Leading publisher, Cosmopolitan recently published an in-depth look at how the average modern woman uses birth control pills and how she may be expanding her contraceptive choices. In the piece, journalist Julie Vadnal eloquently explained how she feels like she is the last millennial on the pill.
She even went further define her contraceptive decision and social standing by using this analogy: “I’m still swallowing it, for now…but my Pill pack has started to seem kinda like a Discman in a Spotify world … and not in a hip, ironic way,” alluding to the how taking the pill seems archaic especially at a time where many women are opting for choices that are natural-based. However, not all women feel the same way. So whether you’re like Julie who takes the pill every day or like her friends who no longer want to introduce hormones into their bodies, here are the best birth control options to choose from.
Before we start rolling off the different types of birth control you can choose from, let’s define what birth control is, since it means different things to different people. Birth control is the preventative method you use to not become pregnant. This means there are multiple ways for you to block conception from occurring.
Birth Control Methods
A condom is a latex/lambskin-made pouch that males wear over their penis during vaginal (or anal) intercourse. Once the male ejaculates, the condom collects the sperm, stopping it from entering the vaginal canal. It is important to note that condoms made of lambskin stop pregnancy from occurring but doesn’t protect against sexually transmitted infections and diseases (STI/Ds). Only latex/synthetic made condoms protect infections or diseases from spreading.
Similar to male condoms, female condoms are soft plastic pouches that women insert into their vagina and helps block sperm from entering into the vaginal canal. They also help protect against STDs.
Pull Out Method
The pull-out method is when a penis exits the vagina before it ejaculates sperm into it. It’s not the most preventive method because some men may experience pre-ejaculation when it initially enters the vaginal canal. It’s important to have emergency-contraception (also known as Plan B) in case the pull-out method doesn’t work.
If you don’t fancy the female condom, the diaphragm may be another option for you. It’s a flexible cup shaped like a saucer. When you insert it into your vagina, it covers your cervix, blocking sperm from attaching itself to a egg.
The Birth Control Shot
The birth control shot is an injection you receive from a nurse practitioner or doctor, once every three months. The shot contains the hormone progestin which prevents a woman from ovulating. When there is no ovulation occurring in a woman’s body, an egg won’t be released into her uterus. It also makes a woman’s cervical mucus thicker; when the mucus is thicker, sperm has a harder time connecting to an egg.
The Birth Control Patch
If receiving shots make you uncomfortable, the birth control patch may be your go-to. Similar to the shot, the patch stops ovulation and thickens your cervical mucus. In order for the patch to be effective, you’ll need to change it every three weeks.
The Birth Control Implant
If you don’t have a Type-A personality and hate keeping a set schedule, the implant may be the next best thing for you. The device is in the shape of a tiny rod and inserted into your arm. It prevents you from ovulating and last up to four years.
The Birth Control Pill
Invented in the 1950s, the birth control pill was created with the intention to not only prevent pregnancy from happening but to also allow women to choose when they wanted to become pregnant without the input of their partner or societal rules. Different brands of the pill are on the market and they each help block conception from happening. However, certain brands may have lower or higher doses of hormones that help prevent ovulation. It is also important to know that the pill should be taken at the same time, every day to ensure that it works efficiently.
The Intrauterine Device
The intrauterine device (IUD) is a T-shaped piece of plastic or copper that’s inserted into the uterus. Just like the pill, there are different types of IUDs. One type is the copper IUD that blocks sperm from reaching the egg and has no hormones. The other types are hormonal based and the hormones work to stop ovulation and thickening cervical mucus. The IUDs can last three, five or even ten years.