You’re here because you’ve made a decision to use some form of birth control to prevent pregnancy and you want to know more about what to use. You’re being smart!
There are a lot of web sites with information about different birth control options. Our goal is to include information about both the pros and cons of the different types of methods used to prevent pregnancy. We include videos from both professionals and real women to let you hear both sides of the discussion.
How the heck do you decide what to use when there are so many choices?
Many of us start by asking friends what they are using, but some of us feel shy to ask more than our best friends. We watch a TV ad or we go to our healthcare provider and let them tell us what to use without asking questions or thinking about what we really want for ourselves. We may have even made up our mind before we’ve talked with a healthcare provider. Healthcare providers are often inclined to go along with your suggestion because they figure you will more likely use the birth control you choose, even if there are better or safer options.
These are only a few of the questions you may want to start with:
1. How effective is this method? What are the chances I won’t get pregnant?
2. Do I want to use a hormonal method (with or without estrogen), or do I want to use a non-hormonal method? Do I understand how these methods actually work?
3. How safe is this method? What are the things I need to know about the safety of this product? How will it affect my health now and in the future? You need to do some research on your own. Try googling the brand names of some of the products you are considering with the search term safety, risk, or warnings. Do not simply go to the manufacturer’s website. Remember that they want to sell you their product.
4. How easy is it to use? Will I be comfortable using it?
5. How private do I want my birth control to be? Do I want my partner or parents to know that I am using birth control?
6. What are the costs?
Before you begin your search for a birth control method, please look at your own health history and that of your family, especially if you are going to use estrogen-based hormonal birth control. The reason is that estrogen-based birth control affects your entire body, increasing the chances of forming a blood clot or other serious or life threatening problems. Unfortunately, blood clotting disorders aren’t always known within a family, so even if your family says “No, we have no clotting disorders,” please, please, please pay attention to your own body.
Even if you have been tested and no clotting disorders were found, you are still at a higher risk for blood clots by using an estrogen-based birth control.
Here are some questions you need to know about your own and your family members health history. Click Here for a screening guide and risk assessment tool to fill out and take with you when you visit your provider. Be aware of your own health issues. Understand how certain medical conditions affect your own body. Click on this link: For women with certain medical conditions, some birth control types are riskier than others.
As you explore the different birth control methods, you will begin to see that the side effects from blood clots in your veins or arteries are minimized on almost every website that gives information about birth control. You will be told that serious side effects are rare. Rare means that 1 in 1,000 will be affected, according to the World Health Organization. This does not mean that rare events do not happen or that it can’t possibly happen to you. Remember if the risk is 1 in 300 and you are that one, then your risk was 100%.
To read more about combination hormonal contraceptives, click here.
If you intend to use any other product, you need to be equally aware of their serious side effects. That’s why we include the really bad stuff that does happen in our information to you. You deserve be informed,so you can be the strongest advocate for yourself! Pay attention to the changes in your body.
Long Acting Reversible Contraception (LARCs) are the top rated birth control available, along with permanent male and female sterilization. They include IUDs and implants. LARCs are the most effective and also are safer than combination hormonal contraception (pills, patch or ring). There are issues that occur, even with LARCs or sterilization, as no birth control is without the possibility of some risk or side effect. LARCs (IUDs) are used most by healthcare professionals.
To read more about Long Acting Reversible Contraception, click here.
The following chart gives you an overview of the effectiveness of the different birth control methods available. Most of the charts you see discuss effectiveness but not safety. We add safety information so that you are truly informed. Go to Birth Control Effectiveness and Safety page.
CDC Effectiveness Chart: Download the chart.
Links to a few of the most popular sites about birth control are listed under the HOME tab or you can click HERE. We’d like to again point out that although they give information about the risks, we feel that they do not tell you about all the risks. We’ve created this site to include things about the various methods that other sites may not include.
Your choice of method for birth control is important: it affects both your emotional and your physical well-being and will for a long, long time.