The second part of a two part series on the pros and cons to consider when choosing the right birth control method for you!
Part one is available here.
The Deal: I've written about the sponge before and its recent comeback in American markets.
The Pros: Non-hormonal, available over the counter, more affordable than other birth control options, provides 24-hour protection after inserted
The Cons: Some women experience irritation as a result of the spermacide, some find it difficult to remove; does not prevent against STDs, only 89-91% effective
Contraceptive Vaginal Ring:
The Deal: a flexible plastic ring that you insert into your vagina once a month for three weeks at a time which releases low doses of progestin and estrogen to stop ovulation, thicken your cervical mucus and help prevent fertilization
The Pros: 99% effective when used correctly; it only needs to be inserted once a month and can be done by you; can help you if you have heavy periods and bad cramps
The Cons: it can get expensive (ranging from $20-$50 a month); it is a hormonal drug which can cause a range of side effects; it's available only with a prescription; unlike other methods, it can increase some people's risk of serious issues like strokes or heart attacks; does not prevent against STDs
The Deal: I've detailed the use, pros and cons of IUDs, in a previous Empowher post, available here.
The Deal: Male and female sterilization procedures are usually surgical and are used to permanently prevent pregnancy.
The Pros: It's 98-99% effective in prevent pregnancy, depending on the procedure; doesn't affect sexual pleasure; no long term side effects
The Cons: It's difficult to reverse; does not prevent against STDs, requires surgery or doctor's visit, can have painful short term side effects, complications can arise, expensive
The Deal: A male withdraws his penis from the female's vagina before ejaculation. According to Planned Parenthood, 35 million couples worldwide practice this form of birth control.
The Pros: It's free; it's non-hormonal and doesn't require doctor visits or prescriptions;
The Cons: You have to trust that withdrawal will happen successfully; does not prevent against STDs; given all the factors that can prevent effective withdrawal, it is 73-96% effective
For a full list of birth control methods and more information about each option, talk to your doctor or check out sites like Planned Parenthood!