There are many choices for family planning or contraception. Some are new while others are old and have withstood the test of time. At our office, we can discuss the various forms of contraception to help you in choosing the proper one that is best for you.
Your choice depends on many factors specific to your preferences and whether you want to become pregnant in the future. You should decide with your partner and choose the right method as a couple.
Do You Want Temporary Birth Control?
Temporary birth control means you want a method that gives you good protection now, but some day you want to become pregnant. You would not want to do anything that might decrease your ability to get pregnant in the future, but you don't want to get pregnant at the present time. One of your options is condoms and you should use condoms anyway with any of these options if there is a chance of acquiring a sexually transmitted disease (STD).
If you want temporary birth control, here are some choices for you to consider:
|Temporary Contraception Options at a Glance|
|Oral Contraceptives||Birth control pills; helps decrease menstrual flow and cramps too|
|Contraceptive Patch||A small patch applied weekly; works similar as the birth control pill|
|Nuva Ring||A flexible vaginal ring inserted monthly; works similar to the pill|
|Depo-Provera Shot||An injection given every 3 months; most women see no menses in time|
|Condoms||Good to prevent STDs; good for contraception if used correctly|
|Spermicides||Inserted into vagina before and after sex; not nearly as effective as others|
|Sponge||Inserted before sex and left inside for at least 6 hours; moderate effectiveness|
|Diaphragm||Inserted before sex and left inside for at least 6 hours; effective if used correctly|
Is your Family Complete and you Want Permanent Contraception?
If you have had all your children and your family is complete, you may want permanent sterilization. Permanent sterilization can now be performed during an office visit using only a local anesthetic, which is the preferred choice for permanent sterilization today. Laparoscopic tubal ligations can also be performed, but these still require a hospital admit and a general anesthetic. We do very few laparoscopic sterilizations because of this, but occasionally this type of procedure is necessary for certain women.
There are two types of office based minimally invasive procedures that can be performed for permanent sterilization. One is called essure, where small micro inserts are placed within the tubes and held there by a very small spring. The tubes scar over these and within three months the tubes are closed. The other is called Adiana, where small implants are placed within the tubes and a burst of ultrasonic energy is given which damages the tubes and they subsequently heal closed over time.
Where do I Start?
The first decision to make is to determine if you desire temporary contraception that is reversible, or if you want permanent sterilization. Are you considering having more children in the future, or have you already completed your family? From there, choose the option that fits your individual needs.
How do I Start?
The best way to start your chosen birth control method is to make an appointment for a physical exam, which will include a Pap smear and possibly some other tests. Dr. Robert True has been providing contraceptive counseling for over 25 years. Located next to DFW airport, his office is easily accessible to anyone in the Dallas Fort Worth and MidCities areas of Texas. Call and make an appointment to discuss your needs and concerns. We normally evaluate these concerns and discuss these options during your well woman annual physical exam. You can then leave with a better knowledge of them and a mindset for continued preventive health.