4 Types of Birth Control Methods Other Than The Pill

For young women, there seems to be a culture around birth control that often appears to be biased toward the pill method. When most teen girls think about birth control, they often think of these three things: the pill, condoms, and abstinence. Personally, I am of the opinion that abstinence is an unlikely choice for most teens, so the idea of having something to actually help individuals who choose to partake in sex is what this article will center around. In regards to condoms, they’re great, but they aren’t foolproof and many women feel more secure having a bit more control over the situation. In terms of the pill, I  am a dedicated user who has been happy with my experience, but I feel that many women just assume that the pill is their only option. Therefore, here are a couple alternatives you may not be familiar with.

 

1. IUD

The IUD (Intrauterine Device) is well-known as one of the most effective forms of birth control. It is inserted into the vagina, and can stay there for YEARS. The so-called slogan of this method is “get it, then forget it.” This is also one of the few potentially non-hormonal options available (the copper IUD is hormone free, other IUDs are not). It is worth mentioning that this method can also help reduce cramps, and make your periods lighter as well. Additionally, any side effects (cramping, spotting, irregular periods) usually go away within 3-6 months, and for a method that lasts years, that’s pretty impressive!

*does NOT protect against STDs

 

2. The Patch

A sort of band aid that goes on your skin, the patch is a hormone based birth control method. A big upside for a lot of people who use the patch is that you only have to think about it once a week, not every day like the pill. Because it is a hormone based method, it is often reported that it makes periods lighter and easier to deal with for a lot of women. If you use it correctly, it’s about 99% effective-- if you don’t use it correctly all the time, that figure is closer to 92%.

*does NOT protect against STDs

 

3. The Shot

The shot is administered every three months (another method you don’t have to worry about every day!), and is a hormone based birth control method. If always used correctly, it is about 99% effective-- if not always used correctly, that number is closer to 94%. One of the downsides include irregular bleeding (for the first 6-12 months), as well as less common side effects such as depression, weight gain, nausea, etc.

*does NOT protect against STDs

 

4. The Implant

The implant is one of the most effective forms of birth control available to women (over 99%!). It can last up to three years, and once implanted you don’t have to worry about it until it is time to get it replaced. Irregular bleeding can occur for the first 6-12 months, and nausea, sore breasts, and weight gain are among some of the less common side effects. Something to be noted about this method is that it is estrogen free, so it can be used by women who are not able to take additional estrogen into their system.

*does NOT protect against STDs

 

For more information, visit PlannedParenthood.com.

 

Image Credit:

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