Birth Control Specialist

If you’re interested in reducing your risk of unintended pregnancy, you have a wide selection of effective and easy-to-use birth control options. Choosing what’s best for you depends on a range of factors, including your age, medical history, and overall health. The top-rated team of women’s health experts at Total Woman Care in Elkin, North Carolina can help you understand your choices and find the method that’s best for you. To learn more about available birth control methods, call or book your appointment online today.

What are the different forms of birth control?

There are several types of contraception available, each with benefits, drawbacks, and rate of effectiveness. The five main categories of birth control are:

- Hormonal methods: Hormonal birth control prevents ovulation so your eggs can't be fertilized. The pill, contraceptive patch, shot, and vaginal ring are common forms of hormonal contraception.

- Long-acting reversible contraception (LARC): LARC methods include IUDs and implants. An IUD is a T-shaped device that’s placed in your uterus to prevent sperm from reaching an egg; an implant is a tiny, flexible rod that’s placed in your upper arm, where it releases hormones that prevent ovulation.

- Barrier methods: This type of birth control blocks sperm from entering your uterus. Male condoms, female condoms, diaphragms, and cervical caps are barrier methods, as are spermicidal foams, sponges, and films.

- Permanent birth control: Permanent birth control may be done surgically, with a tubal ligation that cuts, ties, or seals off your fallopian tubes. It can also be done non-surgically, with an implant that permanently blocks your fallopian tubes.

- Emergency contraception: A copper IUD and emergency contraceptive pills are the two most effective methods for preventing pregnancy following unprotected sex or birth control failure.

What should I consider when selecting birth control?

Your doctor at Total Woman Care can help you find the birth control method that best meets your needs after considering the following factors:

- Your age, overall health, and medical history

- Your sexual frequency and number of partners

- Your comfort level with the method or possible side effects

- Your future family planning desires

If you and your long-term partner do not want to start a family anytime soon, an IUD may be your best choice.

If you have more than one partner, you may want to consider using condoms, which help protect against STDs, in addition to your primary form of birth control.

What is the most effective form of birth control?

It's important to remember that even the most effective forms of birth control — including permanent sterilization methods — aren't 100% foolproof. When used correctly, however, most forms of birth control can significantly reduce your chances of becoming pregnant.  

- LARC methods, including IUDs and implants, are over 99% effective

- Hormonal birth control shots are 94% effective

- Hormonal patches, birth control pills, and vaginal rings are 91% effective

- Male and female condoms are 82% and 79% effective, respectively

Many women decide to use more than one method for increased protection against pregnancy; using a spermicide along with a diaphragm is common, as is using a condom while on the pill.