Finding the Right Birth Control for You

Navigating the world of birth control can be confusing. Every girl’s body is different, so finding the right birth control can be an extremely frustrating process. There are so many different birth control methods and varying information on all of them, so here’s a quick guide to some of the most common methods!

Combination Pills

Combination birth control pills contain estrogen and progestin. They’re taken every day and are extremely effective. With perfect use (taking the pill every day at the same time), it is over 99% effective. While this is great news, the pill isn’t for everyone. If you’re forgetful, another birth control method may be better. If you don’t take the pill as directed, its effectiveness decreases significantly. It is also important to note that it doesn’t protect against STDs, only pregnancy.



Condoms are effective at both STD and pregnancy prevention. With typical use (how people actually use them), they are 85% effective. Condoms can be used in conjunction with another birth control method like the pill, IUD, or another method. They are fairly cheap and sold at most drug stores and grocery stores.




Intrauterine devices (AKA IUDs) are T-shaped plastic devices that are put in place by a doctor. There are both hormonal and non-hormonal IUDs that stay effective for varying amounts of time from three to twelve years. IUDs are over 99% effective at preventing pregnancy, but they aren’t for everyone. For one Bucknell student, her IUD came with complications. After your IUD is placed, your period may become irregular for a few months while your body is adjusting, but for this student, it went beyond normal bleeding. “About six months after having the IUD inserted, I was still bleeding. By the time I got a gynecologist appointment, they had found pools of blood in my uterus and had to immediately take it out. As it turned out, the IUD was just too big for my body, and the device continuously cut into my uterine lining.” While the IUD may be the answer for some people, it isn’t for everyone.



Nuvaring is a small and flexible ring that is inserted by the user. It stays in place for three weeks and releases hormones throughout that time. It’s 98%-99% effective at preventing pregnancy. The Nuvaring may slip out at times and have to be reinserted. Since the Nuvaring may cause some vaginal irritation, women with some sensitivities and conditions should use caution.


When choosing a method, take factors like side effects, effectiveness, type of use, and cost into account. Do your own research, talk with those you trust, and talk to your doctor to create a plan that will work for you. Being comfortable with the method of birth control you choose is the number one priority, so take your time to learn about all of your options.