With so many birth control options available, it can be hard to know which option is right for you. At Evergreen Integrative Gynecology in Vancouver, Washington, board-certified gynecologist Cynthia McNally, MD, offers family planning and counseling services to help you make smart choices when it comes to contraception. Dr. McNally has 20 years of experience with IUD insertions and also offers Nexplanon®, the pill, and permanent birth control options. Call the office or use the online tool to schedule an appointment and decide, together, which birth control you should choose.
If you’re sexually active, but want to delay having a family, you have a wide variety of birth control options to choose from.
From hormonal options, birth control implants, intrauterine devices (IUDs), and permanent methods, Dr. McNally at Evergreen Integrative Gynecology reviews your options with you to help you determine which fits your family goals and lifestyle:
Hormonal contraception prevents pregnancy by thickening your cervical mucus so the sperm can’t reach the egg. Hormonal options also interfere with ovulation. Types of hormonal birth control include the pill, vaginal rings, and some IUDs. Nexplanon®, a birth control implant, is also hormone-based. Hormonal birth control methods are extremely reliable when used correctly.
Barrier methods prevent the egg and sperm from meeting. Options include condoms, diaphragms, and the sponge. Barrier methods are convenient but aren’t as reliable when it comes to preventing pregnancy. But, condoms are the only form of birth control that offers some protection against sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).
Fertility tracking or cervical mucus observation are natural methods of birth control. You watch your cycle and the quality of your mucus to determine your most fertile days and avoid intercourse on those days. These tracking methods are less effective in preventing pregnancy than most other methods.
Women who are certain their families are complete may choose a procedure called tubal ligation. Dr. McNally performs this procedure that serves as a permanent form of birth control.
You may also opt for a non-hormonal IUD known as Paragard®, which uses copper to repel sperm and prevent pregnancy for up to 10 years.
During a family planning and counseling appointment, you discuss with Dr. McNally the best type of birth control for you. She talks to you about your plans to have a family in the future, your schedule and ability to remember to take a daily pill, and your sexual habits.
She also takes into account your medical history and age when offering counseling on family planning. Dr. McNally answers your questions and offers her thoughts as to the best options for you.
Most birth control methods are reversible. If you do want to start a family, talk to Dr. McNally about stopping your birth control, and optimizing your health for pregnancy.
When an IUD or implant is removed, or you go off the pill, you can technically get pregnant right away. Remember though, it may take a few months for your cycle to normalize.
Call Evergreen Integrative Gynecology to receive expert family planning and counseling. Alternatively, use the online tool to schedule.