Explore Today’s Birth Control Options
There are a variety of birth control options available today to suit every woman’s individual contraception needs and help prevent pregnancy. Our San Antonio OBGYNs help patients understand the choices that are available and decide which one might work best for them.
Things to think about when considering contraception
When patients are deciding which birth control method to use, our physicians talk to them about several factors.
- How soon they want to get pregnant, or whether they want children at all
- How often they have sex and the number of sexual partners they have
- Which methods they will feel comfortable and confident using regularly
Our San Antonio OBGYNs also discuss the patient’s overall health and talk about the effectiveness of each method, as well as potential side effects.
How effective are the various birth control options?
Contraceptives’ effectiveness at preventing pregnancy varies widely. Here’s information about how many women out of a hundred get pregnant using each method after one year of use.
- LARCs, or long-acting reversible contraceptives including IUDs and implants — Fewer than one
- Hormonal methods — Six to nine
- Barrier methods — 12 to 18
- Fertility-awareness-based methods — 24
- Spermicides alone — 28
LARCs are the most effective option
Physicians call LARCs “set it and forget it” birth control because once the devices are in place, women don’t have to think about them for several years.
- Copper IUDs – Effective for up to 10 years
- Hormonal IUDs – Three to eight years
- The birth control implant – Up to three years
Hormonal options are very popular
Birth control options such as the pill, vaginal rings, skin patches and the birth control injection release either progestin alone or a combination of estrogen and progestin into the bloodstream to prevent ovulation. The hormones also create thicker cervical mucus and thin the uterine lining, making it more difficult for sperm to get into the uterus and for fertilized eggs to implant.
Barrier methods include condoms, the only contraceptive that prevents STIs
Barrier methods are the oldest form of contraception. From male and female condoms and diaphragms to birth control sponges and spermicides, barrier birth control works by preventing sperm from reaching the egg. Condoms are the only birth control method that helps to protect men and women from HIV and sexually transmitted infections, or STIs.
Women who are finished having children or who do not want them can check into sterilization.
Those who do not want to use contraceptive devices or medications can choose fertility-awareness-based methods to determine when they ovulate, and can either use barrier methods during that time or abstain from sex. Using this method alone, about 24 out of 100 women will get pregnant in one year.
Our San Antonio OBGYNs are here to help women navigate their birth control choices
Fortunately, patients do not have to sort through their birth control options alone. Our San Antonio OBGYNs are here to answer questions and provide information and prescriptions for contraception. Contact us for an appointment.