What is Birth Control?
Also referred to as contraception, birth control is any method, medicine, or device primarily used to prevent pregnancy. There are various types of birth control, and the kind you use depends on several factors, including:
- Frequency of sexual activity
- Number of sexual partners
- Desire to have children now and in the future
- Need to prevent sexually transmitted infections
Your doctor at Louisiana Women’s Healthcare helps you select the best form of birth control for you.
What are the Different Types of Birth Control?
The different types of birth control include:
- Barrier Methods: Barrier birth control methods include condoms, diaphragms, sponges, and cervical caps. Barrier methods must be used before you have sex. Condoms and sponges are available in most drug stores. Diaphragms and cervical caps both require a prescription from your doctor at Louisiana Women’s Healthcare.
- Short-Acting Methods: Short-acting birth control includes pills, mini pills, patches, shots, and the vaginal ring. Your doctor at Louisiana Women’s Healthcare prescribes this type of birth control, and it’s important to take it as directed, every day or every month. If you opt for the birth control shot, you need to see your doctor for an injection every three months.
- Long-Acting Reversible Contraceptives (LARC): LARCs, including intrauterine devices and hormonal implants, is a kind of birth control your doctor at Louisiana Women’s Healthcare inserts for a lengthy time. As long as the LARC is in place, you don’t have to remember to use birth control. Depending on the type of LARC you use, it lasts between three and 10 years.
- Sterilization: Generally done as tubal ligation for women and vasectomy for men, sterilization is a medical procedure that permanently prevents pregnancy.
What are the Benefits of Birth Control?
Many birth control methods include hormones, which provide health benefits beyond preventing pregnancy. Besides making your periods lighter and more regular with fewer cramps, contraceptives with hormones reduce or prevent:
- Thinning bones
- Cysts, cancers, and severe infections
- Premenstrual syndrome
- Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID)
- Iron-deficiency anemia
Birth control methods that don’t use hormones help reduce your exposure to sexually transmitted diseases.
To help make the right decision about the type of birth control you should use, call or make an appointment online today at Louisiana Women’s Healthcare in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.