How to Choose The Right Birth Control Method For Your Needs

By  //  November 1, 2021

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Birth control methods can be divided into two general types: barriers and hormonal contraceptives. Examples of the former include condoms, diaphragms, cervical caps, etc.

Examples of the latter are birth control pills, patches or rings, implants under the skin, IUDs (intrauterine devices), shots, and so on. Women use birth control methods, and there are many birth control methods for men as well. What is more, not all of them are used to prevent pregnancy only. 

Choosing the suitable birth control method gives you the best chance for success. The following are ways on how to select the proper birth control method:

1. Evaluate Your Fertility Cycle 

To choose the right contraception for you, understand your menstrual cycle. There are several different types of birth control that work differently from each other, and understanding the hormonal changes that occur in your body and ovulation is essential to choosing the best method. 

After menstruation, there are several days where ovulation does not happen, which is when conception is impossible (the first two weeks following menstruation). There may also be times during your cycle when you are less fertile. 

For example, many women ovulate about 14 days before their next menstrual period starts. You may or may not experience mid-cycle changes in cervical mucus. Understanding your fertility cycle can help you select the right birth control method.

2. Talk to Your Doctor

One of the first things you need to do is discuss your options with a doctor, nurse practitioner, or other healthcare providers. They will be able to help you choose an appropriate birth control method based on your health and family history, as well as lifestyle. 

Some methods may interfere with other medications, so your doctor needs to know what other prescriptions you are taking. If you are uncomfortable with the idea of discussing sexual matters with your doctor, be aware that it is part of their job to provide you with appropriate medical information.

3. Be Realistic about Your Lifestyle

Choosing a birth control method that fits easily into your life is one of the many things you will learn from Felix. For example, if you are a college student and live in a dorm, certain birth control options may not be practical.

Even though some methods require little effort on your part (e.g., contraceptives that can be taken orally or applied topically), there’s no use using a method that you will only remember to take occasionally.

4. Consider Your Friends and Family

While birth control is a private matter, it can be helpful to discuss options with friends or family members. They may have used certain methods or have personal experience that could help you make an informed decision about which way to use.

For example, someone who has struggled with acne may prefer to use contraceptives that are applied topically (e.g., contraceptive patches, gels, and vaginal rings) so they do not have to remember to take a pill every day.

5. Know Your Options

There are dozens of different birth control methods available today, and it’s easy to get overwhelmed. Keep in mind that many options require prescriptions, and your insurance plan may not cover some. 

However, there are also natural family planning and fertility awareness methods in addition to the barrier and hormonal methods (also known as the rhythm method). Talk to your doctor if you’re interested in exploring options other than birth control pills or hormone therapy.

Birth control is a journey, and there’s no right or wrong choice. Once you understand your options, it will be much easier to make the best choice for yourself. Choosing the best birth control method for you gives you the best chance for success.