A diverse range of birth control choices is available today for preventing expected pregnancies. There is an option to meet many different needs and preferences. The experienced OBGYN providers at Capital Women's Care Division 66 in Bowie, Greenbelt, and North Bethesda, MD, can explain each birth control option and help you decide if one is right for you.
Types of Birth Control
Contraceptives allow you to prevent pregnancy until you are ready to have children if you choose to do so. However, it can be overwhelming to select the birth control method that is right for you with so many choices available. The knowledgeable doctors at our healthcare offices in Bowie, Greenbelt, and North Bethesda, MD, will discuss birth control methods with you and explain how each one works so you can determine which one best meets your needs.
Some common contraceptive options include:
- Barrier Devices
- Intrauterine Devices (IUDs)
- Hormonal Contraceptives
- Fertility Awareness
- Medical sterilization (tubal ligation)
Examples of barrier devices include condoms, diaphragms, sponges, and cervical caps. These contraceptive options all inhibit pregnancy by preventing sperm from reaching the egg or fertilizing it. While each of these methods effectively prevents pregnancy, condoms are the only option that also protects against the spread of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).
Intrauterine devices utilize either hormones or copper to prevent pregnancy either by inhibiting sperm from fertilizing an egg or interfering with a fertilized egg’s ability to implant in the uterus. IUDs are inserted directly into the uterus by your doctor and are effective for several years.
Hormonal contraceptives contain synthetic forms of estrogen and progestin, two female hormones that aid in pregnancy. In the case of hormonal contraceptives, these synthetic hormones prevent pregnancy from occurring by inhibiting ovulation. Types of hormonal contraceptives include birth control pills, vaginal rings, skin patches, injections, and implants.
The fertility awareness method is a natural family planning strategy that is often used to determine optimal times to get pregnant, but can also be used to identify times when pregnancy is unlikely to happen. Fertility awareness works by tracking your menstrual cycle to determine when ovulation occurs.
Medical sterilization is an option for women who do not plan to become pregnant in the future. The procedure for performing medical sterilization is called tubal ligation, but is commonly referred to as “getting your tubes tied.” The procedure involves cutting or tying off the fallopian tubes. This prevents sperm from traveling through there to the eggs.
Our skilled OBGYN team can help you better understand all the different contraceptive choices so you can decide if birth control is right for you. Schedule an appointment with one of our providers to learn more about birth control by calling Capital Women's Care Division 66 in Bowie, Greenbelt, and North Bethesda, MD at (301) 249-4090.