What Birth Control Is Best For Me – Whether it’s the belief that certain styles cause weight gain, cause cancer, or affect future fertility, there’s a lot of misinformation about birth control, which 99 percent of sexually active American women report ever using.
“Considering the large number of women who use birth control at some point in their lives,” says Nancy Stanwood, MD, MPH, chief of family planning at Yale Medicine. Clearing a legend is incredibly important. “Women deserve good medical care in this area of health. as a medical provider We welcome discussions with patients about birth control. We want to educate and empower them. We are here to discover each woman’s needs and help connect her with the best way for her.”
What Birth Control Is Best For Me
“People often have the misconception that all birth control methods are the same in terms of protection. But it’s not true. Some people work better than others,” says Dr. Stanwood. The most protective is an intrauterine device (IUD) or arm implant. Both have a less than 1% risk of pregnancy in one year.”
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The IUD is a small, soft, flexible piece of plastic in the shape of a “T” that is inserted through your cervix into your uterus. There are several brands (Liletta, Kyleena, Mirena, Skyla) that all release progesterone. Stin It changes the cervix and uterus to prevent sperm from entering the egg. These hormonal IUDs prevent pregnancy for three to seven years, depending on which one the woman chooses. Another type of IUD (Paragard) does not contain hormones. and instead uses a copper coil, which twists the cervix and uterus to prevent sperm from entering the egg and can be used for up to 12 years.
Arm implant Sold under the brand name Nexplanon, it is a wand about the size of a match that is inserted under the skin of your inner upper arm. It secretes progestin and prevents pregnancy for up to five years by stopping ovulation and thickening cervical mucus.
Dr. Stanwood noted that Common contraceptive methods include birth control pills, injections, arm patches and vaginal rings. There is a failure rate of about 10% in one year. The problem is not the method, but how to use it. “We are not perfect. we are human And those methods require us to remember things. For those with busy lives those methods may not be suitable,” she said.
“Patients often tell me that they think all birth control causes weight gain. But there’s only one way, progestin injections given every three months, that’s been linked to weight gain,” says Dr. Stanwood. “That doesn’t mean women don’t gain weight. Most American women tend to gain about 2 pounds each year, but it’s not the drugs or intrauterine devices that are the cause.”
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Sold under the brand name Depo-Provera, the contraceptive injection contains progestin and inhibits ovulation. so that you don’t release eggs every month Therefore it is not possible to get pregnant. One study found that over a year, women using Depo-Provera gained 5 pounds more than those using a copper IUD. The reason why Depo-Provera can cause weight gain, explains dr. Stanwood, is that it can stimulate signals in the brain that control hunger.
Some women mistakenly believe that birth control will make it harder for them to get pregnant once they stop. This is especially true when they use what is known as long-acting reversible contraception (LARC), such as IUDs or arm implants.
These devices only disturb minds when they are in place. “You can wear an IUD or prosthetic arm for two years or just a month. And if you don’t like it or don’t want to get pregnant, we take it off. It doesn’t affect your future fertility,” says Aileen Gariepy, MD, MPH, an obstetrician-gynecologist at Yale Medicine. That doesn’t mean you have to have them over the years. It is only the length of time that protection is offered.”
Some women worry that inserting an IUD will be painful. Dr. Stanwood said each woman’s experience was different. “For the most part, it was similar to a typical pelvic exam with a Pap test, but slightly more crampy,” she said. I finished and they asked, ‘Is that all? I don’t feel anything.’ But other women may feel more crampy. for most It was a five-minute procedure—a few minutes of cramping worth the trade-off of years of contraception.”
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IUD insertion is performed during a standard office visit. Dr. Stanwood said “Some detections may occur later and may continue throughout the day.” Women who have just given birth will have an easy time. with this experience “I like to let women who have just given birth know that they will feel the least discomfort in terms of insertion. If they do it within a few months of having a baby, because the cervix is usually open and the uterus Don’t mess with it so much.”
Dr. Stanwood generally joked that talking to women about IUDs takes longer than inserting them.
In the same way Arm implants are also a quick and easy procedure. Your healthcare provider will use a local anesthetic to numb your arm. and use a special device to slide the implant under your skin. “We put it in a small hole. on the inside of the arm And it’s under the skin,” Dr Stanwood said. “It’s like a blood draw or an IV injection. The removal is also very quick. It’s also very considerate. A woman can feel it when she presses on it. But it didn’t come out.”
IUDs and contraceptive implants can be used by all women of childbearing age. including teenagers In fact, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that IUDs and arm implants should be the first choice for sexually active young women.
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“If parents of teenagers are wondering what would be safe for their daughter to consider. Arm implants and IUDs may best serve adolescents,” said Dr Stanwood. “That’s because you set it and forget it. They are busy. This allows them to focus on academics.”
Although some forms of birth control carry health risks, this is not. But it is important to note that a number of serious complications are in fact related to pregnancy and childbirth, the doctor said.
Combined hormonal contraception (the pill, patch and ring, which all contain progestin and estrogen) is associated with a slightly increased risk of blood clots. Stroke and heart attack These risks were higher in women who smoke and are over 35 or who have several cardiovascular risk factors.
“The use of hormones to prevent pregnancy One of our concerns is These hormones increase a woman’s risk of clotting that can travel anywhere in the body. if you are not using any birth control pills and not pregnant “You have the lowest risk of developing a clot,” explains dr. Gariepy. “The next highest risk is estrogen or progestin-based contraception. These are the most common forms of birth control pills. and the second highest risk is being pregnant. So when we talk about safety we always ask, In this case your risk to developing blood clots while using oral contraceptives is lower than when you are pregnant.”
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Meanwhile, some of the side effects associated with combined hormonal birth control methods are actually beneficial for some women. For example, they can make periods lighter, shorter and more consistent. Oral contraceptives can reduce acne and the frequency of migraines associated with menstruation. Oral contraceptives can also reduce the risk of women suffering from uterine, ovarian and colon cancer.
Some forms of birth control make a woman’s periods infrequent or very light—or get rid of them. It’s perfectly safe, says Amanda Lendler, MSN, CNM, a Yale-certified midwife.
During a woman’s menstrual period The uterus builds up the lining to prepare for pregnancy. “Hormonal contraceptives can reduce the lining that builds up during the menstrual cycle. This allows for little or no endometrial shedding each month,” explains Lendler. “This means little or no bleeding each month. And there is no danger in this regard.”
At the end of the day, Lendler and her colleagues encourage women to talk to their providers about any questions they may have about birth control.
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“Contraception is not the only method that works for everyone,” says Dr Stanwood. “We focus on what each patient needs and share our expertise to help her find what is best for her.” One of the Ob/Gyn’s most important and frequent tasks is to establish effective birth control. Unfortunately, more often than not, choosing a prescribed birth control is wrong.