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Should You Switch Your Birth Control?

Most girls on campus use birth control whether or not they’re sexually active, but not all are using the best and most effective type of birth control for themselves. When you think of birth control, you probably immediately think of the pill, a patch, or maybe even the Nuva Ring. But there are many forms of protection that aren’t actually considered birth control, like when a guy pulls out, for example. Here’s an overview of how effective each type of birth control is and each ones implications. Most health advocates say that every time you have sex you should be using two types of birth control (i.e. the pill and a condom).


1. “The Pull-Out” ~ 85% Effective

We all know what this is: when a guy doesn’t wear a condom and just says he’ll “pull out” when the time comes. Honestly, this might not even be considered a form of birth control, and it is definitely not high on the effectiveness scale.


2. Using a Condom ~ 98% Effective

Condoms are a classic form of birth control, and they’re pretty effective. But be careful! Friction or wearing the wrong size condom (and many other things) can cause condoms to tear and leave you unprotected. Despite this low risk, you should always wear a condom: it is the only type of birth control that protects against STDs.

3. Birth Control Pill, Nuva Ring, and Patch ~ all about 99% Effective

Most women use the pill, but its effectiveness diminishes without consistent and daily use, which is, let’s be honest, really difficult to do. Hey, nobody’s perfect. The ring and the patch require way less upkeep, with some brands of the ring only requiring you to change it once a month. Since you have to worry about birth control less with the ring and the patch, there’s a likelihood that the effectiveness of protection will increase to 99.7%, which is if you use it “perfectly”.

4. Shot ~ 96% Effective

Not many people know about this form of birth control. Once every few months – it depends on the brand of shot – you go to the doctor’s to recieve a shot of hormones. This may not be the best choice for women who are scared of needles, but it’s definitely a good option for people who forget to take their pill almost everyday.


5. Implant ~ 99.5% Effective

You can’t really screw up the implant. There’s no daily or even monthly upkeep. You just get a small cylinder implanted into somewhere on your body, likely your upper arm near your tricep and then you don’t have to worry about it. Definitely something to consider if taking a pill is a struggle.

6. IUD ~ 99.8% Effective

And finally, the most effective form of birth control. The IUD is sort of like an implant, except it’s implanted inside of your uterus near your cervix (this sounds fun doesn’t it?!). Described by some people as “the most painful experience of my life”, though symptoms and experiences vary, the procedure is less than easy. But the pain doesn’t last that long, and depending on which type of IUD, you don’t have to deal with getting pregnant for the next three to five years.

If you’re thinking about switching forms or getting on birth control, make an appointment at the Health Center today. Also, you can find more information regarding birth control forms at the Planned Parenthood Website.

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