When discussing birth control, the options and methods can seem daunting and overwhelming. Birth control, family planning, and preventing unplanned pregnancies all fall into the same category of desires/needs a woman may have; however, there are many different methods to achieve this goal.
Gynecologist of Manhattan Women’s Health & Wellness offers comprehensive Obstetrics & Gynecology care in NYC for women of all ages. At our ob-gyn clinic, we provide a full range of gynecology services, from annual check-ups and routine pap smears to contraception counseling and GYN procedures, surgeries performed in our office or the hospital. Our state-of-the-art NYC gynecology facility is equipped with the latest ob-gyn equipment.
Types of Birth Control
Several different categories of birth control exist. However, they can really be split up into two broad categories – Hormonal and non-hormonal. Depending on your specific needs and health history, your gynecologist in Midtown NYC, Dr. Mariz, will recommend an appropriate method for contraception.
Hormonal Contraception usually involves manipulating or adding estrogen and/or progesterone to the body to prevent pregnancy. The combination or even just one of the hormones alone generally always affects menstrual bleeding to some extent. With any hormonal contraception, you can expect changes in how you bleed, with the potential risk of spotting or bleeding while not on your period. Lesser experienced side effects can include headaches, nausea, weight gain/loss, acne, breast tenderness, and mood changes.
- Birth control pills are likely the most well-known of birth control methods. There are hundreds of different birth control pills, but they generally include estrogen and progesterone or progesterone alone. These pills generally suppress the ovaries and cause you not to ovulate, thus prohibiting pregnancy. There are some very important contraindications you and your gynecologist should discuss before taking these, however. Things your gynecologist will consider may include but not be limited to a recent pregnancy, history of tobacco use, age, medications you are currently on, past medical history, history of blood clots in your lungs or legs, and even potentially migraines.
- Depo Provera, an injectable form of birth control containing one hormone called progesterone. This injection is performed once every 3 months and is highly efficacious in preventing unplanned pregnancies. This form does have some effects on bone health that can be reversible. However, it is not recommended you take depo injection for longer than several years at a time without a small break to let your bones recover, after which you can restart the injection.
- An Intrauterine Device (IUD) is a small plastic device placed in the office and goes inside the uterus to prevent pregnancy. These devices, once placed, can maintain their position for several years, requiring only annual monitoring such as yearly ultrasounds, as long as they are not causing any issues with pain or bleeding. There are hormonal and non-hormonal IUDs available.
- A contraceptive Implant, a small plastic device coated in the hormone progesterone, placed in the arm and lasts for several years before needing to be removed, is also available. In the US, the most common implant device is the Nexplanon.
- Vaginal ring, which can be inserted into the vagina by the patient and removed at different intervals. These vaginal rings emit hormones that are systemically absorbed and prevent pregnancy.
- A hormone patch, a small square impregnated with a hormone placed on the skin, usually a small patch of skin such as just below the hip or buttocks, arm, is small of the back – basically, any piece of skin doesn’t move much during normal activities. The patch also emits hormone that is absorbed systemically to prevent pregnancy. The patch is usually replaced every few days, depending on the patch.
Non-hormonal Birth Control
- IUD, there is a plastic and metal form of the intrauterine device that helps to create an inhospitable environment within the uterus to prevent pregnancy
- Tubal ligation, in which the fallopian tubes are surgically crushed, burned, or removed altogether, thus prohibiting eggs from exiting the ovaries and entering the uterus. This is a permanent form of birth control and cannot generally be reversed.
- Barrier methods, which include condoms for males, diaphragms, and contraceptive sponges for females. All can contain spermicide vs. no spermicide or a chemical that inhibits sperm.
- Vasectomy, a procedure where a male can have the tubes that carry sperm from the testicles cut. This procedure is very effective but requires to follow- up several months after the procedure to ensure the male is no longer releasing sperm.
IUDs are generally considered to be a shallow risk during placement, maintenance, and removal. During placement, the risk of infection, perforation (poking a hole through the uterus and the IUD going inside the abdomen, which would require a small surgery to remove), or pain can all occur. Luckily, these are all very rare, and there are ways your gynecologist can mitigate these risks, such as using ultrasound during the IUD placement.
Within each category of birth control are several more forms and brands, each with its own risks, benefits, and alternatives. With the increased number of options, it becomes essential to discuss your specific situation with your Midtown gynecologist, to choose an option that works specifically for you.
Important Reminder: This information is only intended to provide gynecology guidance, not definitive medical advice. Please consult your OBGYN doctor about your specific condition. Only a trained, experienced gynecologist or certified gynecology specialist can determine an accurate diagnosis and proper treatment.
Have questions about Contraception? Please schedule an appointment with the best OB-GYN in Manhattan, Dr. Fernando Mariz, by calling our office today.
New York City Locations:
Manhattan Women's Health & Wellness (Upper East Side)
983 Park Ave, Ste 1D17
New York, NY 10028
Manhattan Women's Health & Wellness (Midtown)
51 East 25th St, Ste 451
New York, NY 10010
Manhattan Women's Health & Wellness (Union Square)
55 W 17th St, Ste 104
New York, NY 10011