Know Your Options

The ability to control when you are ready to be a parent revolves around birth control, a common prescription used by women in the nation. There are many different forms of contraceptives, some women will swear by and others some will not touch because of the potential side effects. Here are a few options for your contraceptive needs.


The Pill

The pill is a hormonal oral contraceptive and is the most commonly known and used form of female birth control. Most birth control pills contain varying amounts of the synthetic forms of two hormones, estrogen and progesterone. The “mini pill” is a type of birth control pill that contains only progesterone. Keep in mind that birth control pills do not prevent the transmission of sexually transmitted diseases.

Effectiveness:
When used correctly – taken at the same time every day – only 0.1 percent of women experience an unintended pregnancy while on the pill. However, for those who miss even one pill, unintended rates of pregnancy rise drastically.

Affordability:
This will depend on the type of pills you get and what your insurance plan is. Most health insurance plans will qualify you for free prescription and refills. But generally, a pack for one month can range from $0-$50.

Potential side effects:
Nausea, weight gain, mood swings, decreased libido, spotting.

Convenience:
Even though it is one of the most common forms of birth control taken, there is a degree of responsibility with taking it correctly. Remembering to take it at the right time every day and ensuring you always have a supply on hand can be difficult. However, there are some companies, like Express Scripts, who mail them to you automatically with a three month supply.


Injections

What is it? Sometimes called the Depo shot, it contains the hormone progestin, which stops prevents ovulation to stop you from getting pregnant.

Affordability:
This depends on where you live, your insurance plan and if you qualify for any programs that help pay the cost, according to Planned Parenthood.

Potential side effects:
Irregular periods, increased spotting, changes in appetite, nausea and/or a change in sex drive.

Convenience:
You only need to get the shot four times a year, so if you make sure to remember to update it, the convenience of it is great. It is also a private experience, which you only share with you and your doctor, who administers it to you in their office.


IUDs

What is it? IUD stand for Intrauterine Device. It is small plastic device that is shaped like the letter T. There are five different types, the minimum one can offer protection is three years, but others can last for up to 12.

Affordability:
Because it is one of the most effective forms of birth control, its insertion can be up to $500 to $1,000.

Potential side effects:
Pain, cramping, backaches, spotting, heavier periods.

Convenience:
Because they last for many years, the convenience is high. You only need to visit your doctor for the initial insertion and then regular check-ups to ensure it is still properly placed.


Process to obtain birth control

First, you need a prescription from your doctor to be able to get access to birth control.

Then, you take the prescription to the drugstore, pharmacy or health clinic to get it filled.

Lastly, depending on which form of birth control you get, you will need to have regular check-ups to refill you birth control and make sure the side effects are minimal.


Reasons You May want to be on Birth Control

1. Because you know that you don’t want kids or anymore
kids (for now, at least).
2. To help deal with period pains and ovarian cysts.
3. To deal with the symptoms of perimenopause.
4. To regulate periods.
5. Because sometimes it’s the only thing that can get rid of acne.
6. It can regulate your hormones which helps improve your
mental health.
7. Because it helps you embrace sex, instead of fearing it.
8. Because it’s your body, and you can.


Written by: Anna Limoges and Alex Dunn

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