There is no one size fits all when it comes to the complicated issue of birth control. Pills, rings, implants, patches, condoms and natural methods – sorting through the pile of options can be daunting especially when there are a thousand and one factors to consider before you make your decision.
Trying to whittle down the list can start with considering what you want from your birth control, what fits your lifestyle, and which method will be best aligned to your own health and reproductive history. To help you scale this mountain, here are a few tips to help you find a birth control option that works for you…
How’s Your Health History?
One of the most important things to look at when mapping out your birth control options is how different methods will complement or flare-up any health issues. For example, if you tend to suffer from migraines or have a history or risk of blood clotting, then perhaps estrogen-based birth control pills won’t be the best method for you. An in-depth chat with your health provider should provide deeper insight into how birth control and health history go hand in hand.
What’s Your Menstrual Cycle?
Periods and birth control can be another topic that flow together (pardon the pun). If you suffer heavy and painful periods, then birth control methods can bring relief as some methods (like the pill and the injection) can lighten periods and reduce pain and side-effects often associated with your monthly cycle. On the other hand, if keeping your flow to a natural rhythm is important to you then you may want to skip hormonal birth control altogether. If you are far from steady like clockwork when it comes to your monthly cycle then the more natural method may prove to be too much of a gamble too.
What’s Your Lifestyle Look Like?
Do you smoke? Are you planning to try and get pregnant in the near future? Are you forgetful? All these questions can also bring weight and wonder to the table when it comes to picking the right birth control. If you know your memory can be a little scattered then a daily dose of birth control may not work for you – perhaps a longer-term solution like the injection or implant would complement your lifestyle better.
Are You Thinking About the Bigger Picture?
While controlling your ability to get pregnant or not is at the forefront of the conversation when it comes to birth control it is also worth remembering that only condoms serve as a preventative to sexually transmitted diseases. Many experts will tell you that regardless of whatever birth control you are on, you should always ‘double up’ by using condoms too.
Have you Considered Costs?
Unfortunately, the costs of healthcare and birth control are a harsh reality for those who live in places where free healthcare isn’t available or if they aren’t covered by their insurance. While considering the actual cost of whatever birth control you are considering you may need to factor in other costs such as routine check-ups, insertion and removal of IUD’s, emergency contraception should your method fail, and any treatment you may need for possible side effects and complications.
Remember choosing birth control is a hugely personal decision and while the internet is teeming with great advice, none can really match your own personal knowledge of your body combined with the professional expertise of your health care provider. Just make sure you chat about the pros and cons of each method as part of your journey towards a choice.
Which birth control method suits you? Share in the comments.