Whats The Best Birth Control
The best birth control is the one that most effectively prevents pregnancy and fits with your lifestyle. Generally, a male condom plus another form of birth control is the most effective way to prevent pregnancy.
What’s “best” among birth control methods differs from person to person. What’s right for you may not be right for everyone. And your needs may change over time.
Hereâs what to think about when choosing a kind of birth control:
- How fail-proof do you need your protection plan to be?
- How much does the cost matter?
- How important is your privacy?
- Do you have a regular partner whose needs you care about?
- Do you need to protect against sexually transmitted diseases ?
- How much effort do you want to make to prevent a pregnancy?
- If you’re a woman, does it matter if your period is affected?
- Will you someday want to have a child?
What Causes These Side Effects
With hormonal birth control, you change your bodys chemistry. When you do this, you introduce the opportunity for hormone-related side effects. Shifting hormones in either direction can cause changes. In some cases, this change is desired, such as stopping ovulation. In other cases, the hormone shift isnt desired or intended. Increased hormones can cause blood clots and stroke.
Your doctor may rule out some forms of birth control if you a health profile that could increase your odds of having side effects or complications.
For example, hormonal contraception may not be right for you if you:
- are over age 35
- may have prolonged bed rest in your very near future.
Because an IUD is an implanted device, theres a risk that the device might not stay in place. Although your doctor will check the devices placement after its initially inserted and during your annual checkup, the device may still slip at any moment. If it does, this increases your risk for complications, such as a tear in tissue.
Other risks include:
- an infection in the uterus or pelvis, often caused by bacteria that were present on the IUD when it was placed
- an IUD pushing through the walls of a uterus that can move around and possibly damage other organs if its not found
- ectopic pregnancy
You may be more likely to experience these risks if you:
- have weak pelvic floor muscles
- have a history of pelvic infections
- have a sexually transmitted infection
- have an allergy to copper
When Is A Vaginal Ring Not A Good Option
A vaginal ring may not be a good option for you if you:
- have certain types of migraine headache
- have a high body mass index or are obese
- have a close family member who has had a deep vein thrombosis
- are taking certain types of medication which might stop the ring from working
- have had some health problems such as high blood pressure, heart or liver problems
- are over 35 years and smoke
- have been treated for breast cancer
- are unable to move around for a long time .
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Find The Best Birth Control For You
Thanks for checking out our list of types of birth control without estrogen! Weve only touched on some of the methods available and how they work, so if youre serious about switching birth control, its always worth discussing your options in full with your doctor. In the meantime, why not find out if Natural Cycles could be an option for you?
What Are Some Nonhormonal Birth Control Options
Barrier methods of nonhormonal birth control include both male and female condoms. Each of these options is about 80% effective and convenient as they can be purchased without a prescription at a drugstore. In addition, barrier methods prevent STDs as well as pregnancy.
Less popular options include the sponge, which is soaked in spermicide before placing it high in the vagina. With a prescription, a cervical cap, cervical shield, or diaphragm are also available as barrier methods.
A copper IUD is also available, which naturally kills sperm after being placed in the uterus. A copper IUD is 99% effective and can remain in place for up to 10 years.
Finally, if you are certain you do not want to conceive in the future, permanent birth control options are available. These include a tubal ligation, commonly known as having your tubes tied.
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Benefits Of Nonhormonal Birth Control
Whether youre on the pill, have a patch, or use a ring, hormonal birth control can be a total drag. It can cause annoying-AF side effects like bleeding between periods, boob pain, headaches, mood changes, and nausea.
Theres also a small chance that it could increase your risk of heart attacks, blood clots, or strokes.
You may want to opt for a nonhormonal method if you:
- have trouble remembering to take a pill every day
- dont want to change your bodys natural cycle
- experience bad side effects from hormonal birth control
- have certain health conditions like severe hypertension, heart disease, vascular disease, certain liver diseases, or migraine with aura
- Effectiveness: 99%
- Cost: $$$
A copper IUD is a T-shaped piece of plastic thats wrapped in copper. A doctor inserts the device into your uterus through your cervix. Its more than 99 percent effective and gets to work right away. The copper is toxic to sperm, so it helps prevent fertilization. It can also prevent a fertilized egg from attaching to the uterine wall.
A copper IUD is a great choice if you want long-term protection it can last up to 10 years! It can also be used as emergency contraception for up to 5 days after you have sex without a condom or other barrier.
One downside is that insertion can be uncomfortable. Discomfort can range from a slight sting to WHY IS THERE A WASP IN MY VAGINA? But the entire procedure usually takes just 5 to 15 minutes.
- Effectiveness: 8598%
- Cost: $
- Effectiveness: 7286%
- Cost: $$$
Are There Side Effects
Phexxi’s most common side effectvaginal burningis uncommon with other types of contraceptives. During the clinical trial, 18% of users experienced vaginal burning, while 14.5% reported vaginal itching.
Other reported side effects include:
- Vaginal infection
- Painful urination
- Vaginal pain
Ultimately, it’s important to talk to your healthcare provider about potential birth control benefits and side effects to determine what works best for you.
“I think its great to have another choice in the market,” Chen said. “But the bottom line is that women really have to take charge of their own bodies and their own health and actually see a doctor.”
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Who May Want To Use Phexxi
One advantage of Phexxi is that it increases the number of birth control options available, says Dr. G. Thomas Ruiz, OB/GYN lead at MemorialCare Orange Coast Medical Center in Fountain Valley, California. But that doesn’t mean it’s for everyone.
Phexxi may appeal to women who want to avoid hormonal birth control. There could be different reasons why this is important to them:
- They find that hormonal birth control has unpleasant side effects for them, such as mood changes, unpredictable bleeding and lower libido, says Dr. Chidera Ejiogu, an OB/GYN with UTHealth Houston and Memorial Hermann Hospital.
- They can’t use hormonal birth control because of another health condition, such as high blood pressure or blood clots, says Dr. Rachel Jensen, a resident with the University of Maryland School of Medicine’s Division of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Sciences in Baltimore. Hormonal birth control can raise the risk for higher blood pressure or blood clots. One in 3,000 women using birth control pills will develop a blood clot annually, according to the National Blood Clot Alliance. That may be a relatively small number, but it puts women already prone to blood clots at an even higher risk.
- They are looking to take a break from hormonal birth control, such as the pill. There isn’t a medical reason to do this, but Ruiz has some patients who have expressed this preference.
- They smoke. Smoking and using hormonal birth control can raise the risk for blood clots.
Diaphragm And Cervical Cap
Unintended pregnancy in one year of use: 17% typical use, 16% perfect use .
Diaphragms and cervical caps are barrier methods that are both placed over the cervix and used with spermicide . Cervical caps are smaller than diaphragms and fit tightly around the cervix . Diaphragms stay in place by sitting behind the pubic bone . Diaphragms and cervical caps do not protect against STIs . Both are available in the USA with a prescription.
An OBGYN, nurse practitioner, doctor or midwife puts the diaphragm or cervical cap in the first time to pick the right size. The healthcare provider inserts the index and middle finger into the vagina to feel where the device sits . Only use water-based spermicides or lubricants when using a diaphragm and a cervical cap . Oil-based products can cause a cervical cap or diaphragm to break down .
There is also a one-size-fits-all diaphragm, Caya . A healthcare provider may have you insert Caya during the visit and then perform a pelvic exam to make sure that it was placed in the right position . Water-based spermicide should also be used with Caya .
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What Is It Made Of
Phexxi is made of three active ingredients:
- lactic acid, which is found in dairy products and produced naturally by the vagina
- citric acid, a compound found in citrus fruits
- potassium bitartrate, a byproduct from winemaking thats also known as cream of tartar
These three ingredients work together to maintain the acidic pH of your vagina amid the presence of semen.
Hormonal Birth Control Provides Continuous Protection And Other Health Benefits
For women who want their birth control to be “on” all the time, there are many hormonal options that provide continuous protection against pregnancy. Birth control pills, patches, shots, and vaginal rings are considered short-acting forms of hormonal birth control, while hormonal IUDs and implants can provide protection for many years. Both short- and long-acting hormonal birth control methods work by releasing hormones that change the body’s chemistry to prevent pregnancy.
According to Verma, many women are drawn to hormonal birth control because it can be used for more than just pregnancy prevention. Some women with heavy or irregular periods including those with conditions like fibroids, endometriosis or polycystic ovary syndrome use hormonal birth control to regulate their cycles or reduce ovarian cysts, while others like the option of not having a period at all. Verma adds that women dealing with hormone-related health issues like acne or mood swings may also turn to hormonal birth control for help.
But hormonal birth control isn’t without drawbacks. “There are safety concerns, particularly with birth control methods containing estrogen,” Verma said. For people with certain health conditions like migraine disease, high blood pressure, breast cancer or a history of blood clots, Verma said, hormonal birth control containing estrogen may not be safe.
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Who Can Use The Vaginal Ring
Most women can use the vaginal ring. The vaginal ring can be a good choice for women who find it hard to remember to take a pill every day. There are some medical reasons which mean that using a vaginal ring is not recommended.
- a history of deep venous thrombosis , stroke, heart attack or some other types of heart disease
- a condition which makes you more prone to blood clots
- severe liver problems or liver cancer
- certain types of migraine
- breast cancer
- some types of systemic lupus erythematosus
or if you:
- are over 35 years old and smoke
- have just had a baby
- are taking other medicines which can reduce the effectiveness of the ring including epileptic medications and some herbal remedies
Your doctor will help you decide if you can use the ring or if there is a more suitable method if you have:
- high blood pressure
- body mass index of 35 Kg/m2 or more
- a family history of deep vein thrombosis in a close relative
- gallbladder disease
It is important to talk to your doctor or nurse to see if the vaginal ring is a good choice for you. If you are at risk of sexually transmitted infections you can use condoms at the same time as using the ring.
Who Should Use It
The birth control gel can be used by many people with vaginas who want to prevent pregnancy without using hormones.
Phexxi is good for patients who cant use hormonal birth control because of some type of medical condition whether thats a history of cancer or blood clots, said Cross.
It can be a good choice if youre looking for a nonhormonal birth control option that:
- doesnt have to be taken every day
- is easy to start and stop using
- wont affect your long-term fertility
- can be used discreetly without your partners participation
- can be used in the moment and at any time during your menstrual cycle
- is safe to use multiple times per day
- can be used with some other types of birth control
You can use the birth control gel as soon as your doctor clears you for penis-in-vagina sex after childbirth, miscarriage, or an abortion, according to the NWHN.
However, Planned Parenthood notes that there are some reasons you may want to avoid Phexxi, including:
- you use the vaginal ring
- youre pregnant
- you have a history of urinary tract infections or other urinary problems
- you are sensitive or allergic to the gels active ingredients
Its also important to note that Phexxi does not prevent sexually transmitted infections . You may need to combine it with another type of birth control, such as a barrier method, to reduce your risk for STIs.
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Cervical Caps Or Diaphragms
What is it? These are dome-shaped devices which look similar, but diaphragms fit into the vagina and over the cervix, whilst caps need to be put onto the cervix directly. They need to be fitted by a professional on the first occasion, and used in conjunction with spermicide for maximum effectiveness.
Pros and cons:
“They can be put in before sex so they don’t disturb the moment ,” says Sue. “They are not affected by any medicines that you take orally, and don’t disturb your menstrual cycle” – although it is recommended that you do not use the diaphragm/cap during your period, so you will need to use an alternative method of contraception at this time.
And the downsides? As with pretty much all methods except condoms, they dont provide protection against STIs, and theyre also not as effective at preventing pregnancy as other methods . “They can take a little getting used to before you’re confident using them,” Sue admits, “Some women can develop the bladder infection cystitis when using diaphragms or caps check with your doctor or nurse if you need further advice. Some people may be sensitive to latex or the chemical used in spermicide.”
Birth Control Sponge Effectiveness
Of 100 women who have never had a baby and who use the sponge in a typical year, about 14 will get pregnant. This means it is 86% effective.
Because childbirth can stretch your vagina and cervix, the sponge doesnât fit as closely in women whoâve had a baby. About 27 of 100 will get pregnant while using the sponge, an effectiveness rate of 73%.
Does the sponge protect against sexually transmitted diseases?
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Reduction Of Burst Release
One of the most important challenges complicating the medical use of intravaginal rings is burst release due to Fickian or non-Fickian drug diffusion. In addition to the negative economic effect of higher doses, burst release can have unwelcome side effects171.
A number of studies used membranes made of different polymers as coatings for different types of drug delivery devices17. One example of this is Nuvaring, which has a membrane of ethylene-vinyl acetate copolymer surrounding an EVA core impregnated with etonogestrel and ethinylestradiol14. A high burst release rate of 20â40 percent was observed during in vitro tests of IVRs manufactured from EVA. Cellulose membranes are employed to prevent the initial burst release in IVRs. The release rates of EVA rings can be efficiently controlled using membranes172.
The release rate can be adjusted to specific required values by modifying the membrane thickness. Membranes have specific permeabilities which control drug release in a DDS. As the membrane becomes thicker, the release rate of the drugs decreases. In summary, the goal is to delay the diffusion of API through the polymeric device to reduce the amount delivered173.
Another method for a controlled DDS is to manufacture a system that releases the loaded drug at a prearranged time or in pulses. Such a system can also be manufactured in response to environmental changes174.
How The Ring Works
The ring steadily releases the hormones oestrogen and progestogen into your bloodstream, which prevents the release of an egg each month.
It also thickens the cervical mucus, which makes it more difficult for sperm to move through the cervix, and thins the lining of the womb so a fertilised egg is less likely to implant itself.
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Not All Fabms Are Equally Effective
Methods like the Rhythm method or Standard Days method assume that the menstrual period always follows a certain number of days and ovulation happens on the same day of each cycle . A person trying to avoid pregnancy is instructed to avoid sex or use another birth control method on the days around their ovulation . These methods work best for people with cycles that are predictable and last 26-32 days .
Not all people with periods have 28-day cycles and ovulation may not happen on day 14 each month . Cycles vary for a number of reasons . If a method does not account for the uniqueness of a personâs cycle, predicting ovulation can be less accurate, which makes the chance of pregnancy more likely. Making a method a routine and always using it correctly may take time. Getting experience through practice or training may help .