What is an IUD?
IUDs are one of the best options available if you want birth control that doesn’t require any maintenance and is effective for many years IUD stands for intrauterine device. An IUD is a small, flexible device shaped like a T that is placed inside your uterus by your gynecologist. There are two types of IUDs, and each works differently. One type is made with copper, which makes it difficult for sperm to reach the egg during ovulation (since sperm don’t like copper). The other type of IUD uses hormones to thicken cervical mucus and prevent ovulation from happening. IUDs can last for years inside the uterus, but they will need to be replaced eventually. Your gynecologist can also remove it at any time.
IUDs are one of the most effective birth control methods available. One of the greatest benefits is that you can choose between a hormonal or non-hormonal type based on your health and preferences. Hormonal options can even reduce or stop your periods. If you’re looking for a long-term method that is not permanent, then IUDs are an effective and hassle-free option. Once inserted, you won’t need to do anything with it until you want it taken out or replaced. Additionally, you can become pregnant soon after taking out your IUD so there’s no long time delay if you decide to have kids.
There are certain health conditions that may indicate an IUD is not your best option (or that you may be a better candidate for a different type of IUD). Some of the risks of IUDs include misplacement or displacement which means it may not be as effective. This can also cause cramping or discomfort. It’s possible for an IUD to damage the wall of the uterus, requiring surgery for removal, but this is very rare. If you notice discomfort or that your IUD feels like it moved out of place (as in, the strings feel longer than usual or you can feel the plastic bottom), you should see your gynecologist as soon as possible. An IUD will not protect against STDs so you should still use additional protection like a condom.
Once you and your gynecologist decide the right type of IUD for you, we can insert your IUD during an appointment at our office. This can be uncomfortable for some women, so it’s commonly recommended to take some over-the-counter painkillers before your appointment. The process is quick and usually takes less than five minutes, after which you can return home. You may experience some mild cramping and spotting after an IUD insertion, but this goes away within a few months.
- 92% effective
- Use once per week
- Contains estrogen
- The patch is a form of birth control that works similarly to the combination pill but instead comes in the form of a small bandage that you wear on your skin. The small patch releases estrogen and progestin hormones, which both stop the process of ovulation and thicken the cervical mucus. Together, this prevents pregnancy.
- convenient method if you want to avoid taking daily pills. However, you’ll need to remember to change your patch on time every week. Some of the benefits include that the patch can make periods lighter and more regular, as well as reduce cramping. Because it contains estrogen, the patch can also have some health benefits like preventing acne, bone thinning, and iron deficiency. If you want to get pregnant soon, it’s possible to conceive right after you stop using the patch. You can stop using the patch at any time.
- The patch does not protect against STDs, so you should be sure to use condoms along with the patch for extra protection. After you stop using the patch, it may take a few months for your periods to become regular again. Like all birth control medications, you may experience side effects while you use the patch. Your gynecologist will discuss the risks with you during an appointment.
What is the Ring?
The ring, sometimes called NuvaRing, is a birth control method that is inserted in the vagina and releases hormones over time. The hormones, progestin, and estrogen, prevent fertilization by stopping an egg from being released each month and also thicken the cervical mucus. You’ll insert a new ring each month on time so that you continue to get the benefits.
NuvaRing is an extremely convenient way to protect yourself against pregnancy for a month at a time. Once you insert a new ring, you won’t need to worry about it until you need to change it. Since the ring uses estrogen, it comes with some health benefits like preventing acne and regulating your periods. However, some women shouldn’t use estrogen-containing birth control for different reasons. You can stop using the ring at any time and can become pregnant soon after.
Since NuvaRing uses estrogen, it can come with some very small health risks that we will discuss during your appointment. You can also experience side effects like intermittent bleeding or a low sex drive. There’s always the risk that the ring can become dislodged or come out, meaning you may experience some discomfort or accidentally become pregnant. That’s why it’s important to check your ring regularly and change it on time. The ring does not protect against STD’s so you should still use condoms during sex.
- 92% effective
- Use every day
- Can contain estrogen the pill is a form of birth control that you take every day on a regular schedule. There are two different types of birth control pills— one contains both estrogen and progestin, while the other contains only progestin. Both work by preventing ovulation and thickening the mucus of the cervix so sperm can’t enter.
- The progestin-only pill must be taken at the same time each day within a 3-hour window. Progestin-only pills come with no placebos and are taken for the entire 28 days. You may stop bleeding while you’re on the progestin-only option, or you may have spontaneous spotting.
- Combination pills can be more complicated so your gynecologist will make sure you understand your schedule. Often, the combination pill comes with some placebo pills during which you’ll get your period at the end of the month. However, some women skip taking these for different reasons.
- The pill is a very reliable birth control method that has been around for a long time. The type of pill that works best for you will depend on factors like your health and preferences. Some women should avoid estrogen-containing birth control methods, so the progestin-only pill can be a good alternative. On the other hand, estrogen-containing birth control can have some health benefits for other women. Either pill requires you to stay on top of your schedule so it can be helpful to set reminders on your phone or calendar. You can stop taking the pill any time and can also get pregnant soon after.
- Because the pill needs to be taken regularly, there is some margin for error, and you may forget or miss your window. This means you can become pregnant if something happens and you don’t take your pill. Additionally, the pill can come with side effects that might cause symptoms or negatively affect your sexual drive. The pill does not protect against STDs, so you should be sure and use condoms during sex along with the pill. Condoms can also help prevent pregnancy in case you forget to take a pill.
The pill requires a prescription from your gynecologist. Your gynecologist can also recommend the right type of pill for you and the schedule on which you should take it. Once you fill your prescription, you can start taking the pill right away.
The pill is a very safe and reliable method of birth control that has a long history of use.