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Choosing the right birth control: We’re here to help

Sarah DiGiorgi, MD, FACOG

by Sarah DiGiorgi, MD, FACOG

When we are presented with a multitude of choices, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. That’s often the feeling my patients have when it comes to birth control.

There are many options out there, from pills to implants and devices like the IUD.

How do you know which one is right for you?

At Premier Women’s Care of Southwest Florida, we will consult with you to help you match your birth control method to your unique circumstances, health history and future plans.

Factors to consider

One of the important factors to consider is how long you want to delay pregnancy, as some methods of birth control are more easily discontinued. And if you’ve recently had a baby, whether or not you are still breastfeeding can affect your choice.

Another consideration is whether you are good at remembering things. Some women are comfortable taking a medication every day, while others aren’t good a remembering a daily medication and would rather have a longer-acting form of contraception. 

Your gynecological health can be another important factor. Besides providing birth control, contraception can also lighten heavy periods, alleviate cramping and period pain, and even relieve postmenstrual syndrome (PMS) and improve mood. It can also help in the management of gynecologic conditions such as endometriosis and polycystic ovarian syndrome.

Even many non-gynecologic health problems need to be factored in when choosing birth control. A history of migraines, abnormal mammograms, blood clots and hypertension all need to be considered when birth control is being prescribed. 

Types of birth control

Hormonal birth control can come in many forms, including pills, rings, patches and IUDs. Hormonal birth control can be a combination of estrogen and progesterone, or progesterone alone.

Non-hormonal options include condoms, the Paraguard copper IUD and Phexxi, a vaginal sperm immobilizer. Many women prefer hormone-free options.

Condoms are the only birth control that protects against STDs, which is important to remember.

Your Premier Women’s Care provider will help you sort through all of the amazing options out there to individualize a plan based on your personal medical concerns, your fertility goals, and your personal preferences in timing and types of birth control.