It can be frustrating, but it’s true: there’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to birth control. Everyone has a different reaction to each method, which is why it’s important to talk with your medical provider about what you’re looking for!
There are lots of different options out there, each with their own unique benefits and possible shortfalls. Are you looking for a method that’s the absolute best at preventing pregnancy? Hoping to find a method to ease the problems of periods? Want something that helps prevent STIs, too?
From arm implants to internal condoms to a variety of pills and beyond, Bridgercare’s providers are experts in the field and are here to help you figure out what’s best for YOU. Check out all the options here! But if you’re curious about the most common methods we see here at the clinic, look no further…
But wait! There’s just one last thing before launching into Bridgercare’s 4 most common birth control methods. Many health insurance plans cover birth control, but with our sliding fee scale, you can still have your choice of affordable birth control regardless of insurance coverage! Before writing off a method you’re interested in because of price, be sure to give us a call. We would LOVE to discuss options and resources with you to make sure cost doesn’t get in the way of your healthcare.
Without further ado… here are the most common birth control methods seen at Bridgercare!
Combined Oral Contraceptives (“The Pill”)
There are many kinds of COC’s, as these pills have a combination of both estrogen and progestin. They prevent pregnancy by preventing ovulation (release of an egg) from the ovaries. Pretty cool!
- Highly effective IF taken accurately
- Can help improve menstrual cramps, acne, and heavy bleeding
- Different combinations to choose from
- Can stop at any time
- Must remember to take every day at the same time
- Not easy to hide if needed, and the pack can be misplaced or lost, and must be brought with ya when traveling
- Can’t be used if you are a smoker over 35 and/or have migraines with aura
Depo Provera (“the Shot”)
The Depo is a contraceptive injection that contains a synthetic version of the natural hormone progesterone. It works by stopping ovulation (release of an egg) from the ovaries.
- Each shot is effective for 3 months
- Discrete- no one knows if you’ve received it
- Highly effective if received on time
- Often eliminates periods or they get very light
- Needles required! You have to get an injection every 3 months
- You need to physically come into the clinic for the shot
- Like all medicines, there can be side effects. These include longer bleeding, spotting, or no periods. Side effects often go away after 2-3 months, but with the Depo, side effects may continue until the medicine has left your system.
- It may take up to 10 months after stopping the shot to get pregnant
Intrauterine devices, known as IUDs, are the most commonly used form of reversible birth control worldwide! They’re small, T-shaped devices that are inserted into the uterus, and there are both hormonal (Mirena, Kyleena, Liletta) and non-hormonal (Paragard) options. They prevent pregnancy by changing the way sperm cells move so they can’t get to an egg.
- Suuuuper effective method – Less than 1 pregnancy per 100 women in 1 year
- Last from 5 to 10 years, depending on the type
- Low hormonal or hormone free options
- Requires a procedure for insertion and removal that can be painful
- Serious problems from IUDs are not at all common, but there are some risks and warning signs to look out for
One very popular “method” that is not very effective: Withdrawal (“pull out”)
- Free and always available
- Not as effective as other types of birth control at preventing pregnancy, but better than not using anything at all
- It’s difficult to do perfectly, so it’s about 78% effective – approx. 22 pregnancies per 100 women in 1 year
- Very large margin for error, as lots of self-control and trust is needed
Know that this isn’t an exhaustive list of pros, cons, methods and more! Want to chat with a #contraceptionexpert about birth control? Hoping to start or switch up your method? Give us a ring at 406-587-0681 or schedule online at Bridgercare.org/schedule!