Women's Medical Care

BIRTH CONTROL

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TALK TO YOUR GLENDALE OBGYN ABOUT BIRTH CONTROL

Women’s Medical Care: Birth Control

There are many different reasons a woman may want to consider taking birth control. Most often it is to prevent a pregnancy, others could be to regulate the menstrual cycle, to decrease the menstrual blood flow, for puberty related acne issues, and other reasons. It is highly recommended that you bring all your questions and concerns about birth control to your OBGYN.

Hopefully here we can clarify a few that you may already have.

WHAT ARE MY OPTIONS FOR BIRTH CONTROL METHODS?

Depending on what stage of life you are at and your personal preferences these options are provided for your specific needs.

 1. An implantable device called long-lasting reversible contraceptives, also known as LARC and Intrauterine devices (IUDs).  For those who are not a fan of remembering to take a pill daily, the implantable device is inserted by the OBGYN as a birth control method. Depending on the method that is used, the LARC will last between 3-10 years. The LARC will stop the body from ovulating. If at any time you decide you would like to try to get pregnant, the LARC can be removed without adverse effects.

How this device works is that it will prevent the ovaries from releasing eggs, prevent sperm from getting to the egg, or prevent an egg implantation in the uterus.

Risks: When using an IUD, there may be an increased risk of an ectopic pregnancy. What this means is a fertilized egg would implant outside of the uterus, usually on a fallopian tube. This is a serious condition that needs to be treated right away. IUDs may also cause infection or puncture the uterus.

 2. Hormonal Methods, which come in different forms such as a pill, an injection, a patch or a vaginal ring. These methods may require taking every day or monthly. They contain estrogen and progesterone to regulate the menstrual period and to eliminate ovulation.

Similar to the LARC method, the hormonal methods will stop your ovaries from releasing eggs or prevent sperm from getting to the egg.

Risks: This method of birth control may raise your risk of blood clots and increasing blood pressure, which may lead to heart attack or stroke. Smoking can increase these risks. These risks are rare.  Your OBGYN will assess your risks and recommend the best method for you.

Benefits: With Hormonal birth control methods, research has shown that there are some benefits to incorporating this into your regimen, such as

Talk to your doctor about other possible benefits of the hormonal birth control methods and if it is right for you.

 3. Barrier Methods, such as condoms, diaphragms, cervical cap, or sponge, would be applied each time you have sex. A spermicide may also be applied to kill the living sperm, so it does not reach the egg. This is a topical cream.

The barrier that is placed either on the man or in the woman would prevent the sperm from getting to the egg.

Risks: Spermicides have been known to irritate the vagina with the chemical that is used. Another area of concern is if you are using a medication to treat a yeast infection it may make the spermicide less effective. 

 4. Sterilization is a more permanent method for the woman or the man, or both to undergo. For a man this would be a Vasectomy, a surgical procedure that would block the sperm from getting into the semen. The sperm would stay in the testes and get absorbed back into the body.

For a woman, the surgical procedure would be a Tubal Ligation, essentially tying the fallopian tubes to prevent the release of eggs from the ovaries to the uterus.

Risks: With any surgery the patient is at risk of other issues developing. With a tubal litigation, there may be a risk of damage to the bladder, the bowel or major blood vessels. Also, if the procedure is not successful there could still be a chance of getting pregnant.

 5. A Natural Method, known as Fertility Awareness Method, is used to prevent pregnancy by avoiding having sex or using a barrier method on and around the days you are most fertile or ovulating. There are home kits to track your ovulation.

Risks: This natural method of birth control is not as effective as other methods thus increasing the chances of pregnancy.

 It is advised that you speak with your trusted OBGYN to discuss all of these options and what is the best one that fits your needs and your health.

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