Hormonal birth control is first and foremost designed to prevent pregnancy. But it actually has other benefits, too. The key is to determine which type is right for you.
When you come to see us at Ozark OB/GYN in Poplar Bluff, Missouri, Donald Jones, MD, FACOG, will go through the pros and cons of each type as well as the possible side effects. And when you choose one, Dr. Jones will monitor you to make sure everything works out the way it should.
A woman gets pregnant when her ovary releases an egg and is fertilized by a man’s sperm. Hormones control when eggs are released. Hormonal birth control aims to prevent the release of the eggs and thereby prevent pregnancy.
It’s important to know that no form of birth control is 100% effective, and you still need to be very careful and use condoms to help prevent sexually transmitted diseases. While Dr. Jones will give you his expert advice, it’s ultimately up to you to keep yourself safe. We’re here to keep you educated and healthy.
Dr. Jones offers various forms of birth control, including hormone pills, patches, vaginal rings, injections, implants, intrauterine devices (IUDs), as well as the non-hormonal IUD and tubal ligation. Dr. Jones will make sure you know how each one works and what’s involved. Here is a look at some types of hormonal birth control.
This is the most well-known type of hormonal birth control. It’s been around since 1962, and when taken the right way, it’s 99.9% effective. Formulas have been improved over the years, thus lessening the potential side effects. Side effects can include:
Sore or tender breasts
Anxiety and depression
Reduced sex drive
Changes in menstruation and bleeding
With an implant, you are given a local anesthetic, and the device is implanted under the skin of your upper arm. Implants normally last about three years, and they can be easily removed if you decide to try to get pregnant. Dr. Jones uses the Nexplanon® device.
Depo-Provera® injections last for about three months. The injections can cause irregular bleeding and even change your menstrual cycle and fertility for a year. If you want to get pregnant within a year, you may want to choose another option.
The Ortho Evra patch is placed on your skin, and it releases hormones into your body to prevent pregnancy. You put on a patch every week for three weeks and wear nothing the fourth week. After the fourth week, you repeat the cycle. It can cause skin irritation and sometimes come off if it gets wet.
With this method, the ring is inserted into your vagina like a tampon, and it provides a low dose of hormones into your bloodstream. Normally, the ring stays in for three weeks and you take it out the fourth week. After the fourth week, you repeat the cycle. One thing to be aware of is that if it comes out for more than three hours, you’ll need to rely on another type of birth control for at least a week once the ring is placed back inside.