Choosing the Best Birth Control for You

This is a sponsored post.

as you know, just over a year ago i had my fourth baby, our little girl Dani Kat. there’s a seven year gap between her and the youngest of my three boys. and in case you were wondering, no, she wasn’t planned. she was a surprise….a happy one since i have always wanted a little girl, but my husband and i had already figured that we were done having babies. after a long time of not getting pregnant and with such a big gap since having our last baby, we figured we were done with babies and onto the next stage of our lives.

i guess we should’ve been more careful, because that was not the case! i wasn’t on birth control, mainly because i was very overwhelmed with which method i should choose and after so many years of not getting pregnant, my husband and i just weren’t as careful as we used to be. i got pregnant with baby Dani, now we are the parents of four sweet children.

Picking the Right Birth Control Method for You

it can be very overwhelming picking the right birth control. so i decided that this was a great topic to discuss in my series of Kaiser Permanente Orange County posts. to get knowledgeable information on birth control, i spoke to Dr. Laura Sech, an OB/gyn at the Kaiser Permanente Anaheim office for all the facts. when her patients are deciding on a birth control method, she likes to do Contraceptive Counseling, and give her patients all the options available.

the first question she asks is – “Ideally, when would you want to be pregnant?” if the patient’s answer is that they are “Not sure”, then the birth control method should be non-permanent. if the patient’s answer is “Never”, then here are also some permanent options in addition to the non-permanent options available for her.

Permanent But Reversible Birth Control Options

First Tier
Depro-Provera – patient gets a shot every 3 months. there is no need for a full doctors appointment once established, a nurse visit is all that is needed for each shot thereafter. the failure rate is 6% at 1 year. if you forget, you have a higher failure rate. the failure rate is only 2% with proper usage (getting the shot on schedule). the disadvantages to Depro-Provera are irregular bleeding or no bleeding, and weight gain…but weight gain is mostly only seen in adolescent girls who are already overweight. also there is a decrease in bone health, because Depro-Provera reduces bone mineral density. this is 100% reversible once you stop it. some people claim that there is hair loss, but data shows that this is not true.

Nexplanon Implant – this is the most effective, not permanent option. it’s a small arm implant that provides up to 3 years of continuous birth control. it’s placed under the skin of your inner, upper arm by your health care provider. it can be removed anytime and you may try to become pregnant almost immediately after its removal.

Intrauterine Device – the two that Kaiser uses are copper PARAGARD and Mirena (which is hormonal). they are inserted into the uterus and prevent fertilization, sperm from ever meeting the egg, and implantation. out of 100 women, less then one would get pregnant using and intrauterine device. the best thing them are that they are easily REVERSIBLE and almost as effective as permanent. the side effects are, they can cause changes in bleeding, and menstrual flow….but Dr. Sech says in a good way. Mirena makes periods lighter periods or absent. the hormone in Mirena makes lining thin. thin lining reduces cancer. it is okay to have absent periods on Mirena, but some women like having a regular period, and the absence of one causes them to worry.

Next tier
Pills, Patch and Ring –  the Pill you have to take orally every day, the Patch you wear and switch out every week, and the Ring you insert into the vagina every three weeks. what’s important about these, is that they have Estrogen. Estrogen is great for skin, help with less acne. they are not great for women who can‘t have estrogen, have high blood pressure, or a history of blood clots, diabetes, or stroke. they are good for women who want regular monthly bleeding because they have that predictability factor. data suggests that all of these have an equal failure rate of 8%…mostly due to human error.

Last Tier
Barriers – condoms, diaprams, ovulation tracking. these all have a 20% failure rate due to user error.

 

with all these methods, you should still be able to try an conceive when the time is right for you. they are completely reversible and easy to stop.

when you don’t want to ever become pregnant again or ever, here are some permanent options available to you or your partner.

Permanent Birth Control Options

Vasectomy – procedure for male sterilization or permanent contraception. During the procedure, the male vas deferens are cut and tied or sealed so as to prevent sperm from entering into the urethra and thereby prevent fertilization.

Tubal ligation – removal of filopean tubes. studies have shown that the benefits of removal reduces risk of ovarian cancer. the disadvantages are that the proceedure is invasive, and there’s an increase for irregular bleeding or needing a historectomy.

Essure – insertion of nickel coils into the fallopian tubes tubes to scar tubes. the disadvantages are that it is invasive, and there is a increase for irregular bleeding or historectomy.

Myths About Birth Control

there are some myths about birth control that you hear women complain or warn about. the number one issue is weight gain. the sad fact is that on average, women gain two pounds per year – due to age, metabolism, activity, etc. so many times, although women feel the weight is due to the birth control, it really has to do with age. also, studies have shown that contraceptive do not cause low sex drive, if you experience low-sex drive, it is likely caused by a different factor. another myth is that many people think that once you stop birth control, it take longer to get pregnant, than if you weren’t on birth control. however, studies show that the average time conceive once you stop birth control is 3-4 months, the same amount of time for those who use no contraception.

it’s a great thing that at this time in life, women have so many methods and options in birth control. there are so many options that it can be overwhelming, but hopefully having information about each one in one place can make the decision easier. a big plus that Dr. Sech has seen with birth control is women feeling more secure. knowing they are protected and in control of not becoming pregnant, tends to make women have a healthier more satisfying sex life

Kaiser Permanente Orange County has a full team of knowledgable OB/gyn’s like Dr. Sech, so you are sure to find a doctor you trust near you. plus, everything is under one roof. most Kaiser Permanente Orange County locations include pharmacy, lab, X-ray services and more. there are locations throughout Orange County, as far north as Brea and as far south as San Juan Capistrano, including Tustin Ranch, Foothill Ranch and the new Radiation Oncology Center located at the Anaheim Medical Center. i have really loved working with them this past year because i have learned a lot of great healthy living information that i’ve been able to use daily.

if you have missed some of the other healthy living posts that  i have written, check them out here:

My Trip to the Kaiser Orange County Farmers Market
Tips for Having a Healthy Pregnancy
Our Family’s Visit Thrive Walk at the Orange County Great Park
Great Tips on Mens Health
Tips for Helping Families Stay Healthy During Cold and Flu Season
Remembering the Baby Milestones
Tips on Raising Boys
Sun Safety in Orange County
Tips on Dealing with Mens Stress

 

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