Lydia Appiah-Dwamena, MD
OBGYN located in San Antonio, TX
You have a vast array of choices when it comes to birth control. How do you decide which is best for your needs? Board-certified OB/GYN Lydia Appiah-Dwamena, MD, of Palo Alto Women’s Center in San Antonio provides guidance when it comes to this important decision. If you need insertion of a device or a prescription, she’s also available to help. Call the office or schedule online to evaluate your birth control options.
Birth Control Q & A
What are the types of birth control?
You have more choices than ever when it comes to birth control. Consider four major categories:
- Hormonal methods that prevent ovulation by altering your hormone production include the pill, implants such as Nexplanon® and DepoProvera® shot
- Barrier methods that stop the sperm from meeting the egg include condoms and diaphragms
- Intrauterine devices that are inserted into your uterus and either change your hormones to alter your cervical mucus or use copper to repel sperm
- Natural methods, such as cervical mucus monitoring, that have you avoid intercourse on your most fertile days
Permanent methods of birth control, such as tubal ligation or vasectomy, are also an option. But these aren’t reversible, so you must be sure you’re done having a family.
What should I consider when deciding on a birth control method?
Not every birth control is right for every woman. Consider issues such as:
- Your level of sexual activity
- Side effects
You should also consider your partner’s comfort, your moral beliefs, and a method’s reversibility when weighing family-planning options. Your health history is another factor to keep in mind when settling on a birth control method. For example, women with a history of blood clots shouldn’t take the pill.
Can birth control protect against sexually transmitted disease?
The only methods of birth control that protects against sexually transmitted diseases are male and female condoms. The condom isn’t the most reliable when it comes to preventing pregnancy, however, so if you’re concerned about STDs, you should use dual protection: condoms to guard against disease; and a more reliable method, such as an IUD, prevent pregnancy.
Do all methods of birth control require a prescription?
While hormonal methods of birth control do require a prescription, many other options do not. Condoms, spermicides, and sponges are available in most drug stores. The emergency contraceptive pill is also available without a prescription, but don’t use it as your regular form of contraception as it’s not as effective as other methods.
If you want to know more about your different options for birth control, call the office or book online to schedule a consultation today.