Which birth control option is right for you?

Which birth control option is right for you?

According to the CDC, nearly 62 percent of women are using some form of contraception. The most common method being used is the pill which is used by 28% of women or 10.6 million women. However, there are many options when choosing which form of birth control best suits you.

Birth control affects everyone differently and it’s highly important to research which form of birth control would best suit your body. After all, there isn’t one birth control that is better than the others—it depends on how your body reacts to each one. Here’s an overview of the different options to consider.


You most likely know someone that has a phone alarm that rings at the same time each day. If you do, it’s because they need take their birth control pill at the same time each day in order for it be to effective. The pill contains hormones—estrogen, progestin, or a combination of the two which halts a woman’s ovulation.

Conventional birth control pills contain 21 active pills (pills that contain hormones) and 7 inactive pills (those that do not contain hormones). The inactive pills enable you to have a period each month, so while being on birth control you would experience your regular monthly period.

A few of the benefits of the pill are as follows: preventing migraines, improving acne, regulating periods, and more. There are many side effects that vary across the board, but here are a few of the most popular down sides of birth control pills: spotting, nausea, breast tenderness, headaches, weight gain, mood changes, decreased libido, and more.


The birth control patch is a thin, plastic patch that simply sticks onto your skin. Typically, you will have three straight weeks wearing the patch followed by one patch-free week. Similarly, to other forms of birth control, the patch works by releasing hormones (estrogen/progestin) which halt eggs from leaving the ovaries and increasing cervical mucus’s thickness.

This is an extremely effective option as long as the patch is always placed on the skin at the correct time. A few of the benefits of the patch are as follows: lighter periods, convenience, clearing acne, breast growth, protection from period cramps, etc. A few of the downsides are as follows: breast tenderness, nausea, vomiting, and spotting. It is not uncommon to go without any side effects; however, it always depends on the person.


The birth control shot is an injection that has to be administered by your doctor every three months. This shot releases the progestin hormone into your bloodstream which is responsible for keeping your eggs away from your ovaries and increasing your cervical mucus’s thickness. The great news about the shot is that it is a short appointment only four times a year that takes take of your contraception needs. You don’t have to maintain or upkeep it unlike the pill or the patch.

An important aspect to consider is that this form of birth control doesn’t protect against sexually transmitted diseases. A few of the downsides are change in sex drive, change in weight, depression, hair loss, nausea, and sore breasts. However, there are many great benefits of this shot: convenience, effectiveness, and no preparation for sex. The shot is perfect for women that cannot take estrogen or women that are breastfeeding.

Vaginal Ring

You may have seen the NuvaRing commercials that have become increasingly popular. If not, the vaginal ring is a small, flexible ring that is inserted into a woman’s vagina once a month. The ring is left in place for 3 weeks and taken out the following week. The ring works just as the other forms of birth control—by releasing hormones to prevent pregnancy.

The benefits of the vaginal ring are as follows: shorter periods, clears up acne, prevents period cramps, breast growth, and more. A few of the downsides of the vaginal ring are as follows: spotting, breast tenderness, nausea, discharge, vaginal irritation, or infection.

You may seem overwhelmed by all of this information, but it’s important to start the research before you visit your doctor. After you have mulled over the various forms of birth control, speak with your doctor to figure out what best suits you and your circumstances. Your doctor will have your best interest at heart and will be able to weed out any options that may cause increased risks of side effects.  

By Russell McBurnie