Birth Control Methods

The Birth Center of New Jersey’s own, Dr. Nicola Pemberton, MD, FACOG, Medical Director was highlighted in Cosmopolitan’s 2021 article on Behold: All the Possible Side Effects of Ditching Birth Control and for good reason. She is an expert in this area, and if you haven’t read it yet, don’t miss this chance! 

No matter where you are in your reproductive journey, it is always important to be prepared and educated about topics surrounding your health. One of those topics is birth control. If you want to learn more about the different methods of contraceptives you can try, keep reading ahead!

Barrier methods

One barrier method of contraception, condoms, is one of the most popular contraception methods due to its ease of availability and usage. They are also a non hormonal option which may be appealing for some!
Condoms have the advantage of providing last-minute contraception without the need for prior preparation. They are also the only ones that protect you from sexually transmitted diseases.
The potential downside of condoms is that the effectiveness as a contraceptive is compromised when the condom is damaged or not used properly. 

Hormonal medication and devices

Hormonal medication or devices are also commonly used since they can be used long term and don’t have to be sought last minute. They are found in the form of:

1. Birth control pills
Commonly known as “the pill” is a hormonal medication that prevents ovulation and pregnancy. It needs to be prescribed by a certified healthcare provider and must be taken regularly for it to be effective.
Birth control pills can lessen the pain of menstrual cramps and help with acne. On the other side they can have some side effects like headaches, bleeding, and nausea that one needs to watch out for.

2. Patch
As the name suggests, this is a thin self-adhesive patch that sticks to your arm and releases hormones into your body that helps prevent ovulation and pregnancy.
You can easily apply the patch on your upper arm, butt, or belly, and it lasts for up to a week. If used perfectly, the patch is 99% effective, and the better you are about changing your patch on time, the better it works!

3. Intrauterine Device
An IUD is placed into your uterine cavity by a healthcare professional. It can last for up to 5 years and is excellent for those who need long-term contraception. This device releases hormones directly into your uterus that help thicken the wall of the uterine cavity, making it harder for implantation to occur. 
Side effects of this device include infections and increased risk of bleeding. 

Natural Family Planning

Another option for birth control that is non hormonal is Natural Family Planning or fertility awareness. This method is combined with tracking your cycle through calendar, basal body temperature, and cervical mucus to know when one is ovulating and then avoiding intercourse on those more fertile days of the cycle. 

Always talk to your healthcare provider about any questions or concerns you might have so you can make informed decisions for your body! 

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