Skip Nav
50 States of Weddings: See What "I Do" Looks Like in Every State
Your Guide to Traveling With Sex Toys (Don't Worry, Yours Won't Be the First TSA's Seen)
It Took Me Years to Report My Sexual Assault, but My Story Still Matters

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

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

Birth control can be really annoying, but if you're sexually active, it's necessary if you want to prevent yourself from becoming pregnant or contracting an STI. I've talked about some common forms of birth control and some less common forms, but there are still more options.

Want to see them? Then


Method Pros Cons
The Shot Once you get the shot, it'll prevent you from getting pregnant for three months, and it's 99.7 percent effective. It's a shot so if you hate needles, this method isn't for you. Plus you have to go to your doctor's office to get it, and some women complain of irregular bleeding and weight gain. Also, if you're thinking about becoming pregnant, after your last injection, it can take six to 12 months to become fertile again. It also doesn't protect you against STIs.
Implanon Once inserted, it'll prevent pregnancy for up to three years, and is 99 percent effective. Some women love it and experience no side effects. It has to be surgically implanted by a doctor, and some women complain of irritation, burning, pain, or oozing where the implant was inserted or removed. Since it is a type of hormonal birth control, for all three years you could experience irregular bleeding, mood swings, depression, weight gain, acne, sore breasts, stomach pain, swelling in your ankles and feet, headaches, or nausea. It may be difficult to remove because thick scar tissue can form around the implant. To top it all off, this method doesn't protect you against STIs.
FAM (Fertility Awareness Method) This is a great method if you are very aware of your cycle, and have the time to chart your daily morning temperature, the position of your cervix, and the feel of your cervical fluid, so you can figure out the exact day that you ovulate. This method helps a woman feel more in control, and if she knows what days she's most fertile, she can avoid unprotected sex. This method can be really challenging, especially if you have irregular cycles. It takes a lot of effort, responsibility, and awareness of your body, and if you have a very short cycle (less than 26 days) there aren't many days where you're not fertile, so you'll end up needing another form of birth control like condoms.
Pull and Pray (not very effective but since people do use this method, I had to include it) It's free, and if you're in a monogamous relationship and would be happy to be a mom then this method is great for you since many women have gotten pregnant this way. Since pre-ejaculate can contain sperm, even if the man pulls out before he orgasms, some sperm can still be inside you, therefore you can easily become pregnant. This method won't protect you against STIs. Also, if your man has a hard time controlling his orgasms, he may end up ejaculating inside you before he gets a chance to pull out.

I hope you all found this information to be helpful. I know it may seem a bit monotonous but you can never be too informed!

Join The Conversation
lmassey lmassey 8 years
I've done the Pill which made me have some horrible mood swings. I've also done the Patch-which unfortunatly I'm allergic to the adhesive-it would stay on for about 2 days then fall off due my skin breaking out from it. I was warned by my MD not to take the Shot due to the fact I have a high risk of bleeding to death (still not sure on that one). I've also done the Ring, which was great until I started having severe mood swings from it. Everyone always says "there's a BC for you" but honestly the only thing I can use is condoms-which I suppose is the best deal due to the fact it prevents STDs. I have friends and family that take different methods and they think I'm crazy for saying that the Pill and Ring caused severe mood swings (example-- my bf would say Hi, how was your day baby? and instead of saying great, how about yours?..I would just bust out crying or yell something..yup..not healthy)..thast all i gots to say.
geekygirl geekygirl 9 years
i reckon u shouldn't knock something unless you have tried it. just cos something is good or bad for a friend, doesn't mean you will experience the same effects (just think of the different ways people respond to the pill). >>designerel - implanon is really not scary, it is hugely popular in australia - most of my friends in steady relationship use it. i've had it for nearly a year. i had a few mood swing/bleeding problems from about the 5th to 7th month but that was in tandem with being really stressed in my personal and work life which i think impacted on this. the scarring is unusual, i know 1 friend who has had a problem and she is on to her 3rd implant - just involved having some tissue cut away from the implant. you are given a local anesthetic when it's inserted and removed and a pressure bandage is applied to reduce bruising. it feels a bit tender and heavy for a few days but then it should be all good. the negative symptoms seem to be fairly uncommon - of the 15 girls i know with it, the only problem has been occasionally irregular bleeding, occasionally mood swings and the problem my friend J. had with the tissue growth. i reckon it's way better than remembering to take the pill and it's heaps cheaper.
nicachica nicachica 9 years
I remember when i was in 8th grade (Catholic school), my religion teacher taught us sex ed and said that the best birth control was the FAM aka the "rhythm method." he described how he and his wife did it (yes, to 13 year olds!) and all i remember thinking was "Why go through all this trouble when you can take a freakin pill and be done with it???" Too bad that the Pill wasn't (still isn't) approved by the Church! oh well...
fireannach fireannach 9 years
don't knock the shot! it works wonders for some people. i was on the shot for a little over a year back when i first started having sex, and then i went away to school and the doctor bullied me into going on the pill instead, which she never told me would interfere with the medication i was taking. if any of you remember seeing my "dear sugar" i conceived when i was on the pill, but miscarried early on. now i'm back on the shot. i also had extremely irregular bleeding on the pill, well over a year after i started taking it, and i had to wear a tampon (sorry if tmi!) for over a full month because i was bleeding that much, and the doctor told me not to be concerned and to keep taking the pill (also don't take the word of a doctor who's job it is to get you out in 20 minutes and who has no idea of your medical history). it is normal to not get your period - the same thing happens if you take birth control and skip the placebo week, going straight to the next pack. anyway, i love the shot, and the loss of calcium is not that significant that you can't take calcium supplements and have it be alright. i've heard plenty of horror stories too, but like any medication, it depends on the person. i have never had any side effects with depo, not even minor weight gain, and it actually helped relieve my chronic migraine headaches. anyway, it's an extremely good option for somebody who, like me, is disorganized and/or in a monogamous relationship. i recommend somebody interested talk to their doctor, give it a try for the 3 months, and see if the side effects you experience are worth it. i will probably be starting a family by the time i go off depo, and i know since i became pregnant less than a year after going off depo, it will not affect my fertility in the future (my miscarriage was unrelated to the use of depo, i am for whatever reason overly fertile, haha). good luck! remember to stay safe, not just avoiding conception but protecting yourself against any stds! maybe another tmi, haha, but now that my boyfriend and i conceived using a condom and being on the pill as well, we use a new condom every time he comes, just to be safe as possible, and we make sure to use spermicidal lubricant. enjoy your love-making ladies! i sure am!
Tami715 Tami715 9 years
Jettagirl, don't panic. Snarkypants is right and everyone reacts differently to birth control. I've been on the shot for about 3 years now and it's working perfectly for me. Last year, a friend of mine told me this horror story about when she was on the shot and she started bleeding a lot during sex one day and it wouldn't stop. She ended up in the hospital getting a blood transfusion and also had a lot of bone problems. I freaked out and ran right to my doctor, who assured me that I'm having the ideal experience on Depo and there's nothing to worry about. Just be sure to get a bone density test every 2 years and if you have any concerns talk to your doc. It's been 3 years since I've had period cramps and I couldn't be happier! Plus, it's nice not to have to worry about taking a pill every day or dealing with condoms :D
snarkypants snarkypants 9 years
jettagirl-everybody reacts to birth control differently. maybe the shot works for you. in that case, i'd say you're a lucky girl because the whole not having to remember anything for three months is awesome!
rpenner rpenner 9 years
Pull and Pray - love it :rotfl:
designerel designerel 9 years
the implant sounds horrid. scar tissue development? plus the pic really freaks me out!!!
Kristinh1012 Kristinh1012 9 years
I was on the shot for 2 and 1/2 years. I loved it when I was on it except for a small amount of weight gain. Which can happen with any birth control. I absolutely loved that I never got my period but then it started to bug me out a bit. It just seemed unhealthy. Plus me and my BF decided we wanted to have another child soon and they say it can take about as long as you were on the shot to be able to get pregnant. So I got off of it and VERY surprisingly to me and my doctor I was pregnant about 6 months later. But it took me from November to about April to even get my period back. Now I have a lot of problems with achiness in my shoulder and neck and I think it may be from the shot.
jettagirl3 jettagirl3 9 years
I have been on the shot for about year. So far so good. I love it. I haven't really had any side effects except a little weight gain and an occasional spotting. All these comments say DON'T TAKE IT makes me a little nervous.
SusanTeufel SusanTeufel 9 years
I heard really horrible things about the shot...I am glad I avoided it. I had such horrible periods before I went on the pill it wasn't even funny...
shelleybaby32 shelleybaby32 9 years
i am on the patch. I haven't had any major problems at all. i know-i've heard all the bad things about it. It's been 4 years now and no issues for me. I mail order them through my insurance and i get 3 months worth of patches for $20.00!!! One month is $40 at or local pharmacy. I convinced myself that the patch was why i couldn't lose those last 10 pounds after my second baby (most stomach) so i quit over the summer. Big mistake for me. i was moody, irritable, had terrible acne AND gained weight so i went right back on. Of course my doctor doesn't know this. But we were very careful and used condoms until i was through one cycle. i think i will stay on this method because it works for me. I just take of the patch and put a new one on every sunday. The pill i kept forgetting to take.
7kimba7 7kimba7 9 years
I have a friend who does the shot to help with her endometriosis, and she hates it. it's just that no other method helps her with her symptoms. I would never do the shot after hearing about her experiences.
Jessie-M Jessie-M 9 years
snarkypants-oh god I know how horrible the shot is! I bled constantly after I got my first shot, but my doctor convinced me it was just my body getting used to it and the bleeding would slow and stop on its own. So I kept going in-I had a total of 3 shots every 3 months, and the bleeding still didn't stop, so I gave up the shots completely...and I still had bleeding and spotting for almost a year afterwards (ladies-think about that-having your period for about a year. try explaining that to your boyfriend). I havent had a shot since last febuary and I still have irregular periods, though they are getting better. NEVER going back to the shot. I was on alesse (the pill) before the shot, and wished I never gave that up just to try something 'easier'. BC Pill all the way! Never had a problem with that!
cassee cassee 9 years
The Shot is also known to cause calcium deficiency in the long run, soooo like a couple other women said... DON'T TAKE THE SHOT!
emily60608 emily60608 9 years
Yay GreenSkittlesGal!!! So glad to hear that! I just want to help more ladies out there!! I am paying for my LadyComp in $35 monthly installments so the big price tag isn't so bad, I got it from Natural Methods
GreenSkittlesGal GreenSkittlesGal 9 years
Emily, I have never heard of Ladycomp and I just looked it up after reading your post. It seems a little pricey but entirely worth it. I am ordering one very soon! Thank you for your advice!
snarkypants snarkypants 9 years
DO NOT GO ON THE SHOT!!!!! i went on the shot in september. bled all the way through december. once the effects of the shot wore off, i stopped getting periods. i'm not even on the shot anymore! now, i am on medication to get me to start menstruating again. so far, it hasn't worked. i've been to the doctor more since going on the shot than i have in 10 years combined. i've been going in every other week to try to get my body back on track...ugh
emily60608 emily60608 9 years
I use a LadyComp which is a easier, more accurate version on FAM. Basically its a little computer you use to take your temp every morning before you get out of bed... it then gives you a red (fertile), yellow (computer's learning) or green (safe) light to tell you if you're fertile that day. On red & yellow days you have to use a condom (or diaphram, etc) or abstain unless you want a little one! But on green days you know you don't have to worry & sex is so much better if you're not worried about getting pregnant!! I had tried many different kinds of birth control pills before I got the LadyComp & had severe emotional & physical side effects from them. All these hormone & implanted types of birth control seemed to severe & dangerous for my body... especially when they give you side effects that are 24/7 when your body is really only fertile at most 2 weeks or so a month. I have been using the LadyComp for about 8 months now & I love it! I was nervous to trust it at first but found an online message board group of women who had been using it so I trusted their experiences & I'm sooooooo glad I did! This seems to be a more popular method in Canada & Europe. It's probably the giant American pharmaceutical companies that want to sell BC pills that keep it from being more common here. Sorry for the long post but I wish I had know about the LadyComp earlier & now want anyone that has problems with other kinds of hormonal BC to know there's another reliable & safe option!! :)
kikidawn kikidawn 9 years
I won't ever do 'the shot' ... I've heard way too much about permanent infertility after coming off of it. I just want to delay my babies...not go infertile... I want them eventually :D
Lovely_1 Lovely_1 9 years
Pull and Pray :ROTFL:
Angelina Jolie and Brad Pit File For Divorce | Video
How Lemon Water Affects Sex Drive
Bald Bride's Wedding Photos (Video)
What Will Happen to My Body When I Stop Taking Birth Control Pills?
From Our Partners
Latest Love
All the Latest From Ryan Reynolds