Choosing a method of birth control can be difficult. Know the options and how to pick the type of contraception that's right for you. Before choosing a birth control option, consider the following questions:
The best method of birth control for you is one that is safe, that you are comfortable using, and that you are able to use consistently and correctly. Your preferred method of birth control may change over your lifetime and is influenced by many different factors, including:
Knowing your options is definitely part of the decision process — but an honest assessment of yourself and your relationships is just as important when deciding which type of birth control is right for you.
Pros: A natural, free method and the only contraception method that is 100% effective.
Cons: Needs to be practiced consistently to be effective, which can be difficult to maintain.
Pros: Protect against pregnancy and STIs, although they are not 100% effective, and should always be checked for tears. They are relatively inexpensive and easy to apply.
Cons: Allergic reaction to latex is common and many may need to use non-latex versions.
Pros: Widely available and can be inserted up to 8 hours before having intercourse.
Cons: Do not protect completely from STIs and are less effective than male condoms.
Pros: A free & natural option which suits women opposed to taking drugs, have previously suffered from side effects of other options, or for women who are taking other medication which might interfere with contraceptive drugs.
Cons: Successfully monitoring your cycle can be difficult and only 75% effective.
Pros: An easy to use option which is relatively inexpensive.
Cons: Regular use without a condom can cause tissue irritation/damage, which can increase risk of STI.
Pros: Can be reused and are cost effective over time.
Cons: Both options need to be fitted by a doctor and they do not offer STI protection. They can’t be used during your period as it may increase your risk of toxic shock syndrome. Both the diaphragm and cervical cap have failure rates of 15% or more, and a higher likelihood of failure if you have previously had children.
Pros: Many women find birth control helps to regulate periods and diminishes period flow, period pain, cramps or acne. Some women can stop their periods completely while using birth control pills.
Cons: Birth control pills can be more expensive than other contraception, depending on the type of pill you’re using and how often you are having sex. Some women experience side effects of the medication, including weight gain, breast tenderness, blood clotting or increased blood pressure.
Pros: This is a natural and free birth control option.
Cons: Withdrawal can be difficult to time properly and is often ineffective, especially if practiced incorrectly.