Choosing a method of birth control is always a personal decision that should fit your lifestyle. To make the best choice, however, you also need reliable information provided by a doctor who knows your health. The doctors at Hill Country OB/GYN take the time to explain different types of birth control and evaluate your health to be sure your preferred method is safe for you. To schedule an appointment, call one of our offices in Austin and Dripping Springs, Texas.
Birth Control Q&A
+ Which Birth Control Methods are Available?
At Hill Country OB/GYN, you can obtain all methods of prescription birth control. When you schedule an appointment for contraception, your doctor reviews your medical history and performs a thorough pelvic and breast exam.
Evaluating your health is important to be sure you don’t have any conditions that might rule out a particular type of birth control. Although each woman has her own personal birth control preferences, most want to know about effectiveness:
- Permanent birth control (tubal ligation or occlusion): Nearly 100% effective
- Intrauterine device (IUD): Nearly 100% effective
- Nexplanon®: 99%
- NuvaRing®: 98%
- Birth control pills and other hormone-based methods (patch, ring): 91-94%
- Male condoms: 82%
You can improve the effectiveness of some methods by using them consistently and properly. For example, birth control pills can be 99% effective if you take them close to the same time every day without missing a dose.
+ How Do Hormone-Based Contraceptives Work?
Non-permanent types of contraception that prevent pregnancy using hormones include:
- Birth control pills
- Nexplanon (implanted in your arm)
- NuvaRing (placed inside your vagina)
- IUDs (placed inside your uterus)
- Birth control patch (placed on your skin)
The hormones in these contraceptives prevent pregnancy through two primary actions: they stop your ovaries from releasing an egg, or they prevent sperm from getting through the cervix by thickening mucus.
+ What is Long-Acting Reversible Contraception (LARC)?
If you’re worried about effectiveness due to forgetting a pill or not replacing a patch on time, you may want to consider long-acting reversible contraception (LARC).
LARCs are inserted once, and then they stay in place, constantly preventing pregnancy until they’re removed. They’re long-acting because they effectively protect you from pregnancy for 3-10 years, depending on the method you use.
LARCs are reversible because your doctor at Hill Country OB/GYN can remove them at any time. Once they’re removed, it’s possible to become pregnant right away.
Although most contain hormones, you have one IUD option that doesn’t use hormones. The LARCs available at Hill Country OB/GYN include:
- Nexplanon Implant: This small hormone-containing implant (about the size of a matchstick) provides up to three years of contraception.
- Paragard®: This IUD doesn’t contain hormones; it releases copper, which acts as a spermicide. Paragard prevents pregnancy for up to 10 years.
- Mirena® and Kyleena®: These two hormone-containing IUDs protect you from pregnancy up to five years.
- Liletta® and Skyla®: Skyla and Liletta are also hormone-containing IUDs that offer up to three and four years of protection.
When you need birth control, call Hill Country OB/GYN to schedule an appointment with one of our talented physicians.