Pros And Cons Of Different Birth Control Options

Birth control is something that has been debated for a long time, but at the end of the day, many women look to birth control to prevent pregnancy and STDs, and to regulate their hormonal balances. No matter what your reason is, exploring your options is always a smart idea. Read on to explore the pros and cons of some available types of birth control on the market. 

The Pill

91% Effective!

The most famous of the birth control smorgasbord options, the birth control pill stops sperm from meeting an egg. This stops ovulation, which means fertilization can’t occur.

Pros: very effective, some health benefits, can lighten periods

Cons: does not protect against STDs, possible side effects

IUD

99% Effective!

A tiny plastic piece implanted into your uterus to prevent pregnancy. IUD stands for Intrauterine Device, meaning a device in your uterus. They change the way sperm cells move so that they can’t get to an egg, preventing fertilization. 

Pros: low maintenance, can be used as emergency contraception, can make periods lighter

Cons: possible pain at insertion, possible irregularity in periods, don’t protect against STDs

Implant

99% Effective!

A tiny implant about the size of a matchstick that releases pregnancy preventing hormones into your body. A doctor inserts the implant into your arm and you’re protected for up to 5 years. 

Pros: very effective, convenient and discreet, improves periods

Cons: negative side effects (irregular periods), don’t protect against STDs

Shot

94% Effective!

An injection that a nurse or doctor administers to you every 3 months. The shot has the hormone progestin that prevents ovulation.

Pros: Convenient and private, can make periods happen less, health benefits

Cons: have to go to nurse/doctor every 3 months, side effects (weight gain, depression, nausea)

Patch

91% Effective!

A patch that you place on your belly, upper arm, butt, or back that release pregnancy- preventing hormones. The hormones are absorbed through your skin. You must replace every 3 weeks and give it a week off. 

Pros: convenient, health benefits (prevent acne, ovarian cancers, iron deficiency)

Cons: remembering to change the patch on time, negative side effects (spotting, headaches, nausea)

Condom

85% Effective!

I'm sure you've heard of this one. Condoms are thin, stretchy latex pouches that are worn by a male partner. It prevents sperm from ever getting into the vagina.

Pros: Prevent against STDs, low cost, convenient

Cons: Must be used every time, can be difficult to get used to 

In Conclusion....

If none of these options seem ideal, there are a number of other birth control options out there that may be right for you! Check out Planned Parenthood’s website to explore all the different options that may be right for you. And at the end of the day, keep yourself protected. REMEMBER: You can never be too safe when it comes to your sexual health!

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