Written by Markyse, BSN, NP
Let’s talk options. Women today have choices, from the type of careers they want to when they want to start a family. Women today are delaying having children and are taking control of what motherhood looks like for them and when that journey starts. Many women choose to use birth control to delay having children. Using birth control although great, can be challenging and cause a lot of confusion. Options include; hormonal forms (hormones are added to the birth control to help control pregnancy such as oral contraceptives to vaccines and implants and non-hormonal (self-explanatory) like copper IUD and the diaphragm method. While the options are endless, choosing the best option is based on the woman’s goals and preferences. Being well informed about the options and understanding why such options are prescribed to you is crucial to each and every woman..
Some steps to follow prior to starting birth control
Know your goal for being on birth control
Know your health history (some medical conditions can affect the type of birth control available to you)
If birth control is a short-term plan, and you plan on having children in the near future, discuss with your partner what that time line looks like for you, some options can cause short term infertility. (Depo-Provera for example can cause delayed return fertility and can take up to a year for fertility to return)
Educate yourself on the different options before going to see your provider (CDC has some great information on the different options, https://www.cdc.gov/reproductivehealth/contraception/index.htm)
As you learn of the different options, write down questions to discuss with your provider.
Choose the best plan for you and only you. (Some providers have preferences and sometimes will guide you to their preference, your provider’s job is to educate you and provide you with the choices, and ultimately the choice is yours).
Take your time if choosing a long-term option. There is a lot of information and it can be overwhelming to choose. However, continue using back up options such as abstaining from sex or using condoms consistently and accurately. Some tips for proper condom uses can be found at the CDC website (https://www.cdc.gov/teenpregnancy/pdf/Teen-Condom-Fact_Sheet-English-March-2016.pdf)
For the next couple of months, my goal is to make the information on the different contraceptives options as simple as possible. I will discuss a different form every time. Please feel free to ask questions. Through this platform, we can help educate each other and support each other while we make sense of our health.