Deciding to go on birth control can be both terrifying and exciting. Many women opt to take birth control for reasons besides preventing pregnancy. Lighter periods, reduced breakouts, and less painful menstrual cramps are just a few other benefits. It all sounds great, but going on birth control will require more than answering a simple yes or no question.
When you make the decision to go on birth control, you’ll be presented with quite a few options.
It can be difficult choosing the right one. Here are five important questions you should ask when deciding on a birth control method.
1. What Are the Different Types of Birth Control?
When speaking with a doctor about different types of birth control, they should always present all the available options. But don’t be afraid to dig even deeper and ask more questions. If a certain type of birth control piques your interest, get as much information as possible about it. Having all of the details will help you make a better, more informed decision.
It’s also helpful to know how accessible the birth control option you want will be to you. Does your insurance cover it? Or, are there online birth control options available for the type you want? These are all great questions to ask before committing to a specific type of birth control.
2. What Are the Side Effects of Birth Control?
With every type of birth control comes possible side effects. Knowing the common side effects of each type of birth control could heavily influence your decision. Hormonal birth control can cause mood swings, acne, weight gain, and decreased libido. Other types of birth control cause spotting or bleeding between periods, nausea, and headaches.
With any type of birth control, you run the risk of possible side effects. But it’s all about weighing the pros and the cons. Every type of birth control is going to provide a certain level of protection against pregnancy and other potential benefits. Are those benefits and the percentage level of prevention against pregnancy enough to outweigh the possible side effects? This is a question only you can answer.
3. How Long Will My Birth Control Prescription Last?
Just like any other medication, birth control is something you don’t want to suddenly stop without consulting your doctor first. This is why it’s important to know how long your prescription will last. From there, you can determine whether or not the chosen type of birth control is a good fit for your lifestyle.
For a method such as the pill, you might only have a few months of refills at a time. This means frequent visits to the doctor. If this is less than ideal, it may be best to try a different birth control option. The IUD, on the other hand, can last for up to seven years and a doctor must remove it. To some, this may be ideal. To others, not so much. You could also explore online birth control options. Oftentimes, you can get the pill shipped directly to you via a telemedicine provider.
4. Which Birth Control Works Best With My Lifestyle and Budget?
The more information you have about birth control, the better you’ll be able to understand if one is a fit. To understand how a certain method of birth control works with your lifestyle and budget, you must ask your doctor questions. Ask about insurance coverage. Ask how each type of birth control works. Ask which contraceptives are considered more low maintenance.
Use and convenience are typically two big concerns for everyone considering birth control. Oral contraceptives remain the most widely used birth control method among women in the U.S. today. However, they come with an obvious downside: you have to remember to take the pill at the same time every single day. Other methods won’t require as much on your part.
5. What If I Want to Stop Birth Control?
This might sound like a silly question initially. If you don’t want to be on birth control anymore, then stop using it. Unfortunately, it’s not always that simple. Stopping birth control can require a doctor’s visit depending on which method you choose (e.g. only a doctor can remove an IUD). Other considerations include side effects and the ability to get pregnant.
Stopping birth control can cause a lot of hormonal changes in the body, and the transition may not always be an easy one. Consult a doctor before stopping, so you’re prepared for whatever is to come. Also, if you plan on starting a family one day, this will impact your decision. There are certain birth control methods that will allow you to get pregnant relatively quickly after you stop.
No two people are alike, and what works well for one person may not work well for another. This is certainly the case with birth control. But this shouldn’t scare you. Just like finding the perfect partner, finding the perfect birth control method isn’t always easy. But when you do, it’s worth the wait.
Published by Samantha Brown