There are any number of reasons for a woman to be interested in the birth control options available to her. Are you expecting to become sexually active again, or for the first time? Have you recently had a baby and are considering which birth control method would be best for you now? Or are you unhappy with the method you are using now and are wondering what would work better for you?
The truth is that every woman has individual needs that will help determine which option is best for her. Your health history, your age, your sexual activity, your personal preferences, and your reproductive goals are all things to consider as you decide which birth control method to choose.
The good news is that there are many different options available to you. Let’s take a look at a few of the newer products available to you for your reproductive health needs.
New Methods of Birth Control Available Today
Your healthcare provider can explain which type of birth control would work best for your lifestyle. Some of the latest options include the following:
Phexxi (Spermicidal Gel)
Phexxi is a new spermicidal gel available by prescription only, and it is 86% effective in preventing pregnancy. Spermicides work because they make the vaginal environment unfriendly to sperm. This contraceptive does not contain hormones, but rather keeps the pH in the vagina in the normal 3.5 to 4.5 range – an environment where sperm cannot survive.
What You Should Know if You Choose Phexxi
Phexxi spermicide comes in prefilled applicators that should be inserted into your vagina, after washing your hands, within one hour before having sexual intercourse. If you wait more than an hour before intercourse, you should insert a second dose.
When using spermicides such as Phexxi, it is always a good idea to use a second form of birth control to avoid unwanted pregnancy. Using Phexxi is a great way to improve the effectiveness of condoms. However, if you use a vaginal ring as a second form of birth control, you should not use Phexxi.
Phexxi is easy to use, safe, and provides immediate protection against pregnancy. Your ability to conceive returns within an hour or so.
Slynd (Progesterone-Only Pill)
Slynd (drospirenone) is a progesterone-only pill. It is 98% effective in preventing unwanted pregnancy.
Progesterone makes the mucus thicker near the cervix (the opening to the uterus) so that it is more difficult for sperm to travel to the egg and to fertilize it. It also changes the lining of the uterus so that it makes it harder for a fertilized egg to implant itself, and it prevents ovulation from occurring.
What You Should Know if You Choose Slynd
Before taking Slynd, it is very important to be sure that you are not pregnant – so expect your healthcare provider to conduct a pregnancy test before prescribing it. Also, tell your provider if you are experiencing any unusual bleeding.
It is important to discuss your health history with your healthcare provider, because there may be better options for you. This is likely the case if you are diabetic, have a history of blood clots, or have had depression.
Slynd comes in a 28-day pack. You will take the first pill on your first day of menstrual bleeding and continue to use a second form of birth control for the first month you take it. It should be taken at the same time every day. If you miss a dose, you can take 2 doses at once the next day.
If you miss 2 days in a row, you should use a second birth control method until your next monthly cycle starts. After 2 to 3 days without taking Slynd, you will be able to get pregnant. This is great if you have decided you indeed want to get pregnant – but it is also cause for caution if you’ve missed more than one dose. It is not unusual to experience some spotting while taking Slynd.
Annovera (Vaginal Ring)
Annovera is a new contraceptive ring that releases estrogen and progesterone throughout the month, and it is 97% effective in preventing pregnancy. It prevents ovulation by thickening the mucus around the cervix, thereby preventing sperm from fertilizing the egg. It also changes the lining of the uterus to prevent a fertilized egg from implanting.
What You Should Know if You Choose Annovera
Annovera birth control cannot be started if you are pregnant. Also, Annovera is not recommended if you smoke or if you are breastfeeding. The diameter of the ring is 5.6 centimeters (2.2 inches) and is to be inserted into the vagina between day 2 and day 5 of menstrual bleeding.
You should use a second form of birth control for 7 days if your periods are irregular. The ring should stay in place for 21 days, and then it is removed for 7 days. If it has been out of the vagina for more than 2 hours, backup contraception should be used until your next ring is inserted; note that oil-based lubricant should be avoided.
If you decide you would like to become pregnant, fertility will return within 2 to 3 days after you remove the ring. Some women who use this form of contraception will stop using it due to irregular bleeding.
Birth Control Providers in Kent, Washington
It is important to remember that none of these new birth control methods prevent the transmission of sexually transmitted disease (STD). Important considerations when choosing the right birth control method include cost, effectiveness, ability to regain fertility if desired, convenience, and side effects.
This is why it is essential to receive advice from a qualified sexual health provider like the family nurse practitioners here at FamilyCare of Kent. Our nurse practitioners are here to answer all of your questions about sexual health and to help you find the birth control method that is right for you.