What is the Best Birth Control For You?

As women become older they can make the decision to venture into the sexual world. The decision of ‘when’ is unique to each individual. When starting their sexual journey, women should consider weighing the options of birth control. There are many types of birth control and each kind has a different percentage of prevention, price, and involvement. Birth control can also be chosen based on each woman's frequency of sexual activity. In this article there will be descriptions of a few options of birth control. However, if anyone reading this needs, or wants, more information about birth control, pregnancy, or sexual health in general, they should visit the Planned Parenthood website or seek a medical professional in person.

 

Intrauterine Device (IUD):

An IUD is a device that is inserted into the uterus and provides the most effective, non-permanent prevention of pregnancy. An IUD is over 99% effective, which means less than 1 out of 100 women a year get pregnant while using it. There are two different kinds of IUDs: copper IUDs and hormonal IUDs. IUDs work by immobilizing sperm. This stops the sperm from being able to reach the egg. Depending on the IUD, the protection can last between 3-12 years before you need to switch to a fresh one. Other than putting a fresh one in every few years, IUDs require no other involvement. The most expensive IUD is $1,300 without any health insurance but with some health insurances getting an IUD can cost nothing. A doctor must put in and remove the IUD but otherwise there is little to no maintenance required for IUDs.

 

Birth Control Vaginal Ring (NuvaRing):

A NuvaRing is a small flexible ring that’s inserted into the vagina. The NuvaRing is 99-91% effective but these numbers do not relate to the effectiveness of the ring itself. The reason why NuvaRing is 91% effective, is because in order to be 99% effective it has to be used perfectly and nobody is perfect. In order to work, the NuvaRing needs to be replaced once a month. Some antibiotics also lower the effectiveness of the ring. The NuvaRing works by secreting hormones into the vaginal lining. These hormones cause no ovulation to occur, so there will be no egg to get fertilized if sperm enters the vagina. Most health insurances cover NuvaRing making it completely free. However, the NuvaRing needs to be prescribed to you by a doctor, and the doctor visit could cost money. Without insurance a NuvaRing can cost up to $200 per month, since the ring needs to be changed one a month. 

 

Birth Control Pill (The Pill):

The pill is a medicine taken by mouth daily. the pill is 99-91% effective for the same reasons as the NuvaRing: nobody is perfect. For maximum effectiveness, the pill should be taken at the same time each day. Just like the NuvaRing, the pill works by putting hormones into the body that will cause no ovulation. Similarly, antibiotics will mess with the effectiveness of the pill. the pill will come in a pack with enough to last one month. Without health insurance a pack is up to $50, but most health insurances cover them.The pill also requires a prescription from a doctor.

 

Condom:

A condom is a contraceptive worn by men, though there are female condoms. The male condom is a latex covering of the penis that is meant to prevent sperm from entering the vagina. Condoms are overall 95-85% effective for the same reason as the rest. Not only that but if a condom rips, is expired, or is put on wrong the effectiveness drops. In most instances condoms are not used alone but they can be. Unlike the other birth controls, condoms can be found in most stores and can cost as much as $2 a condom. They are only needed with each new sexual interaction so the involvement is pretty low, unless you are very sexually active. 

Everyone is different and prefers a different type of birth control or birth control pairing. Choosing which, if any, is best for you can be done on your time and when you’re ready. Using the examples provided, there are more on the Planned Parenthood page, see which one seems like it’ll best fit you and try it out. Remember: you can always switch or stop birth control if it’s not for you.