We all know there are no limits to what women can accomplish. When we choose to travel the world, go back to school or become our own bosses, planning is essential. Your potential for pregnancy should be treated with the same thoughtfulness. While we have all been conditioned to expect that warm bubbly feeling when we learn that we are “expecting," maternity clothes, soft- soled shoes, diaper bags may be a little less appealing to you than your stilettos, the latest sports coupe or those skinny jeans you saw at your favorite store the other day...at least for now.
If your “little bundle of joy” moment can wait (if you want one at all), make a five-year pregnancy prevention plan according to your lifestyle and be in control of you. You have choices so lets explore!
The Pill (Daily)
Can you remember to take a pill every day? There are two types of birth control pills. There are the combination pills and progestin only pills. Combination pills contain estrogen and progestin hormones. Commercials about these pills are ones that boast the benefits of shorter periods and improving acne. If taken regularly and consistently these pills are up to 99.9% effective. The progestin only pill (mini pill) is another option. When this pill is used correctly it is up to 95% effective with less side effects.
The Vaginal Ring or The Patch (Monthly)
Can’t take a pill daily? The vaginal ring or the contraceptive patch may be a better option. The small vaginal ring contains synthetic hormones and can easily be inserted and removed each month. The patch releases hormones through the skin into the bloodstream to prevent pregnancy and is placed on the skin monthly. Both methods are over 99% effective.
Depo-Provera (Every Three Months)
Monthly still too frequent? Depo-Provera is a shot that is given by your health care provider every three months to prevent pregnancy. It is made up of a hormone similar to progesterone and is 99% effective.
IUD Intrauterine Device (Five years)
Kiss your calendar goodbye for 5 years! There are two types of IUD’s including the Hormonal IUD containing estrogen and progestin, and the Copper IUD, which is hormone free. These devices are inserted by your health care provider and are up to 99% effective. The Hormonal IUD is effective for at least five years, while the Copper IUD is good for up to ten years. Although these options are highly effective in preventing pregnancy, we must remember that condoms are the only form of birth control that also serve as protection against HIV, AIDS and other STDs. Also be sure to check up on all the possible side effects and safety precautions for each of these methods and consult your doctor.
Create your own five-year plan with Planned Parenthood’s five-year plan infographic and visit your nearest health center to receive more information in regards to different birth control methods.