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Choosing Birth Control

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There are a varied amount of options when it comes to birth control today. We've come a long way from just the rubber condom. But now we have the dilemma of choosing one that fits our lifestyle. How do you do that?

There are several questions that you might need to answer before making a definite decision in this regard. For instance, does the particular method you’re considering have a high effective rate? The methods of natural family planning (such as rhythm and basal body temperature) are less likely to be as effective as the hormonal methods of birth control (birth control pills).

Or, you might want to keep in mind whether you want birth control that is reversible or not. For example, sterilization is permanent. The IUD is reversible, but seems more tailored for those that are not planning a pregnancy soon, while the oral contraceptive can be stopped immediately though return of fertility may not be immediate.

Many want their birth control to be convenient too. Convenience to some includes having very little side effects or not interrupting the sexual experience.

Is a prescription needed? It’s good to consider your personality and makeup when deciding. Are you the type of person that can plan ahead and stick to a schedule? What you answer should definitely be a determining factor in your final choice.

Additionally, you may want to consider whether you can afford the type of birth control you want. If a particular type of birth control is by prescription only, it is very important to make an inquiry to your insurance company, especially considering the recent changes in health coverage. This could make a keen difference in your costs.

Consider too, any possible side effects that the birth control chosen might have. Some side effects may even be life-threatening due to things in your personal health history. Be sure to talk to your physician about the risks.

And finally, not to be overlooked is how this particular birth control will affect you emotionally or spiritually. Is it a violation of your religious beliefs or cultural traditions? Then carefully think about which option will not go against your religious convictions.

The bottom line is birth control is a decision to be made by you and your partner. Both will have to be cooperative in a practical way. The medical experts advise to keep in mind your age, other health issues, emotional maturity, and religious values. Honestly assessing these things will make it easier in the long run to adhere to the type of birth control you ultimately choose.


Birth Control – Overview. WebMD. Web. 12 December 2011.

Birth Control Methods Fact Sheet. Womenshealth.gov. Web. 12 December 2011.

Dita Faulkner is a freelance writer and advocate for the underserved in Tennessee. Please check out her blog at: http://redtoenails.wordpress.com/

Reviewed December 13, 2011
by Michele Blacksberg RN
Edited by Jody Smith

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EmpowHER Guest

My wife and I are certified NFP instructors with the Couple to Couple League. You are misleading with your statement
"The methods of natural family planning (such as rhythm and basal body temperature) are less likely to be as effective as the hormonal methods of birth control".
Rhythm is not modern NFP. In fact very few people use that outdated system. I know of no one. Modern methods of NFP are scientifically proven to be as effective or more effective at postponing pregnancy as any type of contraceptive.[1] "A study completed in Germany in 2007 found that the symptothermal method has a method effectiveness of 99.6%."
Here it is if you want to read it for your self: http://humrep.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2007/02/20/humrep.dem003.full.pdf
So yes NFP can be very effective for all women and it has no negative side effects and cost nothing once you learn the method.


December 16, 2011 - 6:53am
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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