Birth Control: Exploring All Options
Contraception is an ongoing topic of discussion throughout a woman’s lifetime. Due to changing factors, including lifestyle, budget, and the frequency of sexual activity, birth control is an aspect of healthcare that needs to be revisited on occasion. The team at River Oaks Gynecology and Aesthetics offers personal care that helps women manage their contraception needs through varying life stages. Several forms of birth control are available in our Houston office. Here, we provide a basic overview of common methods.
- Barrier methods. Barrier methods of birth control include spermicide, a diaphragm, and condoms. The way a barrier works is by preventing contact between sperm and the egg. In the case of condoms, the barrier is also protective against sexually transmitted infection. While barrier methods of contraception may be advantageous for women who wish to avoid hormonal adjustments, the downside to these methods is that it is necessary to maintain discipline in times of heightened arousal.
- Oral contraception, or The Pill, as it is often known, prevents pregnancy by adjusting a woman’s hormones throughout her cycle. Hormonal contraception has been used for many years and has been refined over time to make this method virtually customizable to each woman’s needs. For instance, one ratio of hormones can shorten and lighten periods, and another can minimize the cramping that occurs during menstruation. While hormonal birth control is one of the most effective methods, it only works if it is used daily as directed. Forgetting even one dose opens the door for pregnancy. As an alternative, some women obtain the Depo-Provera shot every three months to inhibit ovulation.
- Set it and forget it. Long-term and even permanent methods of birth control have been developed to safely and effectively prevent pregnancy. Lasting methods of contraception include hormonal or non-hormonal IUD, Nexplanon, tubal ligation, and Essure. The implantation of an intrauterine device can provide up to 5 years of contraception. Tubal ligation and Essure create permanent barriers within the fallopian tubes.
Birth control is a personal matter for which every woman needs exemplary care. Contact our Houston office at 713-955-6560 to discuss your options.