Contraception Options: How do you Decide?

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There are 61 million U.S. women in their childbearing years (aged 15–44), and about 43 million of them (70%) are at risk of unintended pregnancy. In other words, they are sexually active and do not want to become pregnant, but could become pregnant if they and their partners fail to use a contraceptive method correctly and consistently. If you fall into that group, there are many options from which to choose. How does one decide?

A large percentage of women who practice contraception currently use nonpermanent methods, primarily hormonal methods (the pill, patch, implant, injectable, and vaginal ring), IUDs and condoms. The rest rely on female (25%) or male (8%) sterilization. The pill and female sterilization have been the two most commonly used methods since 1982.

When used correctly, modern contraceptives are very effective at preventing pregnancy, but there is no "best" method of birth control. Each method has its pros and cons.

Making choices about birth control, or contraception, isn't easy. There are many things to think about.

Before choosing a birth control method, think about:

  • Your overall health
  • How often you have sex
  • The number of sex partners you have
  • If you want to have children someday
  • How well each method works to prevent pregnancy
  • Possible side effects
  • Your comfort level with using the method

Keep in mind, even the most effective birth control methods can fail, but your chances of getting pregnant are lowest if the method you choose always is used correctly and every time you have sex.

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Talk to Dr. Strebel or Dr. Grolle about your contraception options at your next appointment. They can help guide you to the perfect method for your unique needs.