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Choosing the Right Birth Control for You

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There are a varied amount of options when it comes to birth control today. To paraphrase an old advertisement, “We’ve come a long way, baby.” And we have. 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 effectiveness rate? According to the Mayo Clinic, the methods of natural family planning (such as rhythm and basal body temperature) are less likely to be 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 IUP is reversible--but seems more tailored for those who are not planning a pregnancy soon--while the oral contraceptive can be stopped immediately.

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 when deciding. Are you the type of person who 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 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? Carefully think about which option will not go against your religious convictions.

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EmpowHER Guest

The article highlights that the Mayo Clinic claims that "methods of natural family planning (such as rhythm and basal body temperature) are less likely to be effective as the hormonal methods of birth control (birth control pills)". However modern natural methods are very effective and are as effective or more effective than user directed birth control options such as condoms. Therefore I wouldn't disparage them in comparison to hormonal methods anymore than I would disparage the condom. Also, natural birth control methods shouldn't be all lumped together since some are highly effective while others may not be. For instance, the Standard Days Method on which the popular visual tool CycleBeads is based, is more than 95% effective at preventing pregnancy in correct use and 88% effective in typical use. That's higher than condoms, diaphragms, or any other user directed method. A lot of reputable organizations (including the Mayo Clinic in this case) are touting outdated information and sometimes biased information about natural family planning methods and need to update their materials.

January 24, 2011 - 1:16pm
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