It's just part of life: if you're a sexually active woman, you have to figure out your approach to birth control. While condoms are the only form of birth control that also protects against STDs, many health care providers recommend, and many women choose, to use an additional more reliable form of birth control as well.
Here we'll overview some of the most effective forms of birth control for women, highlighting each one's particular benefits. We'll also explore three factors you should consider which can affect the form of birth control you choose.
There are many different forms of birth control, which include ones for men. We'll of course focus on options for women. The Association of Reproductive Health Professionals (ARHP) considers the following forms of birth control to be extremely effective:
The following two options (Implant, IUD) are known medically as Long Acting Reversible Contraceptives (LARC).
Women who choose an IUD have the option between a hormonal or non-hormonal IUD. Hormonal IUDs (brand names Mirena and Skyla) emit small amounts of progesterone into the uterus to prevent pregnancy.
These hormones may also help relieve the symptoms of heavy periods. They are effective for three to five years, depending on the brand. Non-hormonal IUDs emit trace amounts of copper that prevent pregnancy. They are effective for up to 10 years.
These forms of birth control are considered very effective by the ARHP:
While all these types of female birth control will do the job, it's a big decision to figure out which will work best for you.
You should consider certain lifestyle factors that can affect your choice of birth control method. Here are three questions to ask yourself:
The OB/GYN doctors and midwives at All About Women are always open to discussing the pros and cons of birth control methods, and helping you choose the right one.