Birth Control FAQ
There are many methods of birth control available to women today. Here are some commonly asked questions about the various methods and their effectiveness.
What is birth control and how do I choose the best kind for me?
A: Birth control is designed to prevent you from getting pregnant. It is reversible and comes in many different forms, both hormonal and non-hormonal. Some examples include:
- Birth control pills
- Morning-after pills
- Vaginal ring
- Intrauterine devices (IUDs)
The method you choose depends on you, your personal needs and current health. When used correctly, all methods of birth control are safe and effective. We recommend speaking with your healthcare provider to determine which method suits your needs best.
What is the 'morning-after pill'? How can I get it?
A: The “morning after pill” is a form of emergency contraception intended for use after sex. You may want to take it if you have had sex without using birth control or have had trouble with your regular method (for example, a broken condom or missed pills).
It is most effective when taken within five days of unprotected intercourse and can be obtained at many pharmacies without a prescription if you are 17 or older.
Q: What is an IUD and is it safe?
A: An IUD stands for intrauterine device. IUDs have been used for decades and are among the most popular forms of birth control in the world. They also are among the safest, most effective birth control options.
There are two types of IUD:
- The Mirena IUD, with low-dose progesterone hormone, works for five years.
- The Paragard IUD, made with copper, works for a maximum of 12 years.
They are placed inside your uterus in an outpatient procedure by your provider during an office visit. Although they last for many years, if you don’t like your IUD, it can be removed at any time.
Q: What is an implant?
A: Nexplanon is another very safe, effective and simple method of birth control. The implant is a small, matchstick-size device containing a very low dose of progestin that blocks ovulation.
Your doctor will give you numbing medicine then place the device under the skin of your inner arm. The device may last up to four years, but it can be removed at any time.
Q: Is it safe for me to take the pill, patch or ring?
A: These methods are safe for most women.
However, they may not be safe for women who have high blood pressure, migraine headaches, liver disease, blood clots (in their legs or lungs), or other medical problems. A conversation with your doctor is a good place to start.
IUDs and implants are safer and more effective birth controls than the pill, patch or ring.
Is sterilization right for me? How is it done?
A: Sterilization can be performed on both men and women. For women, sterilization is a permanent form of birth control. Sterilization blocks your fallopian tubes so that an egg cannot reach your uterus. You may choose to be sterilized if you are certain you have completed child-bearing and do not wish to have more children.
There are a few types of sterilization procedures, some of which require minor surgery. Newer methods do not require surgery. All methods are safe and effective.
Q: Can my partner get a vasectomy at the Women’s Options Center?
A: No, but if you call our office we can give you a referral to a highly qualified urologist. Please call 714-456-7188.
Q: How long is the pre-operative visit?
A: One to three hours
I am pregnant and considering termination. What are my options?
If you have an unplanned pregnancy, you may choose to have a termination. Some of the options are:
- Medical termination, in which medications are taken to end a pregnancy
- D&C (or D&E), which removes the pregnancy tissue from the body
Both options are safe. The one you choose depends on your preferences and how far along in your pregnancy you are. Recovery time from both procedures is usually short and follow-up care is important.
For more information, please call 714-456-8179. To make an appointment, call 714-456-7188.