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Contraception (Birth Control)

There are many different forms of contraception and it can be difficult to choose which one is right for you.

There are both permanent and reversible birth control options including hormonal and non-hormonal options. Depending on your medical history and risk factors certain options may be safer for you to take. Permanent options include a tubal ligation and a vasectomy. These options are not easily reversed and require surgical procedures. Reversible options include birth control pills, hormonal vaginal ring (NuvaRing), injections (Depo Provera), intrauterine devices (IUDs), hormonal implants (Nexplanon), and barrier methods. These options also vary in effectiveness from intrauterine devices (IUDs) and Nexplanon being the most effective to barrier methods and spermicide being the least effective in preventing pregnancy.

Most of these reversible options contain hormones consisting of either estrogen and progesterone or progesterone-only. These options not only prevent pregnancy when used correctly but can also provide the benefits of a lighter menstrual cycle and less menstrual cramping. Some hormonal options can also help improve acne. Women over the age of 35 who are current smokers, have high blood pressure, have migraines with aura or have a personal or family history of blood clotting are not good candidates for estrogen-containing contraceptives as it may increase the risk of forming a blood clot. It is typically safer for women with some risk factors to be on progesterone-only contraceptives or non-hormonal options.

The non-hormonal contraceptives consist of the copper IUD and barrier methods, such as condoms and diaphragms. Barrier methods are used during intercourse to prevent pregnancy. There are male and female condoms, as well as, diaphragms that hold spermicide and fit around the cervix. It is important to note that condoms are the only method that while preventing pregnancy also prevent sexually transmitted infections (STI). It is important to use condoms regularly, regardless of what other birth control method you are using, in order to decrease your risk of contracting a sexually transmitted infection. At our office, we can perform STI testing during your annual well woman exam and can perform blood draws right in our office!

Here at Capital Women’s Care we want to help provide you with convenient testing for sexually transmitted infections and provide information for you to choose the best contraception option for you!

Morgan Wilkerson, PA-C

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