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What's the Right Birth Control For You? Part One

What's the Right Birth Control For You? Part One

There's been a lot of news about STIs lately. We all know it's important to protect yourself against disease, but it's also important to protect yourself against pregnancy if having a baby isn't part of your immediate plan. Maybe you already have a method that works for you, but in case you're unhappy and want to explore other options, I've put together a three-part series on finding the right method.

Want to see part one? Then

Method Pros Cons
Birth control pills You only have to think about them once a day, and they monitor your period so you either always know when you're getting it or you can choose not to get it at all. They're 99 percent effective at preventing pregnancy. Some people don't like the idea of taking hormones because of the possible side effects like blood clots and stroke. They may also decrease your sex drive, make you moody, or cause weight gain. Plus the pill does not protect you against STIs.
Male condoms They're cheap ($5 for a 12 pack), you can buy them at most drugstores, they're easy to use, and they can protect you against STIs. They're also easily reversible, meaning that you can try getting pregnant as soon as you stop using them. All this and they're 98 percent effective at preventing pregnancy. You have to stop what you're doing to put one on, which interrupts the flow of intimacy and can be a real turn off for some people.
Female condoms They can protect against STIs better than male condoms since they cover your entire mucous membrane. They're made with polyurethane so they're great for people with latex allergies. You can also insert one up to eight hours before intercourse, so you don't have to interrupt intimacy by putting one on. They're more expensive than male condoms ($10 for a 5 pack), and many women complain that they're harder to use and can be noisy.
The NuvaRing You only have to think about it once a month. It's monophasic, meaning it delivers a steady amount of hormone consistently, which is great if other forms of hormonal birth control tend to make you moody. Plus it's 99 percent effective at preventing pregnancy. It doesn't protect against STIs, and some men complain that they can feel it when they have sex with a woman. It's also been known to fall out.

These are just some of the methods that are available to women. Tune in tomorrow for part two!

Join The Conversation
rxfae rxfae 8 years
I was on Yasmin, I loved the clear skin and bigger boobs, but no sex drive! My boyfriend reaallyy suffered. I'm lookin for alternatives. The ring sounds ookaaaay, just not as convenient. Very 'hands-on' eh?
Devilsfood Devilsfood 9 years
I'm on the ring and it's awesome. It never falls out and you don't feel it after a while, like tampons. It did make me gain weight, but only because it was tricking my stomach as well as my ovaries that I was already pregnant, so I ended up eating like I was pregnant. I was sooo hungry some days. Haha. I think I might try an IUD or something more long term. The older I get, the less I want kids.
fcseamstress fcseamstress 9 years
Ladies, PLEASE heed the warnings about the pill & smoking causing blood clots. I know I mentioned this in another post, but at 21 years old I developed a cluster of small blood clots (3) in my shoulder from taking the pill & smoking (not even a lot, less than a pack a week). Now I absolutely cannot be on any hormonal BC, not even the hormone light pills. I miss the clear skin and sex on a whim, but my arms and shoulders are still recovering from the ordeal, more than 4 years later, not to mention a missing rib and lovely scar under my arm. My fiancee and I use spermicide film (VCF) and it seems to work well, occasionally male condoms but since we're getting married this year we're saving for an IUD. The VCF is nice because you can put it in hours before and it doesn't leak like some or dry you out like condoms. The main drawback is you have to be dry when you put it in, so no getting excited THEN going for BC...
KathleenxCouture KathleenxCouture 9 years
For the girls getting nausious with the pill and having other side effects..I was talking to my doctor about switching pills because I was having side effects and she told me that one reason people stop takin BC or hate taking their pills or are even getting weird side effects in the first place is because their dosage is too high..you girls need to tell your doctor right away if you are getting migranes or nausiated on your pill because the dose may be too high for you Anyways, I've been on Ortho tricyclin lo for a year and love it but my skin isn't clear so I may go on Yaz just for the added acne benefit
halestorm halestorm 9 years
erm, i take it out before* sex and put it back in immediately after. out of context, that sounds like waaaay tmi.
halestorm halestorm 9 years
i love the Nuva Ring. and they don't expire after 4 months if you keep them refrigerated- i bought 12 months worth before coming to france. mine has never fallen out- i just take it out after sex and put it back in immediately after. i never took my pill at the same time, and it made me nauseous so i switched to the nuva ring & i'm very glad i did. yay for nuva ring!
furpig furpig 9 years
I use NuvaRing and I love it. I used to be on the pill, and it made me crazy, not to mention I forgot to take it sometimes! Much easier to remember NuvaRing twice a month (take it out, put a new one in). My husband can't feel it, and I have never had it fall out-- not even close! It stays put. The only side effect I've had is migraines, and only when I fly. I never got them before I went on NuvaRing, and when I did, all of a sudden, the migraines started when I flew. So I just take migraine medicine, and presto, all better.
starbright14 starbright14 9 years
I have been on Yaz for a year, and I'm a big fan. My skin is blissfully clear. I have a 2 day period with no cramping, which is amazing since I was once hospitalized for the pain from cramps! One caveat: I have had a bit of a decreased sex drive. Pros and cons, for sure.
modriana modriana 9 years
I swear by my IUD. No fuss, no muss. Fewer, lighter periods and nothing to remember. Have to be in monogamous rel'p tho because there's an increased chance of complications if you get an STD.
ytw ytw 9 years
cjmara805: I think with continuous use of the NuvaRing it should be changed every 3 weeks and not every 4.
lightheaded lightheaded 9 years
I <3 my IUD... I will shout upon mountiantops about how great it is... no side effects... nothing to ever worry about. It was painful when I got it, and during the first month, but it was sooooooo worth it.
cjmara805 cjmara805 9 years
britb: I too am a double D (some bras I wear a triple D) and I'm currently on the Nuva-Ring. Everything else I've tried made my breasts even bigger, much more dense, and so much more painful (especially Yaz, the pain would wake me up at night). With the Nuvaring, they are slightly more dense but don't hurt at all, not even right before my period (when I'm not on birth control, my breasts get huge and heavy, some months to the point where I can't raise my arms in the shower to wash my hair!) My only problems with the Nuvaring is that I'm on continuous use, so I take out my current one and replace it with another, skipping my period. Except I still get my period when I shouldn't and within hours of replacing the ring, my period stops. I don't think they have enough hormones for a full 4 weeks cycle :|
writerchic373 writerchic373 9 years
The Nuvaring is amazing. I never have to worry about it, and luckily, my boyfriend says that it actually stimulates sex. I never get any symptoms from it, and I feel completely protected by it. I believe that you can take it out for up to an hour if you need to, and if it falls out (which mine has never done) you can wash it off and then put it back in. Basically, it's the best birth control in the world.
graylen graylen 9 years
I have tried the patch (got off due to poor circulation on my end and a higher rate of blood clots on the patch's end). Then, I tried NuvaRing. I really liked it, but after several months I started to get all sorts of random symptoms like getting intensely hot and other things. Turns out, the NuvaRing stopped my estrogen production and put me into a kind of pre-menopause (at 23!). Needless to say, I immediately quit the NuvaRing and now I'm on Yaz which seems to be doing well (and has decreased my PMS symptoms).
SusanTeufel SusanTeufel 9 years
I am on Yaz, and I just finished my first pack today... I'm being treated for pretty severe PMDD though, and am getting married in August. My skin is crystal clear (It's never been!) though I do get a little emotional around that time of the month..but not nearly as horribly as I used to be. Anyone have any advice about the first few months of Yaz?
karlotta karlotta 9 years
I use NuvaRing and I love it. I do take it out when we have sex because my boyfriend feels it, and it was awkward at first when inserting it, but now I've become a master at slipping it in and out (after sex is the best time- it goes right in!) However, a couple of months ago I started getting weird pelvic pain - if I had to take a wild guess, just around my cervix. I went to my OB GYN and we ran a million tests from STIs to sonograms, and couldn't find any reason why it hurts, everything checks out okay - so I'm thinking it must be the ring. Anyone else on NuvaRing has been experiencing this? I'm still going to use it though, because it's just the best! PS: be careful with expiration... after you buy it, you have to use it within 4 months!
Beaner Beaner 9 years
Good point 7kimba7. Although it's scary that condoms won't protect you 100%.
MarinerMandy MarinerMandy 9 years
I've tried a couple versions of hormonal birth control and it makes me psychotic. Plus, I learned that I'm slightly allergic to my fiance's semen so condoms are it. Kind of sucks, but until we have kids and I can get my tubes tied or he can get a vasectomy (maybe both just to be sure!) we deal with it.
7kimba7 7kimba7 9 years
Well many of these only protect you against pregnancy and not disease. So it would be misleading to refer to them by the blanket statement of "protection."
TFS TFS 9 years
why the americans call it birth control. :s its PROTECTION. god.
rpenner rpenner 9 years
the pill works fine for me but i've definitely given other methods thought. i don't like the crazy hormones that come with the pill but i didn't have a weight gain issue like most girls do
Ashlyn-Rose Ashlyn-Rose 9 years
I'm on the pill Desogen right now. It's older, more tested, and less expensive than newer pills like Yaz. I'd recommend it to anyone. I had an awful experience with Yasmin. It made me really depressed and did crazy things to my potassium levels.
7kimba7 7kimba7 9 years
I want to get an IUD. I'm tired of taking the pill every day, and I don't want to switch to another hormonal form of BC and gain ANOTHER 10 pounds. Which I will. Sigh.
Belle1031 Belle1031 9 years
I've been on the pill for years but a month ago I found out I was pregnant and miscarried even though I was on it. So now I have to find a new form of birth control.
AujahAcorn AujahAcorn 9 years
i take Yaz. does anyone know of a birth control that *keeps your skin clear *does not take your sex drive away the pill makes me less sexual but keeps my skin clear. catch 22.
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