Birth Control

Eastside OB/GYN offers comprehensive birth control and family planning options for women of all ages

There are a wide variety of birth control options for women of all ages, and your Eastside OB/GYN provider will work closely with you to help you choose the best birth control method for you. Some methods are more effective than others are preventing pregnancy. The type of birth control you choose depends on your health, your desire to have children now or in the future, and your need to prevent sexually transmitted infections.

What is the best method of birth control?

There is no best method of birth control for every woman. The birth control method that is right for you depends on many things, and will likely change throughout your reproductive life. When considering the best birth control method for you at this time, you’ll want to talk to your Eastside OB/GYN provider about:

  • Family planning – Do you want to get pregnant soon, in a few years, or never
  • How well each method of birth control works to prevent pregnancy
  • How easy the birth control is to use
  • Do you need birth control to help with periods
  • How often you have sex
  • The number of sexual partners you have
  • How well it protects against Sexually Transmitted Infections
  • Your overall health

What birth control options are available, and how effective are they?

Birth Control options are ordered from most to least effective at pregnancy prevention.

Abstinence (no sexual contact) 0 for perfect use No action required N/A
Permanent Sterilization Surgery for Women (tubal ligation, “getting your tubes tied”) Less than 1 Onetime procedure. Permanent. No action required after surgery.
  • Pain
  • Bleeding
  • Infection or other complications after surgery
Copper IUD

Brand name: ParaGard®

Less than 1 Inserted by a healthcare provider. Lasts up to 12 years.
  • Cramps
  • Heavier, longer periods
  • Spotting between periods
Hormonal IUD with Progestin

Brand names: Mirena®, Kyleena®, Skyla®, Liletta®

Less than 1 Inserted by a healthcare provider. Lasts 3-8 years.
  • Irregular bleeding
  • No periods
  • Abdominal / pelvic pain
Implantable rod

Brand name: Nextplanon®

Less than 1 Inserted by a healthcare provider. Lasts up to 5 years.
  • Menstrual changes
  • Weight gain
  • Acne
  • Mood swings or depressed mood
  • Headache
Birth Control Shot / Injection
Brand name: Depo-Provera®
6 Need a shot every 3 months
  • Loss of bone density
  • Irregular bleeding/bleeding between periods
  • Headaches
  • Mod chnages
  • Sore breasts
  • Weight gain
  • Nervousness
  • Dizziness
  • Abdominal discomfort
Birth Control Patch

Brand names: Xulane® and Twirla®

8 Replace weekly
  • Spotting or bleeding between periods
  • Sore breasts
  • Nausea
  • Headaches
Oral Contraceptives
“The Pill”
9 Take a pill at the same time every day
  • Spotting/bleeding between menstrual periods
  • Changes in your period
  • Changes in your mood
  • Weight gain
  • High blood pressure
  • Nausea
  • Stomach pain
  • Breast tenderness
  • Headache
  • Skin irritation
Vaginal Contraceptive
RingBrand name: NuvaRing®
9 Wear for 21 days, remove for 7 days, replace with a new ring
  • Headache
  • Upset stomach
  • Sore breasts
  • Vaginal irritation and discharge
  • Changes in your period
  • High blood pressure
  • Less common but serious risks include blood clots, stroke, and heart attack.
Male Condom 18 Must use every time you have sex. Provides protection against some STDs.
  • Irritation
  • Allergic reactions
Female Condom 21 Must use every time you have sex. Provides protection against some STDs.
  • Discomfort or pain during insertion or sex
  • Burning sensation, rash or itching
Spermicide alone 28 Must use every time you have sex.
  • Irritation
  • Allergic reactions
  • Urinary tract infection

Can birth control help with painful or heavy periods?

For some people, yes. Research shows that hormonal birth control such as the pill, patch, shot, ring, implantable rod, and hormonal IUD may help with heavy periods, painful periods, or long-term bleeding. These birth control methods may help you have lighter, shorter periods. For some people, there are a number of benefits to hormonal birth control:

  • More regular period cycles
  • Fewer menstrual cramps
  • Lighter periods
  • Less acne
  • Lower risk of ovary, endometrial, and colon cancers, pelvic inflammatory disease, and noncancerous ovarian cysts

What are the most popular forms of birth control?

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services December 2018 report on contraceptive status among U.S. women aged 15-49 from 2015-2017, the most common contraceptive methods were:

  1. Female sterilization (tubal ligation)
  2. Oral contraceptives “The Pill”
  3. Long-acting reversible contraceptives (LARCs) such as IUDs (Mirena, Paragard, Liletta, Kyleena, Skyla) and implants such as Nexplanon
  4. Male condoms

Do I need to see a gynecologist to get birth control?

It depends! Yes, you can get some types of birth control such as condoms at drugstores. However, you will need to see a gynecologist to get the types of birth control that work best in preventing pregnancy such as the IUD, implant, birth control shot, the pill, patch, or ring.

Your Eastside OB/GYN provider can help you choose the best method of birth control for you based upon your unique healthcare needs.