Birth Control - Choosing a Birth Control Method
You can choose between a
male or female condom to reduce your risk for
HIV (the virus that causes AIDS),
pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), and other
What health factors could limit my choice of birth control?
If you have health problems or other risk factors, some
birth control methods may not be right for you.
Smoking. If you smoke more than 15 cigarettes
a day and are 35 or older or have
high blood pressure, a history of
stroke, a history of
blood clots, liver disease, or
heart disease, you may not be able to use combined
Migraines. If you have migraine headaches, talk
to your health professional about whether you can try combined hormonal
Diabetes. If you have advanced or long-standing
diabetes, discuss the risks of taking hormonal birth
control methods with your health professional.
Breast-feeding. If you are breast-feeding, the estrogen in
combined hormonal birth control can lower your milk supply. Progestin-only
pills, an implant, both kinds of IUDs, or birth control shots do
not affect your milk supply and are a good option for breast-feeding women.
Other health problems that might keep you from using a
particular birth control method are relatively rare, especially in young women.
recommendations for and against certain hormonal birth control methods. But before using any method, talk with your health professional
to see if it is safe for you.
What are some other considerations in choosing a birth control method?
Other things to consider when choosing a method of birth
Health benefits, such as decreased risk for sexually
transmitted diseases with condoms and reduced risk of ovarian cancer and
uterine cancer with use of birth control pills for one year or
Convenience and ease of use. Birth control forms such
as patches, shots, implants, IUDs, and vaginal rings are convenient for women
who have trouble remembering to take a daily pill or couples who know they
won't use a barrier method every time they have sex.
Cost. Over time, the higher one-time cost of IUD
insertion or sterilization surgery may be less than the continued costs of
buying pills or condoms and spermicide.
If you are planning to become pregnant in the future. It is best to have a full menstrual cycle before you try to conceive. The amount of time it takes for a woman's full fertility to return after stopping birth control varies for each woman
and depends on the birth control method she is using.
Birth control methods work the same for people of all
ages. But some methods are not recommended for sexually active teenagers or
women over 35 who smoke. This can be because of health reasons or poor
pregnancy prevention if the method is not used every time. Thinking about the pros and cons of birth control methods will help you choose the one that is best for you: