Practicing Safe Sexual Intercourse with Protective Measures
The goals of contraception include preventing a pregnancy and protecting yourself from a sexually transmitted disease. There are hormonal methods, barrier methods and more than 10 different kinds to choose from, so it really depends on a woman’s preference regarding which one makes her feel the most comfortable and safe. In our office, we aim to educate each patient on the types of contraception we have, and provide her with the one that she chooses.
Hormonal Methods of Contraception
If a woman has the ability to ovulate, she has the ability to get pregnant; the biological process lets the ovaries release an egg, allowing fertilization to occur. Hormonal methods of birth control manipulate a woman’s hormones, controlling them to either regulate or stop ovulation, thus preventing a pregnancy from occurring. Hormonal methods of contraception can be placed into a woman’s body in a variety of ways, including but not limited to pills, gels, vaginal rings, rods, intrauterine systems, injections and skin patches. While all of these are effective, some can be categorized as short-acting hormonal methods – these are the injectable, patches, rings and pills, and must be taken exactly as instructed to work properly. Different hormonal contraceptives are unique in their own way; some prevent ovulation, others thicken cervical mucus to block sperm from reaching the egg and a few thin the lining of the uterus. Hormonal methods of contraception that we offer include:
- Progestin-only pills (POPs):A pill taken once daily, as normal cycle changes.
- Combined oral contraceptives (COCs): A pill taken once daily, it contains a synthetic estrogen and a progestin.
- Injectable birth control:An injection of progestin, Depo-Provera, applied in the arm or buttocks once every three months.
- Contraceptive patch: A patch that sticks to skin, and releases hormones into the bloodstream.
- Vaginal ring: A 2-inch ring that is left in the vagina, giving a combination of ethinyl estradiol and a progestin.
Effective Barrier Contraceptives
Barrier methods of contraception, on the other hand, are designed with the specific intention to prevent sperm from traveling into the uterus. In the event that a woman cannot take a hormonal method of contraception, the barrier method is a good second choice. They are each removable, and have a failure rate of 12% to 18%. Barrier contraceptives we provide for our patients include:
- Condom: Male or female condoms can be worn in the vagina or on the penis.
- Contraceptive sponge: Disposable sponges filled with spermicide, inserted into the vagina before sexual intercourse occurs.
- Spermicides: Used alone or with a diaphragm or cervical cap, spermicides kill sperm cells completely.
- Diaphragms: Flexible cups inserted into the vagina before sexual intercourse, blocking sperm from the uterus.
- Cervical caps: Similar to diaphragms, but smaller and more rigid.
Long Acting Reversible Methods of Contraception
This type of contraception is highly effective, preventing women from getting pregnant for a long period of time. Patients sometime prefer this type of contraceptive because they don’t need to keep track of and take it on a day to day basis. Long acting reversible methods include:
- Intrauterine System (IUS): A small T-shaped system placed in the womb that releases low hormone levels.
- Intrauterine Device (IUD): A small T-shaped system IUS wrapped in copper, emitting copper ions to immobilize sperm.
- Contraceptive Implant: 1-2 hormone releasing silicone rods placed under the skin.
Schedule an Appointment for a New Contraceptive in New Jersey
We are pleased to offer our valued patients with a variety of contraceptive methods. If you’d like to learn more, or would like to begin taking any of the contraceptives listed above, contact us by filling out an online form.