7 Things You’ve Got to Know About Birth Control
From pills to patches, how to make the right choice.
Just in case your friends aren’t like the girls in Yaz commercials who trade contraception tips over martinis, here’s the low down on everything you need to know about contraception. After all, an unplanned pregnancy is no picnic whether you’re 16 or 36.
If you don’t like one pill, that doesn’t mean you’ll hate all the others. So you’ve gone on the pill, and you hate your life. Now you’ve vowed never to consider it again. But here’s the thing: there are dozens of types of pills with different hormone combinations, and each will affect you in a different way. Just because you felt like crap on one type of the pill, doesn’t mean you won’t be perfectly fine on another. According to Dr. Christina Kwan, a gynecologist with Concorde Medical Group in New York City, “It’s a matter of finding one that works with your body chemistry.”
Consider the patch or the ring. Maybe you don’t feel like taking a pill every night, or you know you’ll be bad at remembering. So an alternative method just might be a better choice. The patch and the ring both have hormones similar to those in birth control pills, but you don’t have to think about them every day. The patch is a square band-aid looking thing you stick anywhere on your body and change once a week. The ring is a small plastic device you insert in your vagina and change once a month.
Consider the rod or the shot. Both of these types of birth control only use one type of hormone (as opposed to most birth control pills that use two). Either one of these options “might work for people who didn’t do well on birth control pills, or who can’t take the estrogen part of the pill” says Dr. Kwan. The rod (Implanon) is a small hormone-filled plastic stick (think match stick size) that a doctor can implant into your arm and will last for 5 years. The shot (Depo Provera) is an injection your doctor gives you every 3 months.