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Birth Control Health Center

Quick Guide: Which Birth Control 'Fits' You?

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Are you with one long-term sexual partner

Are you with one long-term sexual partner?

Are you with one long-term sexual partner

Are you with one long-term sexual partner?

Explanation: Most birth control methods help prevent pregnancy but offer no protection against sexually transmitted diseases. If you or your partner are also having sex with others, or if either of you has had other sexual partners in the recent past, use condoms. If used correctly and consistently, condoms are the only birth control method that prevent the spread of common STDs, such as syphilis, gonorrhea, HIV, and human papillomavirus.

Do you want to have children in the future

Do you want to have children in the future?

Do you want to have children in the future

Do you want to have children in the future?

  • Your Answer: 
  • Correct Answer: 

Explanation: Women who absolutely don't want children in the future can opt for permanent birth control. Tubal ligation surgery closes off the fallopian tubes so that eggs can't reach the uterus and prevents sperm from reaching the egg. A newer, permanent birth control procedure allows doctors to insert a soft, flexible coil into the fallopian tube without the need for surgery. Men can have vasectomies, in which the tubes that carry sperm are cut and sealed. Tubal ligation and vasectomy can sometimes be reversed if couples change their minds.

How important is  highly effective birth control

How important is it to have highly effective birth control?

How important is  highly effective birth control

How important is it to have highly effective birth control?

  • Your Answer: 
  • Correct Answer: 

Explanation: Not all birth control works equally well. All methods have a chance of failure. When used correctly each time, the failure rates are lower. In general, barrier methods -- such as diaphragms, cervical caps, and male condoms -- are about 84% effective (although condoms are 98% effective when used correctly). Hormonal birth control such as the pill, vaginal rings, and patches are 99% effective with perfect use. Implants, IUDs, and shots are about 99% effective.

Would you prefer to skip monthly menstrual periods

Would you prefer to skip your monthly menstrual periods?

Would you prefer to skip monthly menstrual periods

Would you prefer to skip your monthly menstrual periods?

  • Your Answer: 
  • Correct Answer: 

Explanation: Thanks to newer generations of continuous birth control pills, women can skip their monthly periods. One brand is prescribed to stop periods for up to one year, while others bring only four periods annually. The pills can cut the hassles of menstruation, as well as relieve some women of premenstrual syndrome (PMS), cramps, and other problems during menstruation. You must take the pills daily, and they are 98% to 99% effective in preventing pregnancy if taken as directed.

Do you have health risks, migraines or smoking

Do you have health risks, such as migraines or smoking?

Do you have health risks, migraines or smoking

Do you have health risks, such as migraines or smoking?

  • Your Answer: 
  • Correct Answer: 

Explanation: Women smokers over age 35 increase their risks of complications when taking the pill as a form of birth control. Combination birth control pills that contain estrogen and a progestin, as well as contraceptive skin patches with estrogen, can raise risk of serious blood clots. Some research suggests that oral contraceptives can also trigger new migraines or worsen them in some women who already have such headaches. However, a small percentage of women report that birth control pills eased their migraines. Progestin-only pills or birth control shots may be an option for women who can't take estrogen.

Is it hard to remember to take a pill daily

Do you find it inconvenient or hard to remember to take a pill daily?

Is it hard to remember to take a pill daily

Do you find it inconvenient or hard to remember to take a pill daily?

  • Your Answer: 
  • Correct Answer: 

Explanation: If you're too busy or forgetful to take birth control pills daily, there are longer-term methods that are effective while preserving your fertility. You can apply contraceptive skin patches once a week for three weeks and remove them for the fourth week to let your period start. Vaginal rings are inserted once a month. A progestin hormone shot to stop ovulation works for up to 90 days. Intrauterine devices (IUDs) can be left in place for five to 10 years to prevent pregnancy. A matchstick-sized hormone implant that your doctor inserts under your skin can work for up to three years. Unlike permanent procedures such as tubal ligation or vasectomy, you can stop using these longer-term methods when you are ready for a baby.

Do you need birth control without a prescription

Do you need a birth control method that you can get without a doctor's prescription?

Do you need birth control without a prescription

Do you need a birth control method that you can get without a doctor's prescription?

  • Your Answer: 
  • Correct Answer: 

Explanation: Over-the-counter vaginal sponges with spermicide (seen in foreground, left) can block sperm from entering the uterus. You moisten the sponge and place it over your cervix before sex, and leave it in for at least six hours afterward. You don't need a doctor to fit a sponge, as you would with a diaphragm. You can also buy cervical caps (seen foreground, right) without a prescription, as well as condoms. But it's still a good idea to have regular appointments to get a Pap smear, check for STDs, and safeguard your sexual and reproductive health.

SUMMARY: Now that you've learned more about your birth control needs, read more about your options. Then, talk to your doctor who can help you make the best birth control decisions based on your lifestyle and health risks.

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