Birth control options for every lifestyle
Birth control is used to prevent periods and/or pregnancy during child-bearing years, which includes women in their teens, 20s, 30s, and sometimes 40s. You should never use birth control if you think you might be pregnant. It is also important to note that birth control does not prevent or treat sexually transmitted diseases or infections, such as HPV.
The board-certified nurse practitioners at FamilyCare of Kent in Washington routinely counsel women about the various methods of birth control, such as pills, patches, rings, shots, rods, and IUDs. During your consultation, we will explain the many birth control methods available and help you choose which birth control is the best for your lifestyle.
The most common types of birth control are explained below. Just call our office to schedule a time to come in.
There are many different types of birth control pills, and they must be taken every day to control hormone levels and prevent pregnancy.
The patch (Ortho Evra®) is typically worn for three weeks in a row, followed by a week when it is not worn. A new patch is needed each week. While wearing the patch, synthetic estrogen and progestin hormones are released to prevent pregnancy.
Similar to the patch, a birth control ring (NuvaRing®) is worn for three weeks in order to prevent pregnancy, but the ring is inserted in the vagina. It is removed for one week. A new ring must be used each month.
Pills, patches, and rings can also be used to prevent periods as well as pregnancies.
The Depo-Provera® shot is an injected dose of progestin used only to prevent pregnancy for 12 weeks, at which time another shot is needed. The shot is one of the most effective methods of birth control.
Nexplanon® is a small rod that is surgically placed under the skin in the upper arm area. The rod releases progestin to prevent the release of an egg and to thicken the cervical mucus. It is effective for up to three years, at which time it needs to be removed and replaced by another implant.
Nexplanon can be removed at any time during the three-year period, returning a woman to her pre-use fertility status.
FemCaps, diaphragms and female condoms are devices that are placed in the vagina to cover the cervix and prevent the entry of sperm during sex. Most kinds of FemCaps and diaphragms have to be sized by your health care provider.
IUDs are small T-shaped plastic devices that are placed inside the uterus to prevent pregnancy for three, five, or 10 years. The device releases progesterone to prevent ovulation and pregnancy while in place. IUDs are also known as intrauterine systems (IUS) or intrauterine contraception (IUC).
IUDs must be inserted and removed by a trained professional. Bob Smithing is an expert on IUDs and has been quoted in Women’s Health magazine.
The nurse practitioners at FamilyCare of Kent have pioneered the use of cervical blocks to eliminate the pain that occurs when inserting an intrauterine contraceptive device.