birth control method?
Investigating the possible side effects of the contraceptive methods you’re considering is imperative. Some of the side effects could include:
- Weight gain
- Irregular bleeding
- Vaginal irritation
- Increased risk for blood clots
- Increased risk for high blood pressure
- Uterine infection
- Changes in moods
- High cancer risk
Some side effects are inconveniencing, while others significantly affect your health. In some cases, the medication has since been banned in developed countries, but it still finds its way to developing nations. Further, inquire what would affect the effectiveness of the birth control method. Ask questions, and do personal research to be a better advocate for your health. After all, you have the most significant stake in the matter.
3. How effective is the contraceptive?
The effectiveness of various contraceptives differs. Generally, save for abstinence, contraceptive methods lack 100% efficiency but permanent birth control methods and the IUD rank highly. You also need to know how soon a contraceptive becomes effective after getting on the plan.
The copper IUD is effective immediately after insertion. Some pills take effect immediately if taken on the first day of menstruation; otherwise, you need to wait for a week. In the case of emergency pills, their effectiveness declines the longer you wait to take them after intercourse.
It’s also important to ask how long a method remains effective before getting a refill. For example, some implants will take three years, while the copper IUD can take 5-10 years.
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4. Once I stop using the birth control method, how soon after can I try getting pregnant?
It is essential to know how long it takes your body to return to its fertility baseline after withdrawing from a birth control method. This information helps you in making plans for your future. While we don’t have direct control over conceiving, knowing how using a particular contraceptive could affect your timing is important.
5. Do I plan on getting biological children in the future?
This question is crucial if you’re considering a permanent birth control method like tubal ligation or vasectomy for men. Younger people should take time before deciding on a permanent plan because many people change their minds about having children later in life. Choosing a permanent method could come with regrets. Further, such a decision should be made without undue pressure from partners who might not want children.
6. Which other health benefits does it offer?
Besides the risk of unwanted pregnancies, sexual intercourse comes with the risk of infections. You might want a contraceptive method that protects you from sexually transmitted diseases.
Additionally, for some women with difficult periods or Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), using pills for birth control can help with period management.
7. How much does the birth control method cost?
The cost of a contraception method influences its choice for many people. Pills and condoms are the most affordable but also require frequent purchasing. While implants cost more, some people prefer them since it takes longer before needing another one. It’s important to factor in the trade-off between cost and the other aspects of each birth control method.
Choosing the suitable birth control method for you is crucial. In some cases, this decision leaves a permanent mark in life. Arming yourself with the right questions helps you get enough information to help you make an informed decision. Birth control needs also change with time, so you might shift to using a different method.
Many women worldwide lack access to health practitioners who provide enough information, so you must be proactive.
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