Which Type of Birth Control Should You Pick?

There are many different types of birth control available. The method that's right for you will depend on your goals and your individual body chemistry. Some birth control methods can even be used in conjunction with each other for maximum protection. Here are four common types of birth control you may want to consider:

1. Condoms

Condoms are a non-hormonal birth control option. Condoms can be made from latex, polyurethane, or sheepskin, and they form a barrier that prevents semen from coming into contact with your vagina. Many people like condoms because they come with no side effects, and they don't require a prescription. Condoms are also effective at preventing many sexually transmitted diseases. They are 83% effective at preventing pregnancy with typical use, according to the Center for Disease Control

2. Birth Control Pills

Birth control pills are taken orally. They contain a dose of hormones that tricks your body into believing it's already pregnant. This prevents ovulation, which means you won't be able to get pregnant while using these pills. For maximum effectiveness, you need to remember to take your birth control pill at the same time every day. Many women find it useful to set an alarm to remind them to take their pill. Birth control pills are 91% effective at preventing pregnancy. If you'd like to start taking birth control, you will need to visit your gynecologist. They will perform a wellness exam before writing you a prescription.

3. Intrauterine Devices

Intrauterine devices are more commonly known as IUDs. IUDs are placed inside your uterus by a gynecologist. They are very effective at preventing pregnancy. The non-hormonal variety of IUD is 99.2% effective at preventing pregnancy, while the hormonal option is 99.8% effective. Many women find that even hormonal IUDs come with fewer side effects than oral birth control. That's because the hormones in an IUD are localized in your uterus. They do not need to be ingested and absorbed into your bloodstream to be effective. IUDs are an effective long-term birth control option. Once inserted, they can successfully prevent pregnancy for up to five or ten years, depending on the type you select.

4. Birth Control Implant

A birth control implant is an option for someone looking for a long-term birth control method that doesn't like the idea of an IUD for whatever reason. The implant is about the size of a grain of rice, and your gynecologist will inject it into your arm using a special device. The implant is effective for up to three years, at which point it will need to be replaced.